Long Live Film Photography
Photography is light.
I started my journey with photography when I was seven years old with a Minolta film camera strapped together by a Goody hair elastic. My small hands loved fidgeting with the inner parts of the camera - opening and closing the back, pulling apart film canisters, and experimenting with the flash. I held photo sessions with my beanie babies and posed my little brother on Fisher Price furniture and baby blankets.
As much as photography has changed and progressed over the time, there will always be a place for film. At least I hope so - because here are a few of the many reasons that it continues to hold a dear place in my creative world.
Reasons why film photography will never die (I hope)
It is the most honest expression of light
There are film and camera types as well as darkroom techniques to alter the look and feel of an image just as there are filters and digital programs to alter digital photographs. However, when you're holding a film camera in your hand and aiming it at a beautiful sweeping scene or capturing the laughter of a loved one, you're not thinking about how you can change the image later on - you're thinking about the light you have available right in that moment - and that forces you to work with what you have. Which leads me to my next point.
It forces patience and decisiveness
I took a film photography class on Saturday mornings in high school at Pasadena Art Center College of Design. Our first assignment was to carry and use 8 instant cameras in one day. That experience changed my view of photography forever.
I snapped photographs of friends at our lunch table, of classrooms, books, backpacks, and sneakers - all of which I had to wait for after dropping off the cameras at my local drugstore.
It wasn't so much the quality of the photographs that I was looking forward to, but of the moments that were tucked away inside the film. Once I got back 8 stacks of prints, I remember the feeling of flipping through them hungrily. The assignment taught me to be patient my work and to focus on the content of the image rather than the quality of the camera.
Cropping is not always an option with film photography if you don't have access to a darkroom. If you're like me and you're sending your photographs to a photo lab, you get what you shot. This forces me to focus on the full frame before I click the shutter. Film taught me the importance of developing a style in my composure and it carries through in the way I frame my digital photographs now.
Quality over quantity
There is a time and place for a fast shutter and terabytes of memory. But when you want to get back to your roots as an artist and focus on creating beautiful art, there is nothing quite like film to force you back to the essence of photography.