Remember this post way back when? Well, I’ve got the first guest for this series, Michelle of Miesh Photography! I met Michelle a few years ago, when Jordan and I wanted to update some family photos of us (since we looked nothing like our wedding photos). She did an AMAZING job (I use a lot of her photos for this blog), and really kickstarted my interest in film photography. Here she is!
When/why did you start shooting film? What was your first film camera?
I started traveling right after high school graduation in 2007. I lived in China for about 5 months exploring, teaching english, and just overall learning about myself. I took a small digital camera with me, it had a few manual settings that I would always sit and mess around with. I was constantly wanting something more out of the images I was taking. I would get back from having these amazing adventures and feel so sad about the fact that I couldn’t take images the way I pictured them in my head. I got back at Christmas and the first thing I signed up for to start my college career was a photography class! It was a simple BW photo class where we shot, developed & printed our own pictures. I instantly fell in love with the magic & process (as most people do) and knew that I wanted photography to be a part of my world. So although technically my first film camera was my dads 35mm pentax, my first medium format camera was my Grandpa’s Hasselblad 500CM. My grandpa had passed away and this camera had gone to one of my cousins before it found its way to me. My cousin was determined that it was broken. I shot a few rolls through it and was instantly hooked. It definitely had had its fare share of usage when my grandpa was alive. He was a hobbiest photographer who mainly used his talent to capture his kids activities and portraits of friends and family. They had a little darkroom in the basement of their house. As a kid I remember thinking how scary that little room seemed, now I look at it and wish I had one of my own!
What camera(s)/film do you shoot with today?
I have gone through a lot of different shooting phases with my cameras! As of now my go-to cameras would be my Hasselblad 501cm, Pentax 67, Pentax 645N, Polaroid 195, Minolta X700. I use each of these to achieve a different look and feel to whatever it is I am shooting.
What are your favorite subjects to shoot?
I would have to say my favorite “subject” is probably what I get to create for my personal projects. One of the reasons I love shooting personal projects is because I am 100% in control from start to finish. It can be incredibly overwhelming at times, but is also so rewarding when it comes out looking exactly like what I had envisioned in my head! I love capturing something that might not otherwise exist unless it was constructed by a team of creatives. I think this is why I like the fashion world so much, it allows me to almost play make-believe with my camera. I have a soft spot in my heart for anything retro or vintage inspired. Its so fun to create imagery that allows me to step back in time for a few hours!
Why shoot film?
I get this question ALL the time. Especially nowadays with all the filters and plug ins that make digital look extremely similar to film imagery. A lot of people ask WHY spend all the time & money to shoot film. It is not a simple question for me to answer, but I have to relate back to where I and most other photographers began. Most photographers have come from a place where they get to see the image start to finish. Shooting, developing, printing. Although I don’t work like this in my professional arena (all my film is scanned in digitally and printed from the digital scans), there is still a magic to film that I can’t deny. Many film photographers relate the day that they get to see their scans comparable to Christmas morning, and I would say its usually even BETTER. I still get to dabble here and there with processing my own rolls, but I hope some day to have a little darkroom similar to my grandpa’s. I would say one of the main reasons I shoot film is that I like the way I shoot when I’m behind the camera. I take my time, think about the shot and the exposure a little more in depth then I do behind a digital camera. I like not having to keep up with the next “big thing” in the digital world. I am using cameras that are 30+ years old and they still function as great as the day they were made. I could go on and on about the reasons I love film photography, but i’ll try to leave it to sum it up in one word….MAGIC.
– Miesh Photography
All photos in this post are property of Miesh Photography