I’ve always loved taking photos. Whether is was a disposable or a Polaroid, I’ve always been holding a camera. I guess I got it from my mom, who got it from my grandma, but ever since I could remember, taking photos was what I loved to do. When I was 18, my grandma was actually the first to give me a camera, one of her old film cameras. I've kept it since then and finally started shooting at 23. I’ve been collecting all kinds of cameras, but my favorite film camera I have been using is my Pentax K1000. I also have a Nikon D3300 digital camera and that’s my go-to for parties and class assignments, but there’s just something about film that keeps me coming back to it.
Here are some reasons why I love shooting film.
1. You appreciate the moment.
It’s easy to take a million photos on your camera or your phone, but when you're limited to 24 or 36 exposures, you really think about what you’re taking a photo of before you hit the shutter.
2. You learn to be patient.
You don’t have to hurry to get your shot; being patient and waiting for the perfect moment makes it more valuable. However, that’s one of the perks- not knowing if you got your shot. You’ll have to wait until you develop your film to see if you got your shot.
3. You understand light.
I’m talking about natural light and understanding exposure, motion and sometimes, flash can be a bit much, try not to use it unless necessary. Without a flash, during the day is the best time to shoot, you get natural lighting and your photos won’t come out underexposed.
4. You’re much more aware of your surroundings.
When you're walking around with your film camera, you learn to notice little things that are out of the ordinary. Not just people or objects, but what they're doing, how they're feeling. If you're taking a photo of them, you’re not only documenting them, but you’re telling their story with the photo.
5. You know film is expensive, but you still shoot anyways.
Think about it: if you have a SIM card for your camera, you can take hundreds of photos and just delete the ones you don’t want, but with film, you get what you asked for. Remember, film cameras don’t have an archive, so document when you take your photos- you’ll want to know later.
6. The results.
When you get your negatives and prints back you notice your mistakes, but you also keep up with your progress. Remember, it’s a learning process.
7. Film cameras are much lighter than digital cameras.
This is a no-brainer. Depending on what lens or body you're carrying, digital cameras make it feel like you’re carrying textbooks. But with a film camera, it’s so light you can wear it around your neck or arm and not feel a thing.
8. You have to focus better.
Not all film cameras focus automatically: like my Pentax K100. I have to adjust the focus depending how far my subject is, but that’s the fun of shooting film. Again, it’s a learning process.
9. Grain! I love when photos come out grainy.
Yeah, it’s great to have crisp clear photos, but a little grain is like sprinkles on a cupcake; they just make the photo look so much better.
10. Lastly, film is unpredictable.
I started shooting film early last year, 2016, so I’m not a professional in this. I just have fun experimenting and growing as a photographer and hope to shoot stunning photos one day.