The real reason I photograph families with film is for me. True, it has made a big come back in the photography community, and it does hold a sort of status. But that isn’t my why. My why is because I kinda despise the instant gratification culture. The,” I need it now and I’m not going to work for it” mentality. I’m not saying our culture is bad because it’s not. It’s just that part of it I can’t stand. Shooting digital is an instant gratification way of doing photography. You spend all this money up front, do a quick run through of the exposure triangle, and click the shutter button. (Man I sound like a Beeyatch. Sorry, I promise to move past this quickly). Then instantly the image shows up on a shinny high definition LCD screen. You didn’t like it? Make a few tweaks and click the button again. An instant gratification dopamine hit.
This leads me to another thing I just can’t stand about digital, and maybe even more than what I previously talked about. PERFECTIONISM. Shooting with digital allows for the idea of perfection to be achievable. (Now notice, I didn’t say that perfection WAS achievable, just the idea of it). Working in the digital medium makes it very easy to quickly change something the photographer doesn’t like. Don’t like the shot, adjust and try again… and again and again and again. Then after you feel like it’s good “in camera” take the sucker into Lightroom and Photoshop and manipulate that heck out of. I honestly believe that the invention of Photoshop (as amazing and awesome it is) is the reason why body image has become a huge issue. Scroll instagram and all the images of people have been altered. Some to an inhuman state. But our brains see, quote unquote, beauty and feel lesser.
So, back to film. The real reason I photograph families on analog film is it doesn’t allow for instant gratification. The photographer has to really think about the shot, cuz baby there is only one chance! Once the shutter has been pressed, that’s it. There isn’t an instant replay of what was just taken. NOPE! Just the whur of the film advancing. And forget about perfection! Analog film has an element of unpredictability that can not be elliminated. In each and every image, that the sultry minks of imperfection is there. That is what I love about film!!! Imperfection isn’t just present but celebrated. Life is messy, unkind, and glorious and I feel like film is the same way. A mirror of what life is and how it can be seen. Through the lens of my film camera I can show life as an interpretation. Artistically celebrate each family and their story beautifully and imperfetly, one negative at a time.
Yes, film is old school, a bit of a wild card, and hella expensive. But it is what my heart yearns to work with, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do one family at a time. Starting with my own…
Tell me… what do you love about film? Did you even know about the vintage craze that is putting analog film back on the map AAAAND it is available for you!?! Are you interested in having you family documented in such a creative an artist medium? Coolio! Contact me here and let’s chat about your vision for your family all captured on film.