Going Backwards to Move Forwards: Film


Jordan and I made the choice last December to invest in learning the art of shooting film. For us the choice was an easy one. During undergrad, Jordan could be seen toting his little old school TLR film camera for fun (we even used it during our engagement photos!) and we even did some cool workshops on developing! But our fascination was grounded in more than just the novelty of it all.. the images created by some of the worlds leading photographers on film simply captivated us! Films ability to render colors, capture depth, and don't even get me started on its dreamy bokeh (the background "blur".) But with all it's glory, it has been a process. As mentioned we took the leap LAST December (almost a year ago!) and are just now keeping the rewards of our struggles. So what was the hold up? First getting a film camera. The camera we chose to go with is a Contax 645, which is actually not made any more, so you have to search for a working used model. What a pain. Then once you have it, you have to learn how to use it.. and what a process it is! With a poor auto focus system we had to learn to rely on our eyes and senses to hand focus each image. With inaccurate internal light reading meters, we had to learn to hand meter light using a weird little gadget that we keep strung around out neck. With film taking two weeks to get back to us, we had to learn to be patient and wait to see our successes and failure.. and go back out and learn again. All while throwing money into the camera, multiple inserts, backs, film and developing. Oh yeah, and then that educational workshop in France to fine tune it all. Like I said, it's been a lot.


So with that the number one question we get asked is... WHY?!? Its time consuming, its expensive, and the digital images we take are beautiful! While sometimes I find myself asking the same question (usually when I get a roll of film back that I oofed big time) for the most part the answer is simple. I could tell you its because the negatives have a resolution like 10000X greater than film (no joke) or I could tell you its because its ability to capture lights and darks in an image is unparalleled (also true) or I could tell you its because I like the arm work out it gives me... cause gosh that thing is a freaking brick.... but no, I won't tell you that. It is because I am an artist. I love creating and making art. In a digital world, it is easy to get caught up in just clicking away. While what we create is beautiful, it looses its sense of creation because frames become cheap, and the INTENTION of the image can become lost. When I shoot with the film camera, I am focused on making each click count. Making it an heirloom to hang on your walls for a lifetime. Making art. So yes, it is a lot of money. And it is time consuming. but I will forever be grateful for the times I get to take a step back, and take time to CREATE instead of produce. Oh yeah, and its also just gorgeous.


Thank you to Photovision Labs for these wonderful scans. We <3 you.

xo Nicole