I’ve been staring at this post with a blank stare for the past 3 days. I’m excited to share about my film journey but I’m not quite sure where to begin. I first became enamored by photography at age 10, when I took this picture. I took it with a disposable camera and I was hooked. My mom would send me all over the world (lol not really—just New York & Florida) for summer vacations and I would take lots of pictures of strangers and buildings, which mom was definitely not fond of. But it was a start. I had a polaroid 600 that I used for fun (lol, my Barbie dolls are well documented on these) that made me iconic in High School. My parents finally invested in a dSLR for me at 16 and I began shooting editorials for my designer friends in Puerto Rico. It got me published and a job with a vintage boutique where I would do their catalogs on a quarterly basis.
This editorial was shot with a Canon AE-1 I got for $75 on eBay when I was 21. I had bought the camera in 2010 and my first 3 rolls came back blank because I didn’t know how to properly put a roll in and I cried. A lot. But you better believe I learned my lesson and became a pro winding that film. I love this camera so much! My dating relationship was captured in this camera and I could not be more happy about it. It doesn’t get as much action now that I have the Mamiya 645 & EOS 3, but I still use it from time to time. I no longer have to develop film at Walmart/Costco/Walgreens since I use theFINDlab but other than that, not much has changed. I still get giddy when I get film in the mail and when my lab sends me an email with the scans. There’s just something about being such a big part of the process and hands on with the light-subject interaction that digital doesn’t come close to.
If you’re thinking about experimenting with film, start today. You don’t need much, even a disposable camera is a great starting point. I recently taught a photography workshop with disposables and it was a lot of fun! My students got to exhibit their images and one of them sold two pieces from her work. Shooting film has made me a better photographer, lover of life and more present in the moment. I wish the same for you! Next week I’ll talk more on choosing a lab for your film.