For Shuji, photography is just a hobby, but it's an indispensable part in his life. So today he came back to share some main reasons that keep him on loving shooting film. “When thinking about film I realized that I hated the restrictions of film,... but the restrictions are what make the result better so I thought it could be titled "five things I 'hate' about film" haha.”
1. Every frame costs you money, which is not that big a deal, but you can only ever carry a limited number of rolls with you,... I very rarely have a pretty assistant lugging my gear for me. All that makes me work harder and wait longer, waiting for the right light, hunting for the right composition and ultimately looking for the expression that I want to capture.
2. Ten shots on medium format 6x7,... that makes me have to unload, wrap up, reload, pull the film out to the other side, wind on to the START arrow, close the back and finally wind on to the first frame,.... and that takes time, especially with my sausage fingers,... When models know that the camera is not active they let their guard down and it stops being a "photoshoot" and it's just us chatting and hanging out. If I'm lucky that mood continues, and I get the chance to get to know them and learn about their lives. It becomes us just hanging out, sharing old stories, eating,... there's a lot of eating involved,.... and if I'm really really lucky, I get to capture them being themselves.
3. Not being able to see the image immediately is a pain in the ass,... but it does help,... a session becomes "chat, tell model to freeze, shoot, put camera down, talk, eat, tell model to freeze again, shoot, put camera down, continue talking,.. or eating,..." It maintains the "hanging out" vibe and keeps the camera out of the way,... even the hefty Pentax 67 stays out of the way when put down,... but I do shoot a lot on the floor so it's easy to hide behind my not so skinny frame.
4. The time it takes before I even see the first negative come out the tank, that time gives me time to reflect, to think about what I might have fucked up, what I handled well and what changes I might want to make for next time,... this time is valuable as everything I may worry about is exactly the stuff that I need to work on before next time.
5. Aaand, I can't think of a fifth thing,... because as much as I honestly hate the four things listed above, and I honestly do as I'm not trying to be different or funny about it writing in this way,...
I love them for making me shoot the way that I do,... having to work around creative restrictions and limitations forces me to focus on what is important,... and it's not the photographs,... it's the time that we spend together, the relationships that develop, with the model, with my talented make-up and hair team, and with anyone else involved in a session,... the photographs are just a byproduct.
Film has let me into the lives of so many amazing people, and as beautiful as the analogue result is, it's the relationships that have developed as a direct result of the process, that's what keeps me shooting analogue.
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