Film is not dead

Film is not dead | Pittsburgh Film Photography

From a recent conversation with my mom:

Me: Mom, I bought a film camera. Mom: How many hours of video can you do with it? Me: No, mom... film. You know... a camera that takes rolls of film that has to be developed by a lab. Mom: It sounds like you are going backwards Jenny. Me: Well... kind of...

In 2004 I was probably one of the last people to buy a digital camera. I remember being laughed at when I was the only one of over 50 course attendees who still shot film. Nothing fancy here people. Just auto on a consumer-grade film camera... but it preserved the memories of the summer when I made the decision to move the United States of America. Later that year I finally purchased a digital camera and brought it everywhere to capture the little things in nature. It was not until three years later that the dream of being a professional pet photographer was born when I found Erin Vey's work during a night when I should have been studying for my organizational behavior class.

At the time I had no idea that photographing pets was even a career option. Instead of trusting my gut I pursued other career interests in economic development, but the thought kept lurking in my mind. It was not until planning our wedding in 2009 and meeting several photographers who later became friends and whom I started second shooting for, that the dream started to become reality. The rest now feels like history, and while I have met several of my big goals it recently dawned on me that I don't bring a camera with me as much as I used to. Going into 2013 I knew that things needed to change. I desperately needed to slow down.

I had many times heard of a book called 'Film Is Not Dead' by Jonathan Canlas, but it was not until my great friend Brittani started to incorporate film into her work that the curiosity took overhand and I bought the book. In less than a day I had read it from cover to cover and immediately started looking for a used film camera. It felt like the easiest decision I had made in a long time and the thought of having to really make a conscious decision before pressing the shutter, and not being able to preview the shot felt incredibly liberating.

Everyone who starts shooting film talks about how it slows them down. It is true. It makes you look, think, and analyze before creating. It is making me a stronger artist and helps me to look extra carefully at my settings and trust myself since I cannot instantly see the result. While it may seem like I am going backwards (and to some extent I have and feel like a total newbie...) in the long run it will make me a better photographer regardless of medium. More of my voice will come through and for now it is all about having fun and playing for the sake of playing. I love it.