My relationship with film photography

I was born in the mid 1970’s and like many born in that generation, my relationship with photography and film started the day I was born.

That’s a pretty powerful thought isn’t it? There aren’t many things that you’re exposed to on the day you are born that remain with you for life, but access to photography is one.

Growing up I was fascinated by looking at our family photo albums, seeing myself as a baby, how my parents and grandparents looked when they were younger. Those snapshots to the past, especially those of my parents and grandparents, helped me to develop a strong sense of identity and relate to others in my family.

I can still vividly recall holding 35mm negative film up to the light and thinking how different everything looked, how it must be some magic that made the negatives from the camera, and then turn that tiny strip into bigger photographs.

At that time our relationship with photography was always a tangible one. Take the photos, send the film away to be developed, receive the film back in the mail, open the envelope and handle the photos and finally store the photos, often in large family albums. Photography took time and we were invested in both the process and result.

As a teenager I received a small 35mm slimline camera and shot a few rolls of film, although sadly most of those photos have been lost over time.

Fast-forward to my adult life and until 2019 I’ve been capturing images digitally, first to document my family growing up and over the past 5 years more seriously, as a hobby-turned-profession.

When I first started shooting on digital, if I took my camera out, I would take a lot of photographs. A couple of years passed and I learnt that it’s much easier and more satisfying to take less photos with more care. Less post-processing, less organising = happier Annie.

Since getting more serious about photography, I kept looking at old photos; old family photos, vintage lantern slides given to me by my mother, sites like New Old Stockand then I noticed people starting to share film photography were I contribute and work, at Unsplash, like Les Anderson.

At the time of writing this, I’ve been shooting film for nearly a month. I’m discovering that the ‘less photos with more care’ concept I mentioned applies perfectly to film photography.

It’s been a steep learning curve, and I’ve sought out lots of information, some good, some bad. And that’s why I’ve started this blog, to document the advice and handy information I learnt and mistakes made in case it helps others considering starting out in film photography.

I’ll also be sharing every roll of film I shoot, each in it’s own post with the information about the camera and film used, along with some notes. 


Photos shown are of me as a baby and were taken by my mother, on a Halina 35mm camera that she bought in 1968.