Why am I a photographer? The honest answer… I don’t know. It is such a part of my life that I really do not know where the passion or the feeling begins or ends. Sometimes you find yourself going through the motions, you know what you’re looking for and you know how to get it. But then other times you find yourself seeking something a little more. I think I have figured out at least part of this…. FILM! I love shooting with my film cameras. There are many technical reasons of why I could say this but I think the real reasons are more personal.
When I am shooting with film it’s a little slower, I spend more time looking at the light, composing the image and really paying attention to every detail. There is such an organic feeling to this. Not to mention the end result! (okay had to get a little technical) The tones just help create such a wonderful mood. Maybe this is why I photograph? It’s like there is more of a connection to the image for me, a better connection with my subject as well. It’s like I can really feel what someone else is thinking and feeling.
Really what it comes down to is that shooting with film keeps me honest. It keeps me honest as a photographer and as a person. There is no faking it with film, sure you can still scan it and edit the images in photoshop, but that isn’t what it’s all about. When you get the negatives back from the lab and you look at them for the first time and you see the results, it is such a great feeling when the results are what you wanted (and sometimes even better!) It’s also heartbreaking if you forgot to change the settings, but you definitely remember to the next time! It forces you to be honest with yourself, you can see the results without running the images through your favorite editing software. I love this feeling, from the beginning to the end.
It also reminds me of my childhood, spending time in my father’s darkroom. It makes me realize how long I have been a photographer! I sometimes can’t believe I have been doing this professionally for nearly 15 years! I have a real connection with photography and with film. I was going through boxes of old photos the other day and I love the feeling of seeing my friends and family in print. So my connection isn’t just with taking photos, it is in the creation of memories and everything that a photograph represents from a snapshot to a fine art print. So why film? Simply because it reminds me of everything I love about photography and making a real connection with people.
This brings me back to my original question, why am I a photographer? Again my honest answer, I don’t know. I just know I cannot imagine myself doing anything else!