As hair and makeup nears it's end, you'll see me loading a roll of film in each of the cameras I brought to your session. One for color and one for black and white. The cameras don't have a screen on the back and they don't even look that fancy, but believe me when I tell you that they are everything I need and more.
People often ask me: Why do you still use film? Isn't it hard that you can't see the pictures you're taking? How do you know the photographs will come out well? Isn't digital better because you can as many shots as you want?
I think it's time I come out of the closet and profess my love for analog photography.
And here's why...
1. Shooting film slows me down and allows me to truly connect with you.
The hustle and bustle of our modern day lives makes it challenging for many, including myself, to allow space to just stop, breathe and "smell the roses." When my film camera is in my hands, I do exactly that. Firstly, I know that I have precisely 36 frames on each roll. Secondly, not only am I paying for each picture I take, but I can't see it once I press the shutter button. Every frame counts. There are no "re-dos." So I breathe, and I wait until I see authentic emotion in your eyes or until we find the most flattering pose with the window light falling perfectly against your body.
This time is my sacred place for creating, and you are a part of it. It's a place where we can talk and laugh, and connect with each other. It helps me see you, not just your outer being. Lastly, I am not checking my screen every two seconds or taking a million pictures and praying one works out. I am deliberately connecting, lighting, composing and capturing for each and every shot. It has pushed me to continually refine my craft.
2. Photographs that are taken on film are romantic, imperfect and beautiful in ways that make my soul stir.
I love the way film looks. The depth, the tones, the grain, even the light leaks. While as a professional photographer, I am able to create an image with my technical knowledge and my personal creativity, there is always the unknown. Until the film is developed, I won't know the magic that took place. Often times I'll see an image for the first time and my heart skips a beat, and I know that it was something beyond just me that created this piece of art. The "flaws" that would drive some photographers crazy, are what I feel enhances the beauty of my images. It feels more raw and emotive. More real.
3. It's minimalist, and I don't have rely on tons of gear.
It's really that simple.
When I first ventured into boudoir photography, I started with digital and soon went to a mix between digital and film. I became frustrated with myself that I couldn't commit to one medium, and I think it slightly disrupted my flow. As I looked at the final results of my sessions, my favorites were almost always the photographs taken on film. I took the leap one session to use only film. That particular session was out of this world, and it was a milestone for me in my career as a boudoir photographer. With shooting film, I've learned to be more patient and aware. I've learned to appreciate and embrace imperfections as true, ultimate beauty. If that is not what boudoir photography is all about, I don't know what is.