Cécile, aka La Fille Renne (“The Reindeer Girl” for French) is a 25 year old photographer from France. She started with a Lomography camera, and one year ago, her better half gave her the first analog SLR, a Canon AE-1 Program. Since then she loves documenting life and keeping pictures of good moments. "I also like to try tons of old cameras, films, and experimentations (film swap, very old expired films, cross processing, double exposures…)," she says. "My latest acquisition was a Zenit 11, which I cherish a lot because it belonged at my parents. For the future I would like to try film soup and medium format."
Here are 5 things Cécile loves about film photography:
1. The cameras: I love vintage analog cameras and I prefer their look to the one of the actual digital cameras. There are so many models, it’s impossible not to find the camera that really fits you. The choice is impressive and I think it would take more than a lifetime to test all of them. I also believe that manual cameras have a kind of soul, their history makes them even more precious.
2. Best way to keep memories: When I use analog cameras, I take my time to make the right settings for only one picture. It teaches me to be patient firstly, and secondly, when I look at the picture later, I perfectly visualize the moment I take it. When I use my digital SLR, I have the same photo a hundred times and I don’t feel the same thing when I look at them. That’s why analog photography is a best way for me to keep all my memories in pictures. Films are real, it’s not just digital files.
3. Rendering of images: It’s unique, has a beautiful grain and vintage color effects. I think it’s impossible to render the same with digital cameras. Analog pictures have a taste of nostalgia and most of them are beautiful in their ways, I don’t need to edit them like digital pictures, which make them unique.
4. Be surprised: I always forget what I shoot on a roll, and it’s worst when I use different cameras at once. I’m always surprised by the result, especially with film swap, very expired film, cross-processing, toy cameras or when I try an old camera for the first time. With the choice of cameras and films that I have, I like to try new combinations and the result is often a surprise. I’m still as exciting as a child when I bring back negatives from the lab.
5. Learning: Using manual analog SLRs, I learned how a camera works and how to perform each setting. It’s a great way to learn more and more about photography. The process to take analog pictures is more palpable and real than for the digital way. We can control each step of the process (taking picture, development, scan, …) and learn from that.