Film Photography Made Easy

Go slow

Learning to shoot film is a marathon, not a sprint. Filmmaking is an investment, and you must take it slowly. Film isn't inexpensive, as you might expect, and if you're switching from digital, you're probably used to shooting as many photos as your SD Card can hold.

A roll of film, on the other hand, has a finite amount of photos. It's a big change to go from unlimited photographs to merely 16 or 36 at a time. As a result, I strongly advise you to begin slowly when shooting.

Take your time and enjoy the process of determining the optimal viewpoint, locating the ideal spot, and taking the photograph. Investing time and effort into your photographs allows you to slow down and be more deliberate about what you're shooting and the result you want.

One roll at a time

When I initially began how to shoot film, I went insane and began shooting nonstop. Only to discover that I had shot so many rolls on a $20 eBay-purchased camera.

It's reasonable to say that only a few, if any, of those shots turned out, and I wasted a lot of money by spending multiple rounds of professional film on a damaged camera. Oops.

So, one roll at a time, please. I understand that working one roll at a time might be difficult since you're enthusiastic and want to keep shooting, but trust me when I say that it will save you so much time and money in the long run.

Shooting and developing one or two rolls of film at a time allows you to focus on the photographs and gain a better understanding of how your film camera operates. You'll be able to fix problems like underexposure (or a malfunctioning camera! ), as well as understand how your shooting technique and the specifics of your camera affect your photographs.

If I could do it all over again, I would shoot only one roll of a few different film stocks in a few different settings to determine what I enjoy best about each one.

35mm lens

When compared to medium format, 35mm film and cameras are generally less expensive, and with 36 shots per roll of film, you have more room to experiment and shoot!

Depending on the camera you use, medium format rolls of film only yield 12-16 shots, which is less than half of what you'll get with 35mm.

Manual Focus

If you're switching from digital to film, you're undoubtedly used to depending on autofocus a lot.

Unfortunately, when it comes to shooting with focusing, film cameras just cannot compete with digital cameras. If you rely on your camera to decide what to focus on, you'll miss the focus or the moment you want to capture because your autofocus takes too long.

This can be a big difference if you're not used to shooting in manual mode. Learning to trust your own eye when it comes to concentrating can be intimidating and take a long time to master.

I recommend focusing on still life subjects when practising your manual. Plants, flowers, structures, and so on.

I first tried to improve my concentrating skills with my children. There's nothing good about these people. Even when you've added in all the fart jokes and candy promises, kids won't sit still.

It may be difficult at first, but if you persist with manual concentrating and practise, it will quickly become second nature, and you will not have to think twice about performing it.

Rent out a professional lab

My local Walgreens was still doing one-day turnaround for film photography when I started shooting film, so that's how I got started.

However, after sending numerous rolls to Walgreens, I became dissatisfied with the quality of my photographs. They didn't resemble any of the other photos I've seen.

So believe me when I tell that sending your film images to a professional lab is crucial. When it comes to feedback and mastering your own film technique, every roll counts, especially when you're just getting started.

Ask questions

When I initially started shooting film, this was definitely one of the greatest blunders I could have made. If I had only sought out to other film photographers and asked questions, I may have drastically reduced my trial and error efforts!

Your lab is the ideal spot to ask questions. Professional film labs are trained and specialise in film, and they are the people to consult if you want to produce a specific aesthetic. They will assist you in resolving issues so that you can reach your filming objectives.