First Roll of Film

Today is a big day for me. I received my first roll of film back from a local lab in Costa Rica and I couldn't be more excited to share the results with you. I originally got into film when my dad gave me his old Canon AE-1 with a 135mm and a 50mm in 2016. I had the camera restored and shot several rolls of film on it before I discovered that the camera didn't work properly and none of the negatives had been exposed. I then purchased and restored a Pentax K100 and shot roughly 20 rolls in 2017. I sent them all to a friend to have them developed, but I never saw them again. It's 2018 now, and needless to say, I am pretty particular with my shots. 

Although I never saw any of the photos from my first 35 rolls of film, I learned many valuable lessons over the course of 15 months. I spent countless hours and an untold amount of money having the cameras restored, purchasing film, and taking photos with this classic combo. The most important of which is this: the value of a photograph. Imagine you took 720 photos in over eight countries and didn't get to see any of the images. All of the moments, all of the stories, all of the memories... gone.

It's a feeling we have lost in the age of digital and, now, mobile photography. We are overexposed to media. Selfies flood our social feeds, constantly pushing the idea that photography is cheap and easy. It is a poisonous notion to the photographic community. Film provides a simple, timeless way in which to capture moments and share stories. No electronics, no fancy gimmicks, just the truth captured in the most classic visual form.

The greatest thing about film for me has been the reminder to slow down. I'm having to learn about photography all over again, and I still have a lot to learn. There are so many more lessons to learn from shooting film. I'm looking forward to the journey. But for now, here are some of my first attempts on a roll of Kodak 400 XT from a trip with other photographers to Los Angeles. Enjoy!


my first photograph on film: a beautiful mistake