Posts tagged film photography
In a Manhattan Minute: Stories from Newark

Airports are [metaphorically] lawless places. Your flight’s delayed at 9am? Whiskey with breakfast. Get caught up in rush hour traffic en route to the airport? Cut in front of 2— people through security by only asking the travelers at the end of each row if you can move ahead of them. Sleepy on your redeye back home? Use your backpack as a pillow, jacket as a blanket and stretch out right there on the carpet.

Airports are at once the best places for people watching, and the only location where you can get away with doing whatever less-socially-accepted thing you need to do to get through your travels sanely without being critiqued too harshly. Within reason, of course; if you take up both arm rests, I will judge you.

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Travel Albums: Manhattan, NY Vacation Photos

For a decade or so, every year for Christmas I gave my dad a scrapbook of that cross country season’s shenanigans. When he retired from coaching, I worried that I’d have to find a new Christmas project, but realized I could do almost the same thing, just with our travels instead! I had to wait until March this year to give him his present since we had to postpone our annual trip until February, but I’ve always been the master of spreading out holidays.

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Travel Prints: Manhattan Film Photography

The only place I’ve photographed more than my hometown of Asheville is New York City. In the past year, after 3 trips, I’ve shot somewhere close to 15 rolls of film in Manhattan alone, which has given me the chance to practice my street photography in the city which birthed the genre.

There’s not much I can say in the way of describing each location that I haven’t said already, so instead I’ll share my aim for each type of film and why I chose to use it at that time. This is, by far, my favorite set of travel photos to date because I was finally comfortable photographing people at close range, so I captured a wide mix of photos of people going about their day, environmental portraits showing people interacting with the city background, and architectural shots.

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Ireland Day 1 (and Only): Leave it to the Universe

We didn’t talk much on our walk. The single track trail commands visitors’ silence both because of the treacherous footing and the single-file necessity. This seemed nature’s design as I became much more aware of my surroundings as I simultaneously became lost in my own daydreams. Something about Ireland (and Scotland, too) send my already active imagination into fantasy hyperdrive.

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Spain Day 3: New Horizons

To me, the idea wasn’t complete without a little “danger” so my plan was to throw off my dress as I was running towards the water and sprint in just in my underwear. Mind you, the water was probably only 50 degrees and there were still people walking at either end of the beach as well as along the boardwalk. But it was dark, I didn’t know anyone else there, and I was ready to practice being bold. So, I took a deep breath, tossed my dress to Erin and dove under the waves. I came up breathless, shocked from the cold even though I knew it was coming. I ran back in, ready to get warm. But somehow, I still wasn’t satisfied. I hadn’t fully reveled in the feelings of discomfort and uncertainty. So, I ran back in and this time held my breath under water for a few seconds, coming up to stand in the waist deep waves while I gazed into the vast, dark expanse.

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Spain Day 2: The Road to San Sebastian

Over the last year or so that I’ve dedicated my film practice to improving my street photography, I’ve had to work a lot on my shyness. Sometimes, I’ll see the perfect shot yet will be too nervous of what this stranger will think of me capturing the moment: will they be uncomfortable with the invasion of privacy, will they get mad, will they say something to me? No one has ever actually approached me so, as of yet, these fears are unfounded. In fact, one of my very favorite photographic moments from the day came about as we walked through the quiet, cobbled streets of Parte Vieja (Old Town.) At the other end of the alley we were walking through, I saw a group of men congregating, which always immediately sets me on my guard. However, when we got close and they saw my camera, they grinned and made a clicking motion while pointing to themselves. They must have heard us speaking English because they didn’t try to make conversation, yet “can you take our photo?” seems to be universally understood. Looking back, I wish I’d taken even more photos of them, perhaps a close-up portrait of each, but I’m still happy with the experience which will hopefully embolden me further.

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Santander, Spain Day 1: Going with the Flow

We didn’t plan too much for this trip. We knew we wanted to have one day to just bum around Santander, one day to see the sunrise and enjoy a beach picnic, and one day trip to somewhere else close by. As it was pouring rain on our first morning there, we decided to take the cue from the weather and enjoy a quiet first day. In planning, Erin was in charge of the activities and I the restaurants, particularly as I spoke the better Spanish of the two of us. When I ordered our breakfast, I hadn’t quite plucked up the courage to engage in a full on Spanish conversation, so I was feeling a little embarrassed about my speaking skills as we waited for our food. But just at that moment, a small, scarf-clad and white haired woman walked by our table, said something to us conspiratorially, winked, and walked out the door. After that, I knew that the act of at least trying to speak the language might make up for my errors.

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Phoenix, Arizona: Friends All Around the World

I spent the majority of my second day in Arizona hanging out with amazing women. That’s really my biggest takeaway from this trip - just how many incredible women there are out there and how lucky I am to be building my own community of them all across the country. Particularly as all of these women are themselves traveling around the world, creating our own global tribe.

