• Mindy Warman

Finding My Way Back to Film

Film photography was a part of my life until I was in my 30's, as it was with a lot of us. So shooting with film isn't new to me, but shooting manually with film is.

I asked for my first camera from Santa when I was in the 3rd grade. It was an instant Polaroid and I wish I knew where it was now. From that point on I have had a camera in front of my face constantly. When I don't have my camera with me, which with the invention of smartphones it's now impossible, I see life through a lens and think "That would be an awesome picture!" Sometimes my constant photo taking can be a problem and then with digital you find yourself taking WAY too many shots and then there is the issue of storing them all. I don't like to delete or edit as I like everything just as I shot it, good or bad.

Because of my passion for photography I was really regretting that I didn't go to school or lean more into this as a career. I did go into a career of taking pictures, just in a different way, earning my license in X-ray and Ultrasound. My career before kids was spent taking pictures of the inside of the body. Not very creative to ignite my artsy spirit. At this point in life I started thinking why can't I learn more about photography on my own.

I was a point and shoot photographer all my life. That means that I set my dial on that little auto box that adjusted all the settings for me and the flash came on at will. I really wanted to know what all the buttons on the dial did and how I could shoot manually myself and without a flash, ever. I wanted to learn more about lighting and indoor photography.

Years ago I took a night class at Austin Peay University for photography and while I did learn a little about aperture and shutter speed settings, it was mainly learning darkroom and developing your own film. Which don't get me wrong, was amazing, but not what I was looking to learn. I bought photography books on lighting and shooting manual and just couldn't get it to click. I felt chained to that auto setting on my camera. Finally a couple of years ago a friend photographer was offering mentor photography sessions and I signed up! We were scheduled to have three sessions to learn about manual shooting and by the end of the first one it had FINALLY clicked! She presented it and explained it in a way that I finally, after all these years, understood! I will forever be grateful to KC Lostetter Photography for this.

I shot manual on my digital camera for a year, learning along the way. I was still just overwhelmed by two things, the amount of pictures I would take and the weight of the digital camera. I missed my lightweight small cameras I had grown up with, aka. film cameras. KC then offered a class on film photography and I thought "This is it! This it what I am meant to do!" Obviously I took the course with her and now for nearly a year I have been shooting exclusively on film.

You have to be intentional with your shots with film photography. You don't have the luxury of viewing your images to see if you got the shot while shooting manually on film. It's a welcome challenge I've embraced and thrive on. It truly is producing art. I no longer have an abundance of photos to shift through and store. It truly is like a dream come true to me.

On this journey back to film I have also learned there are so many aspects of shooting film that I never knew about and I find that art side of me wanting to learn more about. Light leaks, prisms, double exposures... There is so much to try and learn and I find myself growing every day.

Here are some of my latest images shot manually on film.

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