Like many, many photographers before me, I got my start in film in high school. Learning to roll film and develop was the highlight of my Tuesday/Thursdays. I was taught photography by Rob Garland, who is one of the most well-respected photographers in Charlottesville and Virginia. I am SO thankful that I learned from someone as patient and talented as he is. Funny enough, he also taught Driver’s Ed, so thanks to Mr. Garland, I learned how to drive AND how to take photos. I’d say he was an integral part of my learning and growing in my teenage years!
I held onto film for dear life for many many years. I finally “gave it up” when I purchased my Canon 300D (otherwise known as the Rebel) in 2006. And as I progressed through digital cameras, my little Canon AE-1 got pushed further and further to the back burner. I found it when I was moving a couple years ago and told myself then that I would pick it up again…but I never did. And then the “film trend” happened.
Film is seeing a huge resurgence in recent years and has definitely become a “trend” among photographers- and I’m not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, I truly think everyone should shoot film. It makes you a more deliberate shooter, a better shooter, and makes you see things totally differently than you would with a digital camera. On the other hand, I think that there are people who have been doing film their whole lives, or those who have embraced it to the point they know it is where their business is going (i.e, it makes complete sense with their brand and their style of photography). And for those people, I feel like others who just grab a film camera and suddenly decide they are now “film shooters”, it can be a little disheartening. So I encourage everyone picking up film for the first time to really study it, to learn it, to learn the history and art behind it, not just the pretty pictures it creates.
One great thing about the resurgence is I have seen some absolutely gorgeous work coming out of fellow photographers, and it is really cool seeing them exploring new ways of discovering light and really thinking about the images they are shooting. And I 100% admit that the trend made me go digging to pull out my AE-1 and play. Will I be incorporating film into my workflow? No, I have no plans for that. But re-discovering my love for film is re-discovering my love for photography, and I know that will translate into the digital images I am delivering to my clients. I’ve been shooting a tiny bit of film here and there on some personal projects and just for fun, and I’m excited to continue to play and remember why I fell in love with this incredible art form in the first place. – A
All of these were taken with a Canon AE-1 camera and Kodak Portra 400 film, developed by Indie Film Lab. I have loved my experiences with them!!
There’s my handsome hubby!
When we were down shooting Rachel + Jeff’s engagement session, one of my best friends (and bridesmaids) Claire and I discovered an abandoned amusement park/putt putt golf area…and we had to take advantage!
I did a few film shots during Olivia + Jonathan’s Wedding as I had a roll to finish up- so happy I did!
And finally, a little personal project I was working on with my gorgeous friend Cory- there is a lot more coming from this shoot, but here are a few of my favorite film images. I am really proud of these!