Shooting film, a practice of acceptance
My journey into photography started when I was quite young. My father was a photographer in the air force and he found joy photographing nature and his beloved garden. Meanwhile, my mother was obsessed with documenting our lives. Using point and shoot cameras she would pose us perfectly for a quick image that my father would then craft into a photo album. Together my parents documented my youth. As I emerged into adulthood, I felt that I had to continue to document my life. My interest in photography grew in my late teens. I used self-portraiture as a way to discover my own identity.
I remember my first digital camera, a one megapixel Vivitar also known as an utter piece of crap. I still find it amazing how far cameras have come since I first started shooting. Once interested only in the number of pixels and how technically advanced the camera was, I’ve shot with many Nikons and a mirrorless Fujifilm kit. These days I now grab a camera for the feeling it gives me when I shoot – which is why I almost exclusively shoot film. This transition from digital to film has come with my own growth and confidence as a photographer. As I’ve come to trust my abilities, I feel I no longer need an unlimited amount of shots to achieve the image I want. To me, the surprise, joy, and disappointments from shooting film mirror the ups and downs of life. I use it as a practice to stop striving for perfection and rather, to accept what is.
My pivot into film photography happened for two reasons. First, no longer inspired to pick up my DSLR to then edit images on a computer – I felt that I had stopped shooting my daily life. I wanted to get back to that practice and film felt like the perfect outlet. The second reason was more urgent, my father was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in 2020. I felt that I needed to capture him one more time on his cameras. Photography was a way for us to connect. Photographs of him are now artifacts that reassure me that he’ll always be with me.
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