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Vacation Photography: Dad's Ireland Photo Album

Since somewhere around 2005, I made my dad a scrapbook of that cross country season every year for Christmas. Every single year, my mom would collect all of the newspaper clippings (because that was a thing) and I’d collect photos from teammates so that by the end of each season, I could put everything together to highlight that year’s triumphs and shenanigans. As you can see, I’ve always been all about curating memories into storytelling albums.

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2019 Goals: Dream Big

After everything I learned last year (read more here), I realized that it’s the “helping others” part that I want to focus on most in the coming year(s). This is the first year that my goals will look quite different than they did in the past; traditionally mine have read something like: “more weddings”, “more family photoshoots”, etc. Not that there was anything wrong with that approach, I did need to augment my bookings for my business to be sustainable. However, its the experiences I’m creating through those photoshoots that I want to focus on most.

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Travel Prints || Portland, Oregon Film Photography

In the span of my first three trips to Portland, I shot five rolls of film. On this past trip, I shot five rolls of film.

Street photography has become meditative for me. Since I’m shooting only for myself, it allows me space to try new things while developing my style, to continually train my eye to find the story. It’s also a time for me to “unwind,” to let everything else on my mind melt away for a couple hours while I focus solely on the sights around me.

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Washington DC: Finding Independence

Now, perhaps driving 7.5 hours somewhere by yourself doesn’t sound like an exciting adventure. And, truth be told, there wasn’t much exciting about that part - or any of the 20 something hours I spent driving this weekend between the road trip, the tours and the photoshoots. But that was exactly the point. To be able to get in my little car and drive off to another state where I know only a handful of people, to schedule networking meetings and photoshoots with strangers, to photograph for another business (i.e. to profit while traveling) and to do all of this on my own. This is what the new me looks like. I’ve been reaching for this person for a very long time (my social media presence often projected this “dream person”) and after enjoying every second of my solo journey this weekend, I think I’ve finally found her.

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Film Photography || Asheville Prints for Sale

The main difference when looking at my travel collections versus these Asheville photos is that I’ve been by far more experimental here (which should come as no surprise, I’ve had much more time and no “I might not be back, better get the safe shot” to hold me back.) There’s a mix of everything I’m interested in: street photos, portraits, self portraits, architecture, classic black and white imagery, experimental color effects films, double exposures, and even a bit of social commentary sprinkled in.

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Travel Prints || New York City Film Photography

There is no "capturing" New York City. Just when you think you've photographed each juxtaposing facet - wealthy and destitute, historic and modern, stoic and vivacious - you realize you've only documented the city from one lens, one perspective, and it would take years to delve into each borough with each of its own microcosms of cultures. So, on my 2 trips to NYC earlier this year (where I stayed mostly in Brooklyn and Manhattan), I didn't set out to try to capture the heart of the city. Instead, I wanted to document my own experience of it. This meant not going out of my way for a photo, rather clicking the shutter just whenever I saw something I personally found interesting.

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Film Photography || Complex Simplicity & Simple Complexity

Rarely, if ever, do I share a whole roll of film. Typically, I share just a few shots here and there on Instagram with my favorites from each location making it into a blog post. But this roll was special. For one, it was the first roll of color film that I've ever developed myself! Though the chemicals arrived several weeks ago, I've put off using them because I was nervous I'd ruin the roll, this being my first time using the slightly-more-complicated color chemicals. As it turns out, all that worry was for naught. Using the Cinestill development kit, there were actually fewer steps than developing black and white film. And while the directions indicated it was imperative to have the water at a precise hot temperature, as I've gone by feel for black and white for years, I'm fairly certain I'll still be able to do the same as the film turned out perfectly. 

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Travel Prints || Ireland Film Photos

I would be remiss in sharing my travel adventures if I didn't share my film photos, too. Especially because they're often my favorite travel images. I only started shooting 35mm while abroad for my trip to Ireland in December, although I did try on both my Paris and Scotland/Iceland trips in 2016 (but my film camera was in my suitcase that never made it for either trip!) When I brought some 7 or so rolls of film with me to Ireland, I was still a bit of a timid shooter because I didn't want to waste any film, so I wasn't quite sure I'd run through all of it. But, once I started clicking, I couldn't stop. 

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Film Photography || Original Prints For Sale

When I picked up my now 10-year-old 35mm film camera last year, I didn't really know how this was going to affect my work. At first, I just shot a few rolls around town to enjoy being outside while photographing something other than portraits. But then, I brought my camera and 6 rolls of film with me on my family trip to Ireland and realized that the missing piece in my work, what I'd been trying to put together for all these years, was this travel photography in film.

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