“Hang out while I check the lighting.”
“Wide aperture, blurry background.”
“Okay, I’m going to pose you… Does that feel natural?”
“Perfect! Lookin’ good.”
I talk to myself whenever I’m on a photoshoot. 2016 was the year my photography business boomed. My 3rd semester in college, I had photoshoots almost every weekend. I traveled Alabama to photograph. (I’m going to brag on myself because I started from the bottom now I’m here.)
My love started in high school. I graduated from an arts magnet school with two years of photography. It’s kind of like a major, but it’s mostly what you specialize in at the school. I started off in choral music for the first two years of high school because I thought I could sing, and because I didn’t want to follow in my older sister’s footsteps. Well, the teacher let me in and I did that for two years. After realizing that my heart was for art, I switched magnets after my sophomore year and joined the Photog. Squad. Level 1 was where we learned the basics. By basics, I mean all the way from scratch. I learned how all of the gears and buttons worked. I learned how shutter and aperture work like a married couple in order to expose a lovely photo. I started with pinhole, shooting from an oatmeal can. Then I picked up a 35mm camera, shooting with 400 speed B&W film. So much beauty.
Level 2 consisted of different camera formats, and I fell in love with medium format/ 120 film. We started off with Holga, a toy camera, that allowed you to easily create multiple exposures. An example:
I also learned how to create sepia toned prints.
Then I moved on to the Bronica. I FELL IN LOVE. The photos were so bright and crisp. We moved on to digital. Once you fall in love with film and all of its qualities, you hate digital. I hated digital. I hated photoshop. Sadly, I didn’t get to finish the last two levels since I switched in the middle of my high school years.
Here I am. I have two years of actual photography under my belt. I miss it so much. I miss the smell of the chemicals, the cold, slippery water of the film sink. I hated rolling film, but I long to do it just one more time. I hate the dark, but I miss the dark room and seeing the magic of the negative appearing on the paper in the developer. I miss the process. I might be living in the past just a little bit. It’s not bad, but my heart aches.
So what now for the girl who’s still living her high school days? Film is not dead. It’s just expensive and hard to keep it going, especially for a lil broke college gal like me.
Stay posted for Pt. II to see where it all began