A love story

 

PART ONE

 

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful love story. Starring me and film photography. Something I have wanted to do for a very long time but never took the leap. What was holding me back?

1. Certainly the cost of start up (gear, film, processing etc.) After a ton of searching, I finally found the perfect medium format camera and lens combo that I loved. It came all the way from Japan and I held my breath until it arrived safely on my door step. Shooting film is not cheap. Every time I took a photo on this first shoot, I reminded myself that I was paying for every frame! The click of the shutter was sounding off "CHA CHING!" in my mind.

2. The time I knew I would need to educate myself. I took film classes in college and developed my own film years ago, but I knew I needed to dive in much deeper. I cant even begin to tell you how many books I've read (yes actual books, not just online research) and how many nights I have stayed up past 3am soaking in as much as I could. Every time I thought I had figured it out, there ended up being something else I needed to know. The best thing I ever did was communicate with my film lab. Stephen from Photo Vision, hit me with some hard truths about shooting film and I honestly don't think this shoot would have gone as well if it wasn't for his simple and honest advice. And I am STILL in the very beginning stages of understanding. I haven't even scratched the surface.

3. Having a baby. This is probably one of the biggest reasons. Also one of the best excuses. The past two years have been amazing. The journey of becoming a mother has been my greatest joy in life and will probably always be the greatest. I wouldn't say my business took a back seat but... it certainly was competing for my attention. Something happened a couple months ago and it was like someone hit the recharge button on my brain and I shot off like a rocket. I have been a nonstop machine of ideas, dreams, goals, and creative ambition lately. 

4. Fear. Simple as that. Fear of failing. Or even fear of not liking it and just being disappointed. Also, fear of being judged. There is a tiny stigma in the photo community about shooting film... like if you haven't been doing it forever then you are just following the film bandwagon. All I can say to that, without the use of profanity is, WHO THE HECK CARES. Get over it. So what if Im late to the "Shooting film is cool" train. Im not doing it for that reason. Im doing it because lately it seems every photo I see that truly stops me in my tracks or takes my breath away, ends up being a film photograph. Specifically medium format. That's where the spark was lit for me, not because I thought it was the cool thing to do... alright moving on : ) 

PART TWO

 

So thats where my head was... here is where my heads at now and a few things that my first shoot with film has taught me. 

1. Time to slow down. I've always been one to over shoot but this was the perfect wake up call. I took deep breaths between each shot. I scanned every corner of my viewfinder to make sure the shot was just the way I wanted it. I instantly appreciated the art of photography all over again. 

2. I need to always be aware of the light and remember I cant just rely on my camera or computer to fix my mistakes. I always shoot manual with my digital camera but this is like serious manual mode! No room for error. No RAW file to save me. I thought I had really messed up big time with the second half of this shoot but thankfully it was ok! Which brings me to the point where I contradict myself... as long as you don't mess up too bad, film can be forgiving and having an amazing film lab is so important! 

3. Its time consuming. Why? See answers one and two. I thought I would have time to shoot digital too. Swap back and forth... but nope. We only had an hour before sunset and I needed all that time to compose those shots, meter the light, switch out new rolls of film, and focus. Im sure as I shoot more I will get faster but overall, shooting film just takes longer!

part three

 

The inspiration and vision in a few words: minimal, delicate, ethereal & coastal.

For months I had been dreaming about what I wanted my first rolls of film to look like. I knew that likely, they wouldn't turn out very good and I would have to shoot a lot before getting something I was proud of. Well, maybe to someone super experienced these are majorly flawed but I am SO proud of them and genuinely happy with their outcome. I made some mistakes and cant wait to shoot again but for now, I am overjoyed by these photographs. 

When I posted on Instagram about just getting my new camera, my amazingly talented friend Keyanna Bowen (blogger/photographer/interior designer/fashionista a.k.a tricks of all trades) commented on the post about being my guinea pig if I needed someone to practice shooting. Well I don't think it was more than 5 minutes after she posted, that I texted her and said "LETS DO THIS". It was going to be a simple shoot, no big deal... well a few hours later I had local favorites, Flourish Floral Artistry and CFD Fine Jewelry contributing to the shoot too! Suddenly this little shoot was a little bigger and I felt some real pressure to deliver. 

I hope you enjoy these photos and I am so excited to continue this journey with film. 

 

HUGE THANKS TO THESE AMAZING LOCAL TALENTS !

 

MODEL: Keyanna Bowen of East & Lane

MAKE UP ARTIST: Accents of Beauty by Alece

CUSTOM JEWELRY: CFD Fine Jewelery

FLORALS: Flourish Floral Artistry

 

Sarah Murray

Sarah Murray Photography, Berlin, MD, United States

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