My journey to film photography

Written on: July 28, 2023

In 2022, I got inspired.

I follow many creatives on Instagram, and one influencer, Audrey Storme, really caught my eye. I couldn't stop watching her reels and Instagram content, and I felt so inspired by her work. After following her YouTube video about starting film photography as a hobby, I was totally hooked.

Her content is absolutely aesthetic, and as a visual person, I adore her taste because it aligns with what I like. I aspire to take photos just like her!

What I loved about her was that she was curious throughout her entire journey. She was trying different cameras, film stock, and just having fun with it, all while making mistakes and learning how to get better because she wanted to.

Because of Audrey, I bought my first film camera off of ebay!

This is a Fujifilm ZoomDate 160ez and my first child. I dug around ebay to find it. If I remember correctly, I bought it for $50.

I think it’s fair to say that I am easily influenced..

While browsing YouTube and Instagram, I came across Willem Verbeek, a renowned figure in the photography community. He's now one of my favorite photographers and someone I truly admire as a creative. Willem's passion for his craft, his openness to trying new things, and his inspiring nature have left a lasting impact on me.

Every video I watch of his leaves me feeling motivated and inspired. If you're interested in learning more about film photography or photography in general, I highly recommend checking out his videos.

I really love his video series where he just walks around and takes photos. It gives a glimpse of how he composes his image and his thought process when capturing moments. Also, it’s so relaxing to watch his work.

What's great about film photography is its element of surprise—you don't see your shot until it's developed. Every time I receive my email of my rolls developed, I get all giddy inside like a boost a dopamine.

In analog photography, every shot matters. You typically don't take multiple shots of the same thing to get the perfect shot, as it would waste film. Although this approach to photography might seem old-school, it's quite trendy in 2023.

Embracing the Newborn Curiosity

Film photography got me obsessed in no time. Looking for a creative outlet during my free time, I stumbled upon this amazing world that fascinated me to no end.

My journey into filmography led me to explore cameras, delve into the history of analog photography, and even embrace the technical aspects like lighting. It's incredible how my appreciation for photography has grown since my college days—I feel like a newborn baby, driven by curiosity.

Boredom led me to seek something new, and that's when I discovered film—I was curious.

As I delved deeper, I found myself following countless photographers, admittedly spending more money than I should (yep, it's an expensive hobby), and carrying my camera everywhere I go. My passion even led me to create an Instagram account to share my film shots with the world.

Here are some shots I took.

Reflections from starting a new hobby in film photography

  1. I sought inspiration from thought leaders: I discovered that my motivation soared when I sought inspiration from thought leaders in photography. While my professors' traditional approach didn't quite captivate me, I eventually found my way back to the aspects of photography that truly sparked my interest.

  2. It’s fun experimenting and trying new things: I've got 2 film cameras, 3 digital cameras, and an iPhone plus, I've tried loads of different film rolls. It's amazing to see how the vibe of an image changes with each new roll type. Slowly but surely, I'm figuring out which cameras and film stock match my style better.

  3. Taking breaks is cool: You don't have to be at it 24/7 to be a creative. Just like with any artistic pursuit, there are times when life gets in the way, and that's totally fine. I've been on pause for about 2 months as of July 28, 2023, but I know I'll come back to it when the time is right.

  4. I went from amateur to photography nerd: It's wild how my photography Instagram opened up a whole new world. I've connected with people who do this stuff for a living and just for fun, and now I'm chatting camera tech like a pro (more like professional beginner).

  5. Fun first, details later: My philosophy was simple—I just wanted to shoot and have a blast with it. That's why I stuck to automatic/point-shoot cameras that made life easy, letting me focus on the fun side without getting bogged down in the nitty-gritty.

  6. Curiosity is the spark: I get into hobbies fueled by curiosity. Trying different things is great, but what really got me hooked on film photography was my endless thirst to learn more. It’s just really fascinating and there is really no other reason to why I do it.

  7. Pricey passion: Let's be real, film photography can get expensive. But I work for it, and the passion makes it all worth it!

Most importantly, I found another thing to appreciate.

Film photography means a lot to me:

  1. It's a fun hobby.

  2. It serves as a creative outlet.

  3. It becomes a mindfulness practice.

  4. It's a community filled with creative and passionate individuals.

  5. It provides a lens to understand and appreciate the world around me.

..and with that, I shall end this by shamelessly promoting my photography instagram once again. Follow if you want something aesthetic in your feed. —> @pixbyjojo

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© 2024 Joneil Escobar

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© 2024 Joneil Escobar