A few photographers influenced my work when I started my photography journey. One of them was Jonathan Canlas. I loved how strong his portraiture was and how natural people looked in his images. Jonathan shoots exclusively on film and I absolutely loved the colours and tones in his photographs. I never shot on film. Like ever. I learned everything I know with digital and I've been shooting with digital cameras for the past 4 years. Nevertheless, I decided to give film a go and signed up to Jonathan's FIND workshop (Film Is Not Dead). I've always wanted to attend a workshop. I'm a self-taught photographer and learned everything with the help of the internet, other photographers and lots and lots of practice. So, when time came to decide which workshop to attend, it wasn't easy! I wanted to a) learn a new skill, b) to become a better photographer c) to become a better business person. Someone I know recommended FIND, which had just been announced for 2013, in Norfolk, and I signed up. Phew. It was to take place in June 2013 and there was still a year to go. I thought I had plenty of time to buy a film camera and practice a little before the workshop, but you know what it's like - life got in a way (more like me faffing around really) and I didn't get to it. The first time I ever shot on film was on the first day of FIND. Yeap. I was learning a lot of technical information, but I didn't know whether I was applying it right. You see, there is no screen at the back of the film camera to look at. I couldn't check whether what I photographed was turning out ok. I just tried to do my best and hoped some shots would come out. So, what did I learn in the process? Film does make you a better photographer. I won't go into the technical side of things, but shooting on film and having only a few rolls with me for the duration of the workshop really made me think about each and every single photo I was taking. I didn't have an 8Gb memory card and I couldn't afford to take multiple shots of the same thing. I took the time to think about my shot and compose it properly before I pressed the shutter. I was so happy with the results after I received the scans of my film from the lab. I can't say I will be switching to film for my weddings, but I hope to apply the same approach to how I shoot digitally. I obviously still have a long way to go and lots to learn, but I'm quite happy with my very first attempt to shoot on film.
So, back to the workshop. Different people always take away different things from their experiences. I learned a new skill and I picked up bits of good business advice, but most importantly the key word for 3 days in Norfolk was 'FIND'. Not as an abbreviation, but as a word. I found that I can be a better photographer and that I still have a lot to learn on this journey. I found knowledge and I found friends. I found that pushing yourself and shooting outside of your usual field of work is important in order to remember your 'voice' and your message. I will try not to forget that.
First part of images I want to share. All shot on various film (Kodak Portra 800, 400 and 160) and developed and scanned by the fabulous UK Film Lab.