Kaitlyn Playing with Black and White Film

Mamiya Film Photography

To be honest these shots are pretty old. I shot them when I was on one of my big film kicks.  I get in those moods sometimes.  I love the way film looks.  I also just adore being able to shoot Polaroids, and be able to show them to the model right then.  It’s crazy how that can change the dynamic of a shoot.  Suddenly it goes from photographer and model, to creator and co-creator.  I can’t explain why this changes things, but it does dramatically.

Suddenly when a model can see an image created right in front of their eyes they have a completely different outlook on the shoot.  They can see what they’re doing well, and what they are doing not so well.  Of course as the photographer it’s a lot of pressure.  You want to make sure you get an amazing shot when you only have 12 frames on a roll of medium format film, and in the case of a polaroid, one shot.  While it’s not cheap to shoot film, I really think every photographer should do it at least once a year.  It’s crazy how much it affects your shooting.  It causes you to slow down, and realize that clicking off 200 frames of the same look isn’t necessary.  And if it is, you quickly learn to fix what you’re doing wrong.

At this point I wasn’t developing my own film, but since I started doing that, it made it even more imperative that I got the shot I wanted, because I didn’t want to waste time developing a bunch of shots that I wasn’t even going to use.  Or scanning them in for that matter.

Another thing that I found out is that I actually like the colors that come out when I develop my own film.  Much more than the labs here in New York.  I actually don’t like that color shot very much, and I feel like it just doesn’t have the look that I really wanted.  Since I started doing my own processing it’s improved dramatically.  Now I don’t really ever shoot film for client work, unless it’s requested, because it’s a really long process.  Even when you develop your own film it still takes a ton of time to work on a shoot.

Kaitlyn was fantastic on this shoot.  You have to be really patient as a model to deal with shooting on film.  It’s not easy to have to wait for me to focus by hand every shot.  But it certainly brings out both the flaws in a model, and where she excels.  You quickly move a model out of a pose that doesn’t look right, because you’re not going to waste film on a shot that you know isn’t going to work.

I shot these all on my mamiya, which is a complete tank.  I love it dearly, but it hurts my neck, and makes my arms sore shooting with it for too long.  Even though in the end I think it’s totally worth it.

Fuji Instant Polaroid

Kodak Portra Color Film

Mamiya Black and White film

Natural Light Film Photography

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