I started last year wanting to shoot a roll of film every month. Looking back, it was a really ambitious goal for someone who lives in leggings and t-shirts 6 out of the 7 days in a week and rarely sees anywhere besides the gym, my home office, and the aisles of my local Target store. I felt like I didn’t have much to photograph on an everyday basis. Or at least not enough to take up 36 frames of my precious 35mm film! Instead of shooting a whole roll every month, I kept my little AE-1 on the hook by our door where I keep my jackets and grabbed it on the rare occasions I did go out into the world like a normal human who does things besides buy home decor and Cheetos after working out.
I waited until almost the end of the year to send my film out for processing. This was such a wonderful gift to give myself because unlike my digital work, where I can shoot, edit, upload, in a matter of minutes, I had to practice patience. I left my film in my top dresser drawer until right after my October trip to Charleston and then had to wait for it to get to the lab and then wait for them to process it. Downloading and opening the folder of images they’d sent over was almost like opening up an old photo album from years past…the images brought back so many memories from earlier in the year and took me back to different seasons in time. Looking through the images from my year reminded me not only how many great memories we did make, even in a challenging year, but that photos are always so important because they’re the way we’re able to time travel.
Another thing I love about film photos is that since you can’t take nearly as many as you can with digital (I mean, unless you are a bajillionaire…film isn’t a cheap hobby!) is that it forces you to be much more specific about what you take photos of. I have about 3000 photos of Lucy doing the exact same things on my iPhone. Can’t do that with film, so you have to be thoughtful about what you choose to take photos of. This means fewer photos, but less can sometimes be more if you let the number of photos you DO have, speak loudly.
Here are some of the little snapshots I took with my AE-1 last year. They’re all photographed on Kodak Portra 400, my favorite film. Scanned and processed by the FIND Lab, who I highly recommend for both pros and film novices/hobbyists like myself.