Getting back into film, I’ve found that the connection I feel with every photo is shared with the people in my life – whether they’re in the photo or not. Producing a physical product, be it negatives or prints, documents the beauty of intangible moments and as such, stand out in a digital world.
All in all, we all do what we do for our own reasons. I hope that you can agree that there is something special about film. Something that maybe you can’t describe but meaningful nevertheless. I find the end result and process itself beautiful.
Often times when I talk to my friends that shoot digital, they ask why I shoot film. From their perspective, it’s odd that I would own a great digital camera, great lenses, and literally everything else I need. No additional expenses. So why would I use something that perpetually costs money – not to mention the delayed gratification.
With so much working against film, why do I love it so much? It’s two-fold. First, I find it nice to slow down and really approach every shot with intention rather than just blow through hundreds of shots that people go through on their digital cameras and/or phones. Second, because of the intention for every shot, there’s a sense of connection with each of them. Not to mention, those born in the 80’s or before probably remember film and feel a sense of nostalgia with it.
Approaching my photography and life through digital means ended up rendering almost all of my photos meaningless. Do I really care about that long exposure at the corner of King and Calhoun? Not really. I think it was great and got some attention on IG but my attachment was short-lived. After a while, visiting friends and family, realizing how much I loved going through their photo albums, I decided to take more photos of my loved ones.
In the end, I got back into film and I would not ever go back. Yes, I spend more money but I have a lot more fun. I’m not sure what exactly it was about film that changed the way I approached photography but I have found myself so much more inspired than I ever was before. My abilities as a photographer have grown and I love the photos I’m taking. For me, it brought me back to the reasons I wanted to take pictures in the first place.