For the past five to six years or so, I have been shooting film and it truly has been a transformative experience for me. Without getting into all of the clichés of the kinesthetic beauty that shooting film is accompanied by (all of which I appreciate), I feel that the shooting film had had both immediate and lasting impacts on how I view photography and how I live my life in general.
I remember the day I got my first dSLR. I received a Nikon D40 kit when I was seventeen as a high school graduation present from my parents. Months prior to that, I would stay up late; researching what camera I wanted, whether I would buy a used D80 or a new D40, what look I wanted from my photos when I finally got it, and how cool it would be to be the photographer for all of my friends’ bands at the time. Through photography I have been able to meet a lot of people. Most of which I probably would not have met without the camera in my hands.
The connections I’ve made and the experiences we’ve shared are irreplaceable and unquantifiable; and they were made because I was creating something either for them or with them.
After those years, I lost interest and found it hard to take images that I thought were interesting or engaging.
Funnily enough, my first film memories are nowhere near as memorable as my first dSLR nor were the excitement and engagement immediate. I only vaguely remember getting my hands on a Minolta Maxxum 7000 at Goodwill and an expired roll of film. I took the shots with no real direction, just taking them quickly without really composing the images. My impatience demanded results as soon as possible. I took the roll to Walgreen’s (which still had 1-Hour Photo at the time), and was pretty impressed with how they came out.
As I shot more film, I began to find that its aesthetic held the charm I couldn’t seem to find in my digital images at the time. Maybe it wasn’t so much that i needed something different as it was that I needed something new. Not something “new” in the sense of a new camera like when I was seventeen, but a new learning experience. I’m 28 years old and I don’t know what it’s like to not be a student. I’m currently in the process of getting my doctorate. I’m also a middle school teacher. I love teaching, but I love learning even more.
While I feel that shooting film has allowed me to make stronger connections with the people I shoot and shoot with, it has also prompted a lot of self-reflection; and not just when a camera is in my hand either. When I first thought to create this blog a few days ago, I had a very specific idea of what I wanted it to be. Over the past few days, I have thought of a million other things of what this could be and what I could post here.
All of these thoughts and possibilities come from an eagerness that has originated just because I think I have found something that makes me excited to create something again.
However, this will primarily be a place to post images that I have developed and scanned on my own along with the thoughts that go along with them.
To create something completely new means that it will not be perfect, perhaps ever. I’m sure this blog will be ridden with imperfections, just like the film I develop by hand. But there is beauty in those imperfections; it shows a journey, it shows of learning, and it tells of an experience.