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my love affair with film | fairview heights film photographer

if i’m being completely honest, my love affair with film started in 2013. i purchased a 35mm camera on eBay and enjoyed the simple thrill of hitting the shutter and not being able to immediately view the image. but then life happened. i got married, i had two bebes in quick succession and my affair with film got pushed to the side. however, when our youngest turned a year old in 2018, i found that i had a little extra time and desire on my hands to try something new. i stumbled across a film photographer on instagram + was immediately sucked right back into its beauty. i purchased the Film Love Workshop and never looked back.

at about the same time that i was working the workshop, i was totally overhauling the organization of my digital photos. i did a daily 365 project for both of my girls during their first year of life and their raw images alone were taking up HUNDREDS of gigabytes on my computer. in the digital age that we live in, we are able to shoot hundreds of photos in a matter of minutes and we can view them instantaneously. with film, it’s very different. i shoot 35mm film which includes 36 exposures per roll. that’s it. 36–and i can’t even view them immediately. i mail them to my lab and wait for them to be scanned, edited, and then emailed back to me. i, personally, found this very appealing. far too often i was running outside to play with my kids and then coming inside and rushing to my computer to edit the photos i took and then posting them to instagram. not to mention that i’d end up with 60+ images of my kids sliding down the slide. 59 of which would never see the light of day. enter film. now, if i head out to play with my kids, i get 36 exposures. once they’re shot, they’re shot. done. i can’t shoot any more and i can’t edit them immediately. it allowed me a personal freedom that i’d been longing for-that i didn’t even know i was longing for.

…and then i got my first set of scans back from my lab and my heart leaped out of my chest. they were beautiful. they weren’t perfect, but they were beautiful. the way that film captures color + light is different than the way my DSLR captures color + light. film is dreamier, more contrast-y, grainy and it has the creamiest skin tones i’ve ever seen. and all i had to do was shoot it on film + send it away. 99% of my personal work is now shot on film and i spend far less time sitting on my computer. i shoot film at every session and i always end up loving the film images so much more than the digital ones. fllm allows me the freedom (and the fun!) to experiment with different film stocks, colors, and light. it also makes me infinitely more intentional because i’m paying approximately $1 every time i click the shutter. what i love most about film is its timelessness. editing styles, presets and what’s trendy come + go (remember touch a color?—this is what i’m talking about) but film has been around since the beginning. and i don’t think it’s going anywhere any time soon–at least it isn’t for me.

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