The Photographic Journal

Summer Daze 

Essay 357 • Dec 3rd 2018

I was a camp kid. Every summer from the time I was eight years-old, my parents would ship me off to summer camp for seven whole weeks, and I loved it. I was a sporty little tomboy, happy to spend my days playing basketball and rolling around in the dirt. But it wasn’t just about the fresh outdoors or the smokey campfires or the sweet bug juice¬– it was my camp family: people who became my sisters and brothers and aunts and uncles because we were living in this strange world all day, every day.

A world where sticks of chewing gum were gold and wearing jean shorts was like wearing a prom dress. Where you score your first basket and learn how to weave a basket and kiss the first person to give you butterflies. Where you fall in love. Where you fall out of love. Where you love people so much that you hate them and you can’t stand them and never want to see them again and somehow you’re counting the months until you can go back and share a musty, wooden bunk bed. Camp is my place, it’s my home, and it is a place with so much love that I never knew how to capture. In 2018, after a three year hiatus from camp– during which I was honing my skills as a photographer in the “real world”– I returned, 22 and a college graduate, still that sporty little tomboy at heart, finally feeling able to truly capture the intimate, beautiful world of those summer days. 


Em Dubin is a photographer who strives to capture intimate moments in their raw form, specializing in documentary photography in the world of music and film. With an open heart and a genuine care for the people she captures, Em creates images that feel tender and real and powerful. You can most often find her on tour, on set, or in her studio creating specialized portrait work.Website | Instagram