Why Do I Shoot Film?
Why do I like film so much? It’s been a question I’ve been asked quite a bit the past few years. I began experimenting with film in mid-2015, and kinda got obsessed with it. Before that I was known more for my colorful higher processed digital work, but I also did quite a bit of digital b&w as well. I’ve always been floored by gritty b&w work and the digital stuff could get close, but never quite had the feel of the stuff I was really captivated by. In 2015, the first couple rolls I experimented with were some expired Tmax and when I got it back, it hooked me. It was that gritty feel that I had loved.
Nowadays I get asked a good bit from other photographers and people about why I like film over digital. I still love my digital stuff. At this time I still prefer my digital color work over color film because I’ve had a hell of a time with color film and getting the tones right. But to me why I love film better than digital as a medium boils down to I’m kinda tired of perfection. I’m tired of everything we see being pretty, and perfectly airbrushed. I’m tired of us being led to believe that these are the ideals we must achieve. Don’t get me wrong, those styles are all well and good, and I still do enjoy doing colorful in your face stuff, but everywhere we look it’s perfection. Digital cameras make it so easy to create images that are pretty and clean, but they lack depth. Pretty pictures are a dime a dozen in my opinion, and we have so much content to filter through on social media that they all blend together. They look cool, but at the end of the day we rarely remember what we’ve seen.
Film - is a bit different. Film is imperfect. Film isn’t meant to be clean and pretty all the time. You can do that with it, depending on how you shoot, but you can also create images that have this depth to them that kinda sear the images into your head. I have more people that message me or come up to me in person talking about my film work than I ever had talking about my digital stuff. (which I do STILL shoot and enjoy shooting as well) One of the best compliments I’ve ever received was at an art show where this lady had given me the stink eye several times throughout the evening, and she finally approached me telling me that she found my work “disgusting” but she would keep trying to leave the show and she had to come back to see it again. (She said this after coming around the fifth time) To me that was awesome because not all work is meant to be beautiful. I created something that was stuck in someones mind. That’s amazing!
But for me, what it boils down to with why I really enjoy working with film is simply I want to be able to create work whether it’s digital, or film, that will stick with people. I’m tired of work that just gets scrolled through. I want to create images that show people “Hey, you’re beautiful for who you are, imperfections and all”. I’m tired of people feeling that if their skin isn’t airbrushed, and their waist isn’t liquified that they aren’t a beautiful person. Beauty is in peoples attitudes and personalities. With film, I feel that you can create images that help to show that. That if people can open their mind to really see, we can see the beauty in people. It shows character, and makes impactful images that are more unique than just another shot that looks like another shot, that looks like yet another shot. That’s why I enjoy it. Hopefully you guys do too.
Here’s a few more recent film shots that I’ve taken and haven’t had time to get posted on here.