I have a very specific memory of holding my mother’s camera as a child. I remember the awe and the respect I had for it. I remember how cool the metal was and how heavy the camera was in my hands. I remember struggling to hold it up to my eye and attempting to focus it. Now that I hold a camera nearly everyday, this is such a powerful memory for me. That was my first experience with the medium into which I choose to pour my creativity.
Guess you never forget your first love, because once I started falling in love with photography, I remembered this camera frequently. I knew that it was sitting in a closet collecting dust. My mom loved that camera, she was really proud of it, but the cost of film and the convenience of digital meant that it wasn’t getting used. A few months ago, she gave me that camera. It’s not fancy by film camera standards, but the nostalgia of it is priceless to me. And I’m so honored to be able to use it myself.
The lens needed an upgrade, so I just picked up a 50mm manual focus on eBay and shot my first test roll with the new lens. I can’t even express how in love I am. Shooting film is such a different experience. There is a big element of anticipation and unknown, while digital is instant and completely controlled. You are limited to how much you can shoot (at least in terms of cost) and limited to the speed of the film in the camera. You can’t be guaranteed that you nailed focus and then, you have to wait a couple weeks before you can even see the results of that roll. Those little things add up to something so magical when you get the scans back!
Now that I’ve seen the results, I’m so excited to be incorporating a little film into my shoots. The tones are so soft and buttery, and I love the discipline and patience that it requires. After 30 years, I’m so happy to be giving this little camera a new life. And it’s so crazy to think that in just a couple years Louis will be able to hold it. The same camera I first held as a kid.