Last year I was gifted my first film camera by a coworker. He used to dabble in photography while his kids were young, but with the coming of digital photography equipment opted to upgrade to the speed and convenience of digital. His gift came days before my 26th birthday. The kit included a 35mm Canon Elan 7, a Sigma 70-300 macro lens, a 35-80mm lens, and a speed light (thanks, David)! It came in a very serious briefcase that admittedly intimidated me at first sight.
My Introduction to Film Photography
I knew nothing about film photography, other than the fact that I knew there was an aesthetic about film that could not be replicated even with the best film simulation software. The way it handled highlights, the grain, the intrinsic moodiness to film is something I wanted to capture authentically. A few photographer friends of mine had been shooting film for awhile so I reached out to them for the quick crash course.
Fuji Superia 400
Knowing little to nothing about film cameras, much less the different varieties of film stocks out there, I headed to Walgreens and grabbed what was in stock: Fijifilm Superia 400. I bought a 4-pack of the 24 exposure film for less than $15. Even with this "cheap film", I produced some lovely images that encouraged me to continue. Hannah Lockaby of Hannah Woodard Photography was my first hands-on tutor. She showed me how load the film into my camera, how to meter in camera, and the next steps once all the exposures were shot. Here are some images I captured at her home. These scans were produced by The FIND Lab. They have an awesome program that allows you to have your first roll scanned for free (just mark your order form 'first roll free').
I started a hashtag on my Instagram page, #LatoyaShootsFilm, anytime I post an image shot with film. As of now, I exclusively pull out my film for personal projects, but occasionally grab some shots at sessions. Last year I even attended a workshop for film photographers. I'll blog about that experience a little later. Feel free to check out and continue to follow #LatoyaShootsFilm for some of my favorite film images.