FILM Portraiture

Film might seem to be fodder for hipster jokes and be an outdated method in a world awash with digital photography. I am not going to debate which one is better- I may as well argue over which tool in my tool box is better- because the answer is it simply depends on what I'm trying to accomplish. I love using film because it forces me to really slow down and consider the scene before I press the shutter, there is something rich and lovely about the tones produced by film that digital doesn't quite replicate. It's very, very close, though. There is something very satisfying pulling a freshly developed reel of film out of the developing tank to see the results, and sometimes I forget what was on the roll and it can be a lovely surprise. But what I love most is using film is pairing it with plastic cameras. Cheap, flawed, few controls, and results full of surprises that can be replicated in photoshop, but often require a lot of time and skill. The lenses are plastic, have distortions and flaws and rarely produce a sharp image. The cheap build quality lets light leak into the back of the camera and exposes parts of the film. It can totally destroy an image, or totally make it. Using it for portraiture is satisfying because the quirks and oddities can sometimes translate into emotions and character that brings the image together.