the gift of friendship, a lesson in film

After the first year I'll backtrack a bit and tell you guys a bit more (born and raised in Tennessee, more than a decade in Virginia, and I still can't bring myself to say or write y'all.) about the hows and whys of why I decided to try film, but I wanted to take one small moment and just say thank you to my friend Christine.

Despite never having heard her voice, she and I chat a lot. Texts and emails throughout the week, we're often using each other as sounding boards or dumping grounds, call it what you will. We connect, and that connection keeps me going sometimes. Ain't the internet grand? I mean it. Seriously. Some of the friends I've found in these regions have just floored me.

Anyway, it was during one of our rambles that I might have whispered, "I'm thinking about trying film." Let me back up a bit, again. I have shot film. My dad got me a Nikon camera when I was about 14, and I spent a long, happy time shooting black and white. Flowers and churches in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I looked at contact sheets and had prints printed. And that's about all I remember. I don't have a romantic connection to shooting film, and I certainly have no muscle memory of it. Ask me to quote the script of Little House on the Prairie or Emergency! and I've got you covered, no problem. Some things get lost in the mist of time.

So I was as clueless as a newborn babe, and you know what? I kind of like it that way. 35 mm, medium format, Kodak, Fuji, it was all new to me. Soaking up knowledge is the best feeling. The only catch? I didn't have a camera.

I didn't have a camera, and not knowing how I was going to feel about this grand experiment, I was hesitant to drop a wad of cash on one. Enter Christine.

"I have a Pentax you can borrow. It's actually my favorite camera." A few short (or long, depending on your patience level) days later, and the PentaxK1000 and a series of lenses was in my hands. Simple, generous gesture from her. Fill-me-up, gratitude-overflowing moment for me. And really, this camera is more than just the loan of something she cares for, it's a tangible symbol of her support of every little creative nugget I consider. What a gift that is.

And so it begins. I'm pretty much a firm believer in trusting signs from the Universe, and when Christine offered to loan me her Pentax, I took that as a sign that I was supposed to have some faith and take that first step on this journey.

I was ready to hold it lightly. Ready not to be good at it or like it or love it. Did she know? Did I know that it would change my life?

All three photos above were shot on Kodak UltraMax 400, Pentax K1000