Why shoot film?

At first, I wanted to avoid this topic. However, the more I thought of it, it’s a very important question. It’s one I get asked a lot. Second, only, to “Can you still get film for that?”

It’s Expensive.

Film is certainly not the most inexpensive option, which is why its important to really ask yourself “Why?” Sure, the cost of cameras may be significantly less, but staying with the hobby is a different story.

You can make the arguement that film is as expensive as you make it. But there are also reasons why the Hashtag “Stay broke, shoot film” exists too. If you have a very itchy shutter finger like me, you can find yourself really burning through film and the cost of the hobby increases. Thus the need for every imaginable justification.

How Long Will it Be Around?

There are a lot of negatives stacked against shooting film. One of them being the fact that the film industry was has been shaky in the past. Lucky for me, film has really made a resurgence and is stabilizing since before I got into it. However, while it does seem to be gaining strength, hopefully its not a “Dead Cat Bounce” as they say.

Another obvious problem; cameras. Everyone is aware of this problem. They’re getting old, and some are very expensive to buy and to fix. If these cameras eventually disappear, then we won’t be able to use this wonderful product.

What I Love About Shooting Film.

I feel there’s really something special about shooting film. People often refer to the “tactile” and “physical” aspect of shooting film, much like physically laying a record down to listen to rather than touching a screen.

We can’t live without our phones and all this crazy technology around us. Its a necessity of life these days whether we like it or not. Need it though we may, it’s nice to get a break from it. It’s refreshing to go do something that doesn’t rely on the latest software update or a wifi signal to work.

Analogue experiences are truly what interests me. From advancing my film to the next frame, filling my fountain pen with bottled ink, to manually winding my watch, I love when things really have a FEEL to them. I love things that can exist in their own space without the need of outside information, and aren’t concerned with being compatible with the latest whatever. While film photography benefits from digital technology, it can certainly stand on its own. Film truly has a beautiful feel to it. A warmth, a texture, a character. I love the colors and the atmospheres that can be achieved with film.

Make Sure You Enjoy What You’re Doing.

So while I do try hard to get the best composition I can and try to get strong images, I’m just having fun. This hobby is far too expensive and has too many headaches for it not to be fun. There’s so much I haven’t tried yet, so many mistakes to make and things to learn.

It’s so much fun picking a film for whatever look you’re wanting and sticking with it for 24-36frames, not just selecting a preset, and changing your mind a few frames later. It makes you think, care and commit. This can truly lead you to some amazing results.

Having only been in this for a little over a year, I don’t exactly have a ton of experience. I’ve only shot a handful of different cameras and emulsions, but it has brought me so much joy. There’s a film for every shooting style you want. From the vibrant colors, to dark, moody black and whites. It all has it’s own character and there’s something for everyone. How can you not shoot with film?

2 thoughts on “So Why Shoot Film?”

  1. The reason I shoot film is for some archival property that it has, unlike digital.
    I’m not kidding myself that some long-distant descendents of mine might find some old negs or prints and go gaga over them, but it’s almost certain they won’t ever find any of my digital stuff, as it will be long gone.
    Think back to when film was in its infancy – most families had one or two portraits of themselves as a group or individuals, and that’s what we look at to see what they were like. Of course, thousands or even millions of those pictures didn’t survive the ages, but many did.
    We can live in hope.

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