Film photography is something I got into a couple of years ago and I absolutely adore it. There’s nothing quite like dropping a roll of film off somewhere and feeling the excitement (and the fear that the camera shop will mess it up) of getting it back to see all these photos and memories. In a digital age where you can get most things with the click of your finger and make everything look perfect, there’s something so refreshing about having to wait for your photos and not being able to agonise over them during and after taking them.
People often find the fact I use a film camera very strange, with questions on it ranging from ‘who still uses film?’ and ‘what’s the point?’ I’m hoping this blog post will show those of you who are little skeptical about film how great it is and maybe even convince you to give it a go yourself. After going through multiple disposable cameras and loving the photos I took from them (and the novelty of having printed out photos) I decided it might be time to move on to a film camera because, not only is it cheaper than buying multiple disposable cameras but the photo quality is obviously better too. I asked for any old film camera for Christmas from my parents, after my researching came to no avail, and ended up with one that, looking back on it now, was actually pretty good- good job Mum! If you’re wondering it was the Olympus Superzoom 700XB- it lasted me about a year and I got some great photos with it, but it unfortunately broke after that just as I arrived in Rome, which I was absolutely gutted about as I was so excited for the photos I was going to take on that trip. That is probably the worse thing about film photography, how unreliable it can be. Film cameras are no longer being made so you’re always going to be using a second-hand camera which means they are prone to breakages. This is something that comes part and parcel with all the good things about film photography and I still think it’s worth it. After all (most of) the cameras aren’t expensive, (I’ve spent as little as £10 on one and as much as £40 on another) this one in particular cost around £25 I think. And these little mishaps make getting amazing photos even more exciting.
After this I gave up on film for a few months, not intentionally but because I never got round to buying a new camera. When I did, I bought one for £10 off Depop (the Praktica G8000 autofocus). I only managed to get one roll of film out of this camera because the second roll I took came back blank, which I was so sad about (I might have cried a little bit). I’m not sure if this was my fault or the fault of the camera but to avoid it happening again and because I wanted a better camera anyway, I bought the Olympus MJU II Zoom 170 (what a mouthful). I paid £40 for this camera off eBay, making it the most expensive one yet, but you can definitely see the price difference in the picture quality. For reference, you can see some photos I took on my Praktica camera in this blog post from my trip to Berlin and photos I took on the Olympus camera in this blog post from Corfu and this one with lots of random photos. I’ve been loving using my new camera and, since buying it 2 months ago, I’ve already gone through 2 rolls of 36 exposure film, which is a lot for me!
Anyway enough about the quality and the cameras, I want to talk about why I go through all of the trauma involved with film (broken cameras, empty rolls etc.) and why I love it despite and because of these aspects. As I mentioned, shooting on film just feels so refreshing. Having printed out photos (and seeing them before you see them on a phone screen) is such a novelty and something that will always make me feel so happy. I actually started putting them all in scrapbooks last year which I know will be amazing to look back on- note to self: must continue with that soon. The spontaneity of taking photos with a film camera is another reason why I love it. Whether I’m taking a photo of a scenery, friends or someone else is taking a photo of me, it feels so good to take the photo and leave it at that, with no feelings of dissatisfaction because you have no idea what the photo looks like. By the time I get the photos developed I’ve usually forgot about most of the photos I took as well and they always come as such a nice surprise, both because of the memories and how the photos actually look. Which takes me to the main reason I love film, and the reason I think why most people shoot on film, how the photos look! A film photo is so distinguishable in my opinion and I can’t even describe why I love the way it looks so much apart from saying that it looks real. I don’t know if this makes any sense but photos taken using film always feel so authentic and that’s what I probably love about them the most!
People are definitely starting to appreciate film photography more and more and if you’re thinking about getting a film camera, I’d definitely recommend doing so! They’re all easy to use and you could always start with a cheaper one if you’re not sure if it’s something you’ll carry on with. One thing I will mention is the expenses involved in getting photos developed, which are steep. It ranges from about £10-£15 to get a roll of film developed (if you want them on a CD and the prints) which is why, up until now, I’ve only shot maximum of 5 rolls a year. But now I’m coming to realise just how much I love film photography, I’m hoping to start doing it more frequently. Because £10 a month doesn’t seem like that much for photos I love and will (hopefully) cherish forever.
The photos here are ones that were on the same roll of film as my Corfu pictures and I thought this would be the perfect way to share them. All of these photos came out so well from the quality to the colours and they’re some of my favourites because of that and the moments they capture. I hope this blog post has inspired you to order a film camera and I hope you’re enjoying my film content as I’m hoping there’s going to be a lot more of it! If you’re looking for more film content definitely check out Lizzy’s blog Shot From The Street. She is the queen of film photography and is consistently creating some incredible content with film, always inspiring me. Let me know in the comments or over on social media if you have any questions about shooting on film (although I’m definitely no expert) or if there’s anything specific you’d like to see on my blog film-wise!