I remember the exact moment when it happened. It was as though a voice inside of me told me to go and shoot film. I was sitting in my office, looking at the overabundance of images that are easily found circulating on the web. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at Instagram, Facebook, or anywhere else online. All you have to do is search for photography and you’ll find an infinite black hole.
At that moment, it felt overwhelming, noisy, and distracting. It’s as if my own inner voice was being drowned out as I was swept up by the masses of opinions. I wanted to separate myself. Or at least try to find my own way.
Life is full circle, so sometimes it is easier to return to where you came from, literally and spiritually speaking. I did not want to make life more complicated than it must be and the best way for me to find clarity was to skip all the noise and return to the basics of photography and of life.
So, in May of 2022, I dug out my old film camera and found an expired roll of film in my office desk drawer. I went to try it and was surprised at how it came back to me after all those years shooting only digital. And it felt important for me to shoot in a manner that allowed me to feel like a photographer again.
Film is slower, it limits you, it costs money, all of which means you are less likely to shoot if you don’t feel a deep need to take the image. My return to film connected me to my work again, making it feel tangible and real. That was something I wanted to do for myself.
Photography means many things to everyone. To me, photography is about a connection with moments and with my gear. I discovered I wasn’t experiencing the same level of connectedness when I was shooting digital. It was too easy to fall into the habit of overshooting in a mindless manner. I wanted to get back in control.
Simplifying my work by cutting out editing and forgetting about all the high-tech gear helped me focus on the basics of photography again. Creating simple, timeless images without all the bells and whistles reminded me that sometimes a whisper can be louder than a scream.
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