Updated: Oct 12, 2017
With film photography, just like in life, our mistakes can teach us valuable lessons.
Inez, mind telling us about yourself and your story on how you got into film photography?
Inez: My name is Inez and I take photos as a hobby. I started getting into photography (and not even seriously) last year. Six months ago, I found an old underwater disposable camera that someone gave me as a gift many years ago, before everything was digital. There was film inside so I was curious if there were still places that would develop it for me. I did some research, learned too much, ended up buying myself an old SLR, and I’ve been hooked since. Now all I want to do is take pictures!
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Inez: For now I only shoot 35mm film with my Nikon F3. My first digital camera (a Fujifilm X-T10) was designed very similarly to a film SLR so I’ve always preferred them over rangefinders. I used to shoot with a Canon AV-1 and a Nikon FE which has almost all the features of an F3, but if I’m being honest I only prefer the F3 almost exclusively because it’s a beautiful looking camera. Haha! I love the weight of it, how all the buttons and knobs are placed, and the iconic red Nikon detail. When people say “built like a tank”, I think of this camera. Also, the viewfinder is big and bright so it’s perfect for people like me who wear glasses.
Someday I’d like to get into 120 film as well, but for now I’m sticking to 35mm as it’s the cheapest to use and easiest to find.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Inez: I prefer film because of the quality of the photos and the whole process of making them. I love that it forces me to think about each photo more than I would with a digital camera. It's much more difficult but also a lot more rewarding. Also, developing your own film makes the photos feel even more special. There’s nothing like seeing your negatives for the first time.
That being said, I do take a neutral stand in the film versus digital debate. I don't think it should only be one or the other. If someone likes to go all-digital or has a hybrid workflow and strives to make good work, I think that's good for photography. That's what I care about.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Inez: I’d like to print my own photos someday, but for now I need a lab to do it for me. And if I can get my hands on the equipment, I’d love to do darkroom printing as well.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film?
Inez: It’s fun! It’s a nice break from our instant-everything lives. Shooting film forces me to stop and think and be aware of what’s around me. I notice the trees and the sky more. I think about colors and sometimes I think in black and white. I used to take dozens of pictures of someone until they were okay with how they looked, but now I only get one shot so I have to say something that makes them smile, genuinely. It makes me want to make people happy! It makes me think more deeply about what’s important. Film might be more expensive, but it’s good for my health! :)
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Inez: I love so many photographers. Jacques Henri Lartigue, Fan Ho, Sebastiao Salgado, Michael Kenna, Nick Brandt. And they’re all so different. Maybe that’s why I haven’t really found my style yet. Some days I’m really into street portraits and other days I’m into something entirely different, like architecture. But it definitely helps a lot when you see and learn about the work of great photographers.
Also, John Free’s videos on YouTube are amazing! He is an incredible photographer and a true artist with so much wisdom to share.
Do you see any value shooting with film?
Inez: I wouldn’t be shooting film if I didn’t see any value in it. My life has been so much more exciting since getting my first film camera.
What do you think is the future of film photography?
Inez: Maybe it’s never going to be as popular as it was before the digital age, but we’re at a point where it’s cool again and there are so many young people who are curious about film. I think it’s here to stay!
What’s your dream photography project?
Inez: I’d love to take portraits of my favorite artists and scientists at work. I’d just follow them around for one day, document the work that they do, and compile everything in a book.
Would you like to offer some good words to those who want to try film photography for the first time? What must they learn before venturing into this format?
Inez: Be prepared to learn through trial and error. It might help to get yourself familiar with the basics (aperture, shutter speed, ISO) on a digital camera first before getting an SLR or rangefinder. Do plenty of research. Learn about different cameras, find what is best for you. If you want a certain camera but it seems complicated, get it and learn it! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Learn through trial and error. Take your time. Have fun!
Splendid job, Inez! I can't wait to see more of your work.
You can follow Inez and her amazing photographs on Instagram and share her work around.
Be considerate. All photographs shown on this page are the sole property of Inez Quijano. He devoted his time and worked hard on these photographs. You are not allowed to copy, download, reproduce, reprint, modify, distribute, publicly display, license, transfer or sell content retrieved from this page in any way, for any public or commercial use or to any commercial source, including other websites, without prior written permission of Inez Quijano. You don’t want to go to jail, do you?
Well now, if you are a passionate film photographer and would like to be interviewed? I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject, "Interview me", and share everyone your story, thoughts, and work related to film photography. I’ll get back to you as soon as I receive your request for an interview.
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