Beach Hopping Vieques Island (Puerto Rico)


I thought I'd write about one of my passions today (Film Photography) and finally share some of my photos from our trip to Puerto Rico!

I recently wrote an article for a local publication a couple seasons ago on taking better photos while traveling. That got me thinking about writing a blog post on how to become a better film photographer. So here are some tips- enjoy! 

1. Jump in with both feet! The biggest recommendation I would give you is to fully commit to shooting film when you decide it's something you'd like to try. It's an expensive hobby to learn and make mistakes on in the beginning, but once you get the hang of it, you will love the results. You can buy an inexpensive 35mm film camera anywhere from $50-$100. I think every time we travel I wind up spending anywhere from $25-$100 on developing costs. I've now stopped buying useless souvenirs, and focus on treasuring my images from the trips we take. 

2. Shoot personal work, CONSTANTLY. When you travel, at home, on holidays. Some of my favorite photos are from when I was traveling only with film (which sometimes turned out horribly disappointing) but I was more apt to push myself with a medium I adore. I started out using a 35mm Honeywell Pentax, then switched between that and a Canon Ae1 and lately my favorite travel camera is my Cannon EOS3. I will take along my husband's favorite Pentax 6x7 usually when we take our airstream and not traveling light. 

3. Challenge yourself when you shoot personal work to try different lenses, different film stocks, different lighting (backlit etc.) and GASP ... manual focus. This is how I graduated from ameture level and became truly comfortable and confident shooting film as a professional, I consistently would only take film when I traveled. I began to become so familiar not only with my camera but with light that I did not need the light meter, making me quicker on wedding day to know the exposure in a pinch!* Film has a wider dynamic range than digital and can handle overexposure better than digital cameras (allowing you to capture amazing detail if you meter correctly!). 

*Those of you professionals out there reading this who are maybe looking to incorporate film into your professional work, do not take risks when shooting for clients. I'd recommend taking several classes or workshops specifically designed for incorporating film into your professional work.*

4. Find a lab you love, that you feel comfortable asking questions. This can make a big difference in the learning process and how discouraged you become or don't! I currently use Photovision and love them. 

5. Finally, don't give up. Learning to shoot film can be so frustrating and sometimes downright disappointing! You may find yourself taking notes on what you meter your film at, listening to how others meter their film, but in the end, you will develop your own style. But I'll leave you with a quote to ponder, "Don't worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try." -Jack Canfield. Same with film- you'll miss 100% of those beautiful shots you don't take- so start taking them! 

*Not a sponsored post*