Updated: May 17
I have always been fascinated as film forced me to pay more attention in a way. It teaches you to learn to know better what you want, if you want to grow.
Welcome, Ira. We're pleased to have you here to share your thoughts on film photography. First, please tell us a bit about yourself and your journey into film photography.
Ira: My name is Ira Chernova, I'm based in Los Angeles (born/raised in Moscow, lived in NYC most of my 20ies). Picked up camera around first years on being in the university (was looking for a hobby and 35mm camera was available at home).
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Ira: Honestly, I don't have a go-to scenario, but mostly I shoot on Pentax 645. 67, 35, Polaroid, even digital - all formats are enjoyable for me. 120 645 seems to be the main one.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Ira: I have always been fascinated as film forced me (and often my subject) to pay more attention in a way; it teaches you to learn to know better what you want, if you want to grow.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Ira: I actually don't print.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film? Have you learned anything about yourself through film photography?
Ira: I just trust myself with it, I know what to expect yet get surprised with results at the same time.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Ira: When i was young, I looked at Roversi photographs all the time, classic old school fashion stuff. Journalism is always strong and can teach a lot about frame and colours.
Do you see any value or merits shooting with film?
Ira: Yes, it feels great to hold the original - whether it is negative, or Polaroid.
What do you think your future is like with film photography?
Ira: I have been shooting film for the past decade, but actually rethinking to do more digital. I still have my old Canon 5d mark II, which I kinda like as the quality is not as glossy/high as modern cameras.
Do you have any dream film photography project?
Ira: Anything that involves traveling or long on-going projects is dreamy. Time spent seems to add some special mark to things.
Would you like to share some advice to those who want to try out film photography for the first time? What must they learn before venturing into this format?
Ira: To know references but not to follow them, copying does not develop any taste. As long as people understand manual settings - that's a great start.
Anything you want to add? Future exhibits, projects you're currently busy with? Anything…
Ira: Everything has been changing pretty fast in the past week. Upcoming project and show I had planned prior the pandemic is not likely to happen anymore (I'm thinking to release images without it), however it made me start my current Polaroid Project. For the upcoming month I'll be selling original Polaroids of my work between 2012 and 2020 in a price range of 30$ and 150$. Half of the proceeds of each sale would go to ACLU (being an immigrant - it's extremely important for me to find ways to help people of my community). The rest will go to cover shipping, materials, any fees and to help me with current bills etc (being a freelance and an immigrant im not particularly sure when is my next paying work).
I'll be offering a variety of editorial work, portraits of actors/musicians, self portraits, NYC shots and personal stuff - basically almost all the shots are going on. Each shot represents memory and will come with a postcard with a personal story shared around the time in my life when the photo was taken. While we all staying indoors - I'd like for this project to bring effect of closure, and looking forward to see map where to each Polaroid is going to travel.
One of the most important things we have to remember, if we want to stay inspired in this field, we have to come up with unending photography projects. Having said that, let's support Ira on her current Polaroid project. If you want to acquire her Polaroids, please get in touch with her through her Instagram or you can also drop by her website.
Thank you very much, Ira, for sharing your thoughts and insights with us.
Be considerate. All photographs shown on this page are the sole property of Ira Chernova. She devoted her time, and worked hard making these photographs. You know very well it's wrong 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 Ira Chernova. Be good. 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 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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