Since the age of 13, I've been using film photography to catalog my life experiences—never as a professional photographer, but simply out of love for the medium and my community.
Over time, I've amassed somewhere between 6,000 and 9,000 images and now, after being in storage, the collection is starting to deteriorate. To ensure these images are not lost forever, I must act now.
Please help me preserve this body of work.
Ten years ago I had the foresight to transfer all content from cardboard boxes to these light-proof tubs. This photo shows most of the photography-related material. However, there are seven more large tubs that contain diaries, journals, etc. that have images mixed in.
Taken as a teenager going to punk shows, my work features early images of 1980s Hollywood youth culture and scenery—a time capsule of a bygone era. I have thousands of photos of punk and hardcore bands and lifestyle photos of kids and musicians.
In the 1990s, while I was a touring musician with L7, I documented the tours we did with other rock bands. Most of these images of bands and musicians backstage have never been seen by the public. It’s a vast body of work documenting the lifestyle, arts, and culture of the 1990s from all around the world.
I have started this project many times in the past ten years, only to suffer frustration and stagnation. Upon examination, I believe now that my goals in the past were not consistent with my own values. I felt pressure to turn my collection into a book, or print the images and show the collection in an exhibit. There was this idea that a product should be my end goal. As obvious a goal as those products seemed, they never resonated with me, as I feel that this work is more about human connection, history, and something beyond just a static, printed piece.
I have now reoriented my goals.
My long-term goal/dream is to make this archive accessible and free to anyone who wants to use these images to tell their own stories. I, too, plan to do the same. Honestly, I am not exactly sure of the legal restrictions that will affect this dream of mine—I'm going to have to seek legal counsel to address this in the future—but I do know if I do not start preserving this archive soon, this work could be irreparably damaged and lost.
I have admitted that it is a bigger job than I can manage myself and have asked my immediate friends to keep me accountable. I also acknowledge and understand that money is another factor that is needed to make this project happen.
First, I need to organize and identify as much as I can by delicately going through the collection. It will then be carefully packaged and sent to a reasonably priced scanning specialist that is trusted and proven: SCANCAFE.com.
Once at ScanCafe, it will take up to three months for the final hard copies and a hard-drive of the scans to be returned to me. During this process, versions of the images will be uploaded by the scanning company to a server for previewing. This is when I will begin to fulfill my pledge commitments.
When I get the digital images back from ScanCafe, I will organize them, so they are accessible. I will keep two duplicate hard-drives locally and will upload the images to a secure, online storage account (Amazon S3) to further ensure their protection. The original material will be repacked and put in storage.
Your help is the only way I can get this done. Your attention and accountability will help me stay in the game. I am sure many of you know the power of motivation to help others and how sometimes it is the only route to helping ourselves!
Besides the community support, the funding will help remove many obstacles I have faced. For those who are curious, this is my planed spending: $500 - help to organize scanning and timelines • $235 - 2 1T Hard drives • $250 used iMac (dedicated computer) • $230 software (Adobe Suite, Intensify, other MacPhun image editors) • $2,000 human help • $2,800 scanning services • $320 postage / supplies • $600 - for kickstarter promo movie • $220 light-proof storage bins • $550 custom storage locker • $400 (approx.) Amazon S3 storage for five years • $175 low-end film scanner by ION /printer by Cannon • $820 Kickstarter fees.
Jennifer Precious Finch, shown here with the original Pentax film camera that was used for the majority of this body of work, lives in sleepy Rancho Park (Los Angeles). Besides photography and music, Finch is also involved in non-profit work with recovery and mental illness organizations and has a passion for helping others find their creative voice through music and art.
Risks and challenges
One of the highest risk factors in this project is the emotional toll it takes—it is such a massive undertaking and the amount of work can be truly overwhelming at times. As I said, I have started this project many times only to find myself getting frustrated and burned out. But now that I have a clear goal, as well as friends (and you, my supporters!) to hold me accountable, I know I can see this through to the end.
It may also seem risky to many that I will be using a scanning service that is not a local business. I have used this company four times, both for myself and for other client projects. In addition, I have built in some time and funds for scanning a portion of the work prior to shipping, so that my commitments to the Kickstarter community can be fulfilled, should an octopus eat everything, or any other act of God or man destroy the collection.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)