Interview with JAN VOLLMANN, GERMANY

Updated: May 17

I tried shooting digital but it feels different and wrong.



Hi, Jan. Mind telling us about yourself and your story on how you got into film photography?


Jan: I'm Jan and I'm an old man. Since I grew up mostly in the 80's of the last century there was no getting into film photography because there was no other. I was given a AGFA optima Christmas of '84 and started to take pictures with it. When I needed a better camera to capture our skateboarding adventures I asked my mom for her Canon AE1 and to this day never gave it back.



What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?


Jan: I mostly shoot b&w film. 35mm or 120 doesn't matter. The film i love the most is Ilford Delta 400. but i shoot a lot of AGFA APX 400 because it's cheaper. I shoot 35mm with a Leica m6 and medium format with a Hasselblad 500cm. I love both these cameras but you can take a good photo with almost every camera. cameras are just tools but i like mine with an aura, I guess. 




Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?

Jan: I love printing my own but i suck at it so I'm always okay with some professional doing it for me. But I'm gonna get better at it. I swear. 



What motivates you to continue making photographs with film? Have you learned anything about yourself through film photography?


Jan: I grew up on film and I just don't know better. I tried shooting digital but it feels different and wrong. So as long as there's still film to waste I'm gonna waste it. I learned that I suck at taking photos. But it's way better to find that out a few weeks after taking a photo then right away looking on a display. 


Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?


Jan: Yes, mostly mid 90's skateboard photographers. 



Do you see any value or merits shooting with film? 


Jan: I hope Ilford is thankful


What do you think your future is like with film photography?


Jan: I pass on this question. No one can predict the future. 



What’s your dream photography project?


Jan: Yes. Too many to name them and constantly changing. It would be a complete other dream if you ask me again next week and also none of those projects ever happen. 


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?



Jan: Best advise a few years back was. Just get a point&shoot. Shoot some films. See if you like it. But with prices for old analog film cameras like they are today maybe it's not the best advise anymore. 




Anything you want to add?


Jan: Thanks for having me. I'm just a lazy old man with no future projects. Stay healthy.



Nice to have you here as well. Thanks, Jan.


Follow Jan and his work on Instagram.


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Be considerate. All photographs shown on this page are the sole property of Jan Vollmann. He devoted his time, and worked so damn hard in making 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 Jan Vollmann. 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 mapamelvin@gmail.com 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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Cheers!

Mel


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