Film has a special way to uncover unique moments, helps me slow down, and realize what is important.
I'm so grateful to have you here, Veronika! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your journey into film photography.
Veronika: Hello, I’m Veronika and I live in the Czech Republic. I started shooting film in my childhood, back then there was only film, so there was not much of a choice. I’ve loved art since I can remember, but it was hard for me to express my feelings and emotions. With photography everything has changed. I’ve got my first 35mm SLR camera from my step-father (which belonged to him since 1989) when I started study analog photography in high school. It was Canon EOS 650 and it is still one of my favorite cameras.
What type of film do you use and what camera do you use it with? Why do you prefer these?
Veronika: I'm using a medium format camera - Rolleiflex 3.5F, and a 35mm cameras - Canon A-1 and Canon EOS 650. I love using Portra film rolls, mostly 400 and Fomapan films.
What do you think film has that digital doesn't have?
Veronika: For me, the process of taking photos is similar, I think before I take a photo, using digital as well. But film slows me down, it provides me much deeper connection with my subject because I am not distracted looking at screen after every picture. I am becoming more patient. Film photography also gives me the opportunity to make something with my hands, something real. And this is really important to me.
Do you print your own photographs or are you comfortable having them printed in a lab?
Veronika: I use a lab for developing the C-41 films, everything else I develop myself using caffenol in my studio. After that I scan all my negatives with an Epson scanner and having them printed on archival papers. I love working in a darkroom, but it is not part of my usual process because of water saving.
What motivates you to continue making photographs with film? Have you learned anything about yourself through film photography?
Veronika: During my photography career I have to prove that film still have its place. Some people even don’t know what a 35mm film is. But film photography is my passion, it is a way I feel myself and happy. That is what motivates me the most. Film has a special way to uncover unique moments, helps me slow down and realize what is important.
Are there any photographers that influenced your way of making pictures?
Veronika: I am trying to stay true to myself, but my idols are Vivian Maier for her passion, Annie Leibovitz for her insight and relationship with her subjects and Josef Sudek for his determination and life-long commitment to photography.
Do you see any value or merit shooting with film?
Veronika: As I said before, with film photography I feel I'm creating a concrete work, due to physical presence of the negatives. I feel more present in the moment and patient.
What do you think your future is like with film photography?
Veronika: I think film photography will be my main tool in my personal work, I believe that film photography is still alive, I see many other photographers using it and now, when everybody is taking photos with their smart phones and digital cameras, film is a way to be different, for me it’s the way to be myself. But I am continue to using my digital camera for some job assignments where I need sharp quality and fast delivery.
Any dream film photography project in mind?
Veronika: I have now an ongoing film photography project called Women, it is a collection of black and white portraits, a celebration of all the beautiful and powerful women. This project examines the aesthetic concept of subjective and objective beauty. This concept is not entirely unified. Beauty and its perception is an interesting phenomenon and for this reason I have decided to examine this phenomenon as a part of my photographic work. These female portraits are the testimony of truth. Truth that every woman is unique and beautiful in her diversity.
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?
Veronika: I believe that using film is full of creativity, so you shouldn’t be worried about results. Just buy some film camera, rolls and go taking pictures. Experiment with this medium and try whatever is on your mind. After the first rolls you will see if you share the passion. If so, this passion will help you to understand the technical aspects of film photography. The YouTube instructions videos are helpful too.
Thank you Melvin for interview me, and for creating the community of film photographers around the world. It’s important to know that we are not alone in this megapixel world.
Well, thank you too, Veronika for sharing your work and your insights on film photography. Very helpful indeed!
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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 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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