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Film breathes!

Hello, Oksana! It's a pleasure to have you here. Would you like to tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into film photography?

Oksana: Once getting caught in the film camera lens, the very next day I bought my own and immediately fell in love with the process. It was Zenit-21xs, in summer 2015. After that, within a year I did not take this camera in my hands and shot on digital. In 2016, after coming back to live again in St. Petersburg, I left off my expensive digital camera and threw myself into the film photography.

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

Oksana: Now I shoot only with Zenit, Kodak T-MAX film. For a year I tried Canon EOS30, Canon EOS31, Canon A1, Mamiya 645, and returned to the first film camera.

Why Kodak T-MAX? Expression of black and white!

Why Zenit? It came from my childhood. Adorable in capture of details.

What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?

Oksana: The film is breathing! That says it all.

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

Oksana: In the laboratory. It's easy and fast, yes. In the future, I plan to develop films by myself, to comprehend all inside and out.

What motivates you to continue making photographs with film?

Oksana: St. Petersburg. People in this City, their admiration for it. Characters. Details are everywhere.

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

Oksana: Ummm... At first, it seemed like there were. Now I abstracted from all. Any influence leads to involuntary imitation. I want to be aloof from this. Be only yourself.

Do you see any value or merit shooting with film? 

Oksana:  An unchanging moment.

What do you think is the future of film photography?

Oksana: In its immutability. Many things are changing, something - completely. But the film still remains the same, obvious, simple and captivating. It's amazing.

What’s your dream photography project?

Oksana: At the moment there are no projects. There is the process itself only. Which is for me a pleasure, an energy, even a necessity. I can't imagine myself outside of it. In the action, thoughts are suddenly born that can be seen in my pictures. And about projects - they are for my future.

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?

Oksana: To notice and be surprised. Always.

Oksana, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

Oksana is currently working on a series of postcards. Watch out for that, and please don't forget to check her stunning photos on Instagram and here.


Be considerate. All photographs shown on this page are the sole property of Oksana Shalneva. She devoted her 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 Oksana Shalneva. 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 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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