film fridays: a personal project where I put down my digital camera and share images created on film
It’s been one year exactly since I started the Film Fridays series on my blog. It’s been an amazing year filled with frustrations, ah-ha’s, heck yes’s, lots of money spent and tons of growth with a renewed fascination for photography.
This photo below is from the first batch that I sent to RPL and when I opened it, I literally gasped. I know, dramatic, right? Had I taken this with digital it would have been (in my opinion) an “ok” photo but on film it came to life. I loved all the little details that seemed to jump up and wave at me: the highlighted hairs on his cheek, the fibers of his sweater, the beautiful texture of the linen backdrop, the grain, the tones! Oh My! Seeing this photo was definitely where the spark happened. I went from longingly looking at other film photographer’s work to realizing “hey, I can do this, too!”
For the next year, I relentlessly tortured my family as I learned how to shoot medium-format with the clunkiest, slowest camera known to man. I took my Mamiya 645, a.k.a “The brick”, wherever we went. I concocted ridiculous sessions for them so I could try out new film. They showed me an amazing amount of patience as I fumbled through it all. For that, I am forever grateful.
As momentum was building on this new found love I had an excellent opportunity to completely submerge myself during spring break week. We went to Louisiana for the entire week and I schlepped all my gear, digital and film, on this trip. I know my husband thought I was absolutely insane. This is a family trip. Not an expedition., he said. I know now that I MUST have a touch of crazy because all I kept thinking was mmmhmm…Haters gonna hate. That’s right. If you want something don’t let anyone, even your significant other, influence your decisions. Sometimes you just have to have a one track mind and yes, be a little selfish. I learned so much during this time and I was in full obsession mode afterwards. Check out the photos from this trip Part Un, Deux and Trois.
In May, one of my favorite film photographers, Tanja Lippert , announced she was holding a workshop in New Orleans. Actually, all it said on her blog was ‘Big Easy Workshop – Info Coming Soon’. She then waited two solid months to announce the dates. What a tease! Two months of obsessively checking her site. Two months of fascinating about the idea of going. Then talking myself out of it. Then back in and out…over and over. I can’t afford this. But I must. I won’t be as talented as the others. They’ll kick me out. No they won’t. They’re all gonna laugh at you! Luckily, the realistic, smart side of my personalities won and I signed up for her week long (yes, you read that right) workshop in November. Aside from conquering my fear of film, attending her workshop was the best decision I made all year. Tanja taught us so much during that week. Not just technical stuff either, but discovering what is deep down inside you and how to acknowledge it, accept it and use it to your advantage. If you have the chance I highly recommend you attend one of her workshops. She’s a gifted teacher.
I continued to bring my film cameras to every single shoot through out the year. They always end up being my favorite shots.
At this point, I’m not sure where I am headed with film. Nothing would make me happier than switching from digital to 100% film. While the dee eff dub is not lacking in photographers (understatement of the year), it IS lacking in film photographers. It would be a dream to help fill that void. : ) But there are concerns, of course. For instance, are there enough clients here who really care about the subtle nuances of film? I haven’t explored this topic enough on the business side, so who knows? Until I figure it out I will continue to have fun with Film Friday as a personal project. Feel free to peruse through the Film Friday posts to see the progression.