Saturday, September 21, 2013

10 Active Film Photographers Who Are Worth Following

a list by Erin Emocling

Seeing other film photographers' work fuels my creativity, intensifies my knowledge on how diverse film can be, and makes me understand more why some folks still patronize something that's supposed to be "already dead."

Even though major film factories are gradually cutting off their supplies, more and more film enthusiasts are joining the club. But as a film photographer myself, it's not really a mystery why a lot of people refuse to go the easy-peasy digital all the way.

Thanks to the vast blackhole that is the Internet, it enables me to endlessly search for film photographers around the world, who are just as equally passionate about what they do as what they are really good at.

Today, here on Shooting Film, I would like to share a few of my personal film photographer favorites — some of whom I have been already following for years and some of whom I recently just discovered. Each of them has his/her own definitive style, which revolutionizes the subculture of film photography and makes them stand out amidst its thickening niche.

Read about these 10 amazing analogue lovers (listed in no particular order), check out their old and new works, and follow their emulsified chronicles at once! You won't regret it.


Canadian photographer April-Lea Hutchinson extraordinarily creates photographs using different film formats, including 35mm, 120, and instant Polaroids.

She likes shooting in black and white and her works are heavily influenced by her own emotions and instincts. She effortlessly connects with her models since she has developed her own taste from her modeling experiences.

Her style in nude photography echoes anonymity, intimacy, and mystery and illustrates a mishmash of the beauty and simplicity of the female human body, giving a classier sense to eroticism.

She also specializes in editorial and portraiture photography.

Aside from being a professional photographer, she also works as an art director and editor for two international magazines. Hutchinson’s first self-published book will be out this year.


Tokyo-based photographer Bahag de Guzman has a long term relationship with advertising and fashion photography.

But amidst all the garnish and glamor of the industry, his true love lies within the depths of documentary photography and photojournalism.

His works are incredibly done using film, two of which are Butbut and the Black Nazarene series. These compelling series were documented in the Philippines, where he was born and raised.

Since 2009, he has been dabbling on a number of photographic projects that focuses on Japanese culture and tradition.

De Guzman currently works as a full-time photographer at Studio Bahagksi and Studio Syusyu in Japan.


Twenty-eight year old photographer Can Dağarslanı hails from Istanbul.

Armed with his architectural knowledge and driven by his delight for French director Jean Luc Godard, he ditched his digital camera and shifted to film photography for good.

His analogue love story is intertwined with his penchant for fantastic females and concealed cities.

He uses his camera to magnify the honesty of the human body, which oftentimes remains unobserved. He is also very much into capturing his subjects’ unparalleled souls.

His most recent works, like Love is Paradise and Human Feelings, greatly mirrors his exceptional style in visual imagery — natural light and crisp colors.


London-based photographer Ellen Rogers takes film photography into an entirely new dimension — one that’s brimming with mystery, pulchritude, and timelessness.

She is fascinated with the female form and this resonates in her body of work, which she considers a continuous narrative and an inversion of herself.

The secrecy to what equipment she uses and how she creates her images through pure analogue makes her stirring style more mesmerizing — worthier of being sought for.

Her immersion in fashion photography for two years is condensed in her photo book, Aberrant Necropolis.

Nowadays, Rogers interjects analogue photography in Decoherence, a video game where she is the cinematographer, director, and producer.


Photographer Erin Mulvehill resides in New York, the same place where she earned a degree in photography with flying colors.

Her photographic style is beauty visualized and personified.

One of her highly acclaimed photo series, Underwater, is both a shivery, stunning recreation of her dreams and a telling illumination of her belief in transience and being born again. As opposed to its title, this set was captured in a studio with a 35mm film camera.

Mulvehill uses analogue photography as a tool to connect to the rest of the world. The Camera Project, which bequeaths disposable cameras to children across the globe, is an ongoing project of hers.


Brazilian Jorge Sato is a film photographer extraordinaire.

His photographs, which expose the unending wonders of the world’s most famous cities, are both frame and postcard-worthy — from Iceland to Tokyo, from Rio de Janeiro to London, and many more.

He is one of the existing rare photo essayists who still use film cameras as their main weapon.

He is a master of cross-processed, “Splitzered,” and multiple exposures, which are considered famous in Lomography. He creates visually stimulating juxtapositions, which are reminiscent of Romanticism.

Sato honestly believes that a good photo is not just about beauty — a good photo needs to convey either a rationale or a feeling into one’s soul.


Photographer Katka Kremenić hails from Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Digital cameras made her nervous so she switched to using film cameras.

When shooting, she oftentimes brings two cameras with different types of film — one is black and white and the other one is colored. To her, colors tell a different story.

She makes use of photography to express the inspirations she gets from literature, movies, and music.

One of her impressive works is called Corse Noir, where she highlighted her memories of Corsica, France onto a strong black and white film series.

In the same series, she took a photo of a man holding an octopus.

“The octopus is very real, we had it for dinner. Maybe the man holding it isn’t,” Kremenić shares.


Russian photographer Mikhail Khokhlov meticulously works with alternative film developers, like caffenol, which makes use of coffee, washing soda, and vitamin C.

He began film photography with 35mm cameras and then later on, he went to the next level and used medium format.

He is heavily influenced by the iconic photographers, Daido Moriyama and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

In his photo set named Naked Defined, he exemplifies the true meaning of a nude photograph and the relationship of a face to a naked body.

Aside from being a hardcore film photographer, Khokhlov is also a graduate of Mathematics and Physics. He is also into making ceramics and street art.


Thirty year old Mira Heo is a film photographer from Seoul, South Korea. Her tools of the trade usually include an analogue Nikon camera with a 50-millimeter lens.

In one of her numerous interviews online, she shared that film (cinema) inspires her more than anything else, such as her deep admiration for director Bernardo Bertolucci.

When taking pictures, she imagines that she is the director, weaving her own storyline through photographs.

Her most remarkable and stunning works feature herself as her own muse. To her, taking self-portraits is the easiest way to express something that she wants.

Heo’s style is a conversion of pendulous moments into placid memories, which are all beautifully etched on 35mm films.


Sean Lotman is a published writer and film photographer from Los Angeles.

He is known for his exceptional project called I Do Haiku You, which combines medium format film photography and haiku.

To him, it is imperative that a photograph tells a story. And he uses this philosophy to connect to his audience and readers.

He shares, “If it suggests, insinuates, or lures into conjecture, it means that a photograph has transformed us into participants.”

Today, he also uses 35mm film cameras and writes for Heso Magazine.

Lotman currently lives in Kyoto, Japan with his film photographer wife, Ariko Inaoka.

That's it for now. More to come soon!

*All images in this article belong to their respective film photographers.

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