first steps, a lesson in film

I'm afraid as we move forward into 2015 that I'll be writing more about my process of shooting film. I'll try to intersperse these posts with my regular ramblings so as to not completely lull those of you who couldn't care less to complete sleep.

I've found however, that the lessons I learn as I undertake this artistic journey apply to other aspects of my life, so maybe you'll find something that sings to you as we go along.

Film is a funny thing, and the delay in processing time, as compared to digital, can mess up a chronology. After today, I'll probably be jumping around a bit, but it seemed important to start from the beginning. And so here we are.

A lot of you know that I was in a bit of a funk last summer. Missing our sweet Violet and missing my photography mojo too. I was struggling. Not shooting the kinds of things I wanted to shoot, and when I did take pictures, I wasn't creating images that were making me happy. Deep into the summer, I was working hard on creating my Intro to Photography classes, and that, coupled with learning the new Fuji system, sapped my creative energy. Like I said, a funk.

I needed Cal's help with a lot of images for my class, and you know what? He didn't love that. Imagine. Taking photos of your teen can be like trying to catch smoke. I get it. What if I post it to Instagram? What if one of his friends sees us down by the river, snapping pics? Like I said, I get it. He hated the sight of my camera, and honestly, I was starting to too.

At the workshop went to in West Virginia, I met a couple from western Virginia, Charlottesville area. They were drawn to my Fuji (it's cute) because they are film photographers. It was the first real talk I'd had with someone who was regularly shooting film. They were happy to answer my questions and tell me about the process. I could have talked to them all night. Before I met them, I would have sworn that I'd never shoot film. After? I walked away thinking, "Hmmm. Interesting."

I came home from that workshop to the same projects that had been sitting for weeks. The same funk too. And as I wondered how to mix some of my old projects up a bit and try to look at them with new eyes, I thought, for the first time, what if I shot them on film? I began talking with some of the women in my local photography group, and as you know, I talked to Christine

And here we are. On advice from my local friends, I loaded up some cheap Kodak that I found at Rite Aid, and held my breath. It took a couple of false starts. First roll of film came back blank. Second ripped in the camera before I'd finished the roll. I tried to be low key about my failures (ever aware of modeling frustration and anger), but when I got to the third roll, I asked Cal to come outside with me for just a couple test shots.

That day, I caught some smoke. And here we are. These are the shots from that roll. After I snapped a few, he said, "That's it?" Incredulous. And I knew the key to this, to continuing to shoot my son, was film. I can't check my settings. I can't check and double check the shot. All I can do is take his picture and wait for the results.

This is good stuff, right here.