Updated: Jun 27
There are times that film fails, but it shows me a world that I haven't thought of—the excitement and joy.
I'm happy to have you here, Michiko. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your journey into film photography.
Michiko: Hello, I’m Michiko, and I'm from Tokyo. I'm a self-taught film photographer. The first film camera I used was a Natura Classica, and I've been using it for 6 years already.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Michiko: I always shoot with Kodak Portra 400 or Fujifilm Superia 35mm film. I prefer colour films more than black and white. I also shoot these film with my favourite cameras, ContaxT3 and Natura Classica.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Michiko: Film has "attitude". That's the biggest difference. Every moment you shoot with film has this distinct feel to it. Digital cameras can be deleted instantly. Film gives me hope that I can change my life with just one shot.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Michiko: No I don't. I send my photographs to a lab.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film? Have you learned anything about yourself through film photography?
Michiko: I like the unique atmosphere film photographs give. Digital cameras are for recording but film are for remembering. There are times that film fails, but it shows me a world that I haven't thought of—the excitement and joy.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Michiko: Yes, mostly Saul Leiter. I like his philosophy. I like how he choose his words.
The photographs are beautiful in both colour and monochrome. The composition is novel.
Do you see any value or merits shooting with film?
Michiko: In digital photography, images can be deleted instantly. With film, it stays with you forever. Therefore, I take a picture carefully. It takes time and money, but every shot is worth it—it is a treasure. That is the appeal of film cameras to me.
What do you think your future is like with film photography?
Michiko: No matter how many times camera technology changes, digital can't produce the colours of film. The individuality of film can't be imitated. I will continue to make memorable treasures with film.
Do you have any dream film photography project?
Michiko: I want to make a photobook of a trip taken with a film camera, and I want people all over the world to see it.
Photographers around the world are finding ways to keep themselves busy during this lockdown, and coming up with activities to make self-isolation a bit more interesting. What are your ways to keep busy while you have to stay at home?
Michiko: There is a lot of fun things to do around my house. I cook, watch dram movies I read, sns, etc. There will be fun things no matter where you are. I enjoy myself wherever I am. Enjoying is good for your health—in mind and body. Take care of your health.
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?
Michiko: Basic knowledge is important. I love the personality of film that's why I shoot with it a lot.
Anything you want to add? Future exhibits, projects you're currently busy with? Anything…
Michiko: Melvin, I am grateful that you have given me this opportunity. And thank you for reading the interview.
My pleasure, Michiko. I'm glad to have bumped into you. You have such an inspiring work.
You can catch Michiko's stunning film work on Instagram.
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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 email@example.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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