We were new home owners and Isaac purchased the Canon 1V as a birthday gift for me. I spent the entire afternoon on our deck and in our home styling anything and everything. I didn't have a light meter so I took readings with the camera's meter. I was certain that the photos wouldn't turn out. And it took me 3 hours to work through a roll of 35mm film. I took it to our local Walgreens and had them to develop it so I could "test" out the camera. But really I just couldn't stand the wait. My first roll of film is still one of my favorites. I learned so much about being intentional with each frame and styling with that first roll.
Today I want to share the five things I wish I had known when I started that roll of film. These things have helped me to grow as an artist, entrepreneur, and fine art photographer.
Explore the possibilities with film. Don't limit yourself to your understanding of the format or what you have heard and seen. Push the limits. Break the rules. And don't forget to learn a lot along the way.
Don't expect the coloring to be perfect at first
Don't expect the coloring to be perfect if you're testing rolls at Walgreens. And don't expect the coloring to be perfect if you're sending a roll to a professional lab. There are a lot of factors that can affect the coloring of your photograph: film stock, exposure, lighting, and lab.
Develop a relationship with the lab
Once you start working with a professional lab, start a conversation. Ask them why the coloring looks a certain way. Explain the kind of photograph you're after and ask them for input so that you can make adjustments.
Work with them on the coloring that you want to see in your photographs!
Challenge yourself with lighting
Film photographs differently than digital. That's a probably what drew you to film in the first place! You may not realize it, but it's possible that you have been limiting yourself to certain lighting situations as a digital photographer. So take your film camera and shoot in ways that you wouldn't normally shoot.
Slowing down is a good thing
I was initially nervous when I couldn't move at lightening speed during an engagement session. Then I realized that my clients were relaxing and interacting with each other while I was loading film. I started slowing down throughout the sessions and I began to truly see my clients. Slowing down is good! It's even needed.