Last fall I had the opportunity to travel to New York City for engagement sessions, and I decided it was the perfect time to venture into film photography. The last time I shot film was nearly a decade ago, so it has been a while!
On one of our first dates, B brought along his film camera, and we shot a roll of black and white film while walking around Indiana University’s campus. He had already taken a film class, so he showed me how everything worked. To this day, they are some of my favorite photos. Not because they’re gorgeous works of art (they’re definitely not – I had no idea what I was doing). But because I remember how I felt taking them. In my opinion, that’s what photography is all about: capturing a moment that truly means something to you.
Here’s an iPhone photo sharing a few of those moments. B actually proposed at the Wishing Well (the one on the top right.) Forever one of my favorite places!
My photojournalism professors taught the digital side, so the rest of my photography work reflected that. I had no idea I would end up being a wedding photographer, so jumping into the very different (and expensive) world of film just wasn’t on my radar at the time. Instead, I focused on learning the basics so I could continue my photography hobby after I graduated. Obviously, that all changed after I shot my first wedding and launched my business! But that’s a story for a different day.
The more I progressed in my photography career, the more I looked back at that date. There was something about the way film made me slow down and look at each moment differently. You only get so many shots, right? Before clicking the shutter, I made sure every single detail was just right. The world slowed down around me as I intently focused on that moment.
As I reflected on that day, one thing stuck out in my mind: I wanted to feel that way again. In the whirlwind of life as a wedding photographer, I wanted to find those roots, slow down and be inspired by the ordinary. I wanted photographs captured with a new level of intention. Simply put, I wanted to feel even more connected to my art than ever before.
But of course, like many personal projects, it got pushed to the side as I focused on a busy wedding season, planning our own wedding, growing the business and trying to keep my sanity all at the same time. Soon after we returned from our honeymoon, however, I pulled the trigger and bought my own Nikon F100.
This is my first roll of film since that date all those years ago, so I definitely have a lot to learn and explore with this new medium. I also promised myself if I fell in love with it, I could upgrade to a Pentax this spring. To be honest, it’s definitely scary trying something new like this. But the one thing I know for sure is it feels incredible. Despite my fears, I’m excited. I’m inspired. And I’m ready for a new adventure.