Shooting on film is contagious, and I find it thrilling to me to see how easily this joyful hobby spreads. In the last two years, since I started shooting on film, I’ve witnessed quite a few people pick up a film camera after spending time with Lauren Keim and me, whether online on Instagram, in real life, or on one of my Bleak House Experiences.
There’s something seductive in the more thoughtful way of life, the stripping back of superfluousness, the slowing down, the evocation of childhood memories, and the understated, appealing look of the old cameras. These feelings seem to capture the imagination of people who aren’t even especially interested in photography, there’s just something about film that makes it irresistible.
What I’ve noticed is that it seems to be the lifestyle that initially entices people to pick up a film camera. But at some point, of course, it becomes about the photographs too. For many of us our first rolls are disappointing and underwhelming (mine certainly were), but we persevere, trusting our endeavours will reward us. And then, one day, an image reveals itself that takes our breath away. If we are lucky, it will be on our first roll. For me, it was my fifth. Suddenly you find you have taken an image that captured a world far more compelling than the scene you witnessed through your lens. We can all remember which image it was. It’s the one that got us hooked. It’s the one that made us fall head over heels in love with film.
To celebrate the launch of Enchanting Analogue, I asked some students from Learn to Shoot on Film (the course that evolved into Enchanting Analogue), and some guests from my Bleak House Experiences, to share the first images that thrilled them, the ones that made them squeal with excitement and delight.
Here they are, in their own words.
Kim, New York
Lucy’s photographs of her beautiful children from her first few rolls blew me away when I saw them. The colours, the soft lightening and all the personality she’s captured. They are absolutely gorgeous captures of her family memories.
This photo is the reason I have returned to film photography. I love the way your eye is drawn down the path and the way the light hits the trees. Not everything is in focus as it would be with the same picture taken on an iPhone. It makes me want to walk down that path again and relive the memories of a lovely day with friends.
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If you are looking for a new creative adventure for 2020, you might like my e-course, Enchanting Analogue.
A unique course to teach you to how to shoot on film. Suitable for both complete beginners and experienced photographers, you’ll discover how easy it is to create incredible photographs when you leave the digital world behind.
Shooting without a light meter is a great way to experiment with light, to boost your confidence and reduce the amount of kit you need to carry with you. Here’s how to do it.
My experience with analogue photography is that it is kinder with our mistakes, and it throws us some magical surprises to encourage us and help us along our journey.
Last summer, after watching me shoot film for a year, my husband Richard picked up my camera and gave it a go. Here’s how he got on.
This summer we spent eight days travelling around British Columbia in an RV. We put our phones away and recorded the entire trip in analogue. Here is what happened.