Last week, I went to a workshop given by Cheryl Jacobs. When I first started out in the business way back in 2004, CJ was one of the first photographers offering workshops (or at least that I knew about). I wanted to go, but was fairly new, and didnt know much and wasnt sure about going. Recently she announced she was offering again, and I JUMPED on it, for a few reasons. 1. she shoots film. 2. everything i saw of hers, i loved 3. she has this quote that i’ve had printed off and hanging in my office for years. It was destiny I thought.
Going to this kind of workshop for me was taking a good step back and really taking a deep hard long look at what I do, and where I want to go. I think as photographers our work constantly evolves. I know mine surely has. The questions for me is, for the better? I do this to make a living, so when I look at my work, does it speak to me? or am I shooting for what I think my clients want? both? neither?
I saw this short film on YouTube the other day and I love the part where he says “”when I started in photography, I was using my hands to create images. And it seems like overnight, digital came, and all of that came to an end….I lost something I loved….. everyone around me had the same camera, they all have the same signature…”
When I was a kid, I spent hours in the darkroom with my dad who took pictures for fun. Watching him slide a piece of paper in solution and then seeing this image appear was like magic to me. There was something raw and real and amazing to me. What is it about film that makes your heart flutter? I’ve never been a “film” shooter, sure my first camera was film, but only because digital didnt exist( at least not to my pocketbook) When I made the decision to make photography my business, I purchased a Nikon D70 Dslr and have been Nikon Digital every since.
Where this goes from here? I dont know to be honest. What I do know is, like the quote from the video, I dont want to look around and see everyone having the same camera as me, the same look, the same feel. I want to continue of this journey of photography experimenting with film and toy cameras and polaroids and whatever else stirs a little of my heart. I want to continue to change and evolve. I hope you take that journey with me.