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I know you guys have all seen the resurgence of shooting film. Mostly point and shoots and 35mm vintage gems. I will say I first started shooting some film late last year. There was some excitement initially but it quickly faded when I found out my beloved A7iii was FINALLY getting an upgrade as the A7iv was coming out. I focused all of my energy into that and shooting digital.

It wasn't until I decided to dive back into film, at a time that I needed simplicity, that have made me truly fall in love.

Shot on the Minolta SRT 101 & Kodak Gold 200

I raised my Minolta SRT 101, manually focused my lens, and shot away.

That was it. That's all I had to do. It was a part of a batch of film rolls that I sent to Photo60 Studio in Woodbridge and they developed and scanned it. I ultimately think that that is what I love most about shooting film. I saw the beauty of the moment without any altering. I saw the Earth for what she was and knew I needed to capture it on camera. I let go of controlling the moment and left the fate of the image up to the film. And I must say it saw the scene as golden as I did.

Now here are some of my best tips for getting into it.

Pinpoint your reasons why you want to shoot film, and buy gear according to it.

I have the Minolta mentioned above that I bought off of Etsy for about $100. That came with the camera and one fixed lens. I bought a few other lenses and have found my 35-70 is my favorite! I also have a 35mm point and shoot called the Olympus Stylus and then my last is the Nikon n8008s. They are three totally different experiences that all shoot 35mm.

If you are looking for the slow, and impactful experience, I suggest investing in the mostly mechanical bodies. You will have to manually adjust everything for each shot and the feeling is truly unmatched getting them back and seeing how well you understood the moment. There are a lot of decent ones on the market but of course the prices of these are going way up! I am going to recommend my favorite that I use, the Minolta SRT 101! Just make sure there is a battery to operate the light meter!

Point and shoots are perfect for capturing the everyday. Taking a trip with friends, capturing your loved ones, or just having fun. I suggest grabbing one of these if you want a quick and easily portable option. There are plenty of these bad boys to choose from on Ebay! You do NOT need a super expensive point and shoot. I suggest spending no more than $50 on one.

If you are looking for the film experience but want the added functionality of an autofocusing camera, there are a great deal of automatic film cameras on the market. They range from $20-$1000 depending on the features they have. The one I have as stated above is the Nikon n8008s and I was fortunate enough to receive it for FREE with a Nikon 50mm 1.4 Manual lens. But even if you are not able to pick up one for free they sell for dirt cheap on Ebay.

Let's talk about the actual film.

The beauty of film in my opinion is that you have to slow down and actually compose your shots. The shots you take hold value to them because you only get 36 exposures per roll (and if you didn't read the listing carefully, maybe only 24!). So every shot needs to be intentional. That also applies to the type of film you are using.

Just like your favorite presets in Lightroom, each film has a distinguished look and purpose. It has taken me trying out quite a few different film stocks, but I have finally found the few that I love that I will continue to purchase.

Kodak Gold 200 and Ilford HP5

Gear: Minolta SRT 101 & Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 has become my absolute favorite film stock. The warmth it brings to my portraits and every day walk around photos is amazing to me! It is the closest to what I imagined shooting with film would be like. There's just this layer of magic that makes me feel like my shots are not from this world. This is also one of the cheaper film stocks right now, with Fuji Superia 400 being my greatest steal of all time with a 3 pack for only $20 at Walmart lol.

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I actually received a roll of Ilford HP5 to try, and I haven't used any other black and white film stocks. So you may want to take this with a grain of salt and try out others! But I loved the black and whites I was able to take with this film. It truly created a timeless set I can love forever.

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Film is expensive.

Film is expensive.

Film is expensive.

Film is expensive.

I cannot stress this enough. If you are looking to shoot film like digital you will quit quite quickly. (Now say that 3 times fast lol) I know this because it happened to me. You not only have to purchase the film, but get it developed and scanned. And then if they aren't local, you have to pay to ship it! SO although the typical cost to start is relatively low, the constant cost of maintaining this new hobby can be expensive!

With all of that being said, here is my last little bit of advice about film:

There has been a huge push for film lately, and it can be a calming refresher to stay within the moment and capture life long memories. I only ask that you fully research what you plan to use and, like always, learn the exposure triangle. Lol.

I hope this helped! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions! Also here are my favorite film photos so far!

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