How I am Now Seperating Myself as a Photographer

After joining the photographer community over a year ago, I started noticing something. When I look at my favorite photographers, they are typically using a Nikon or Canon. Most use the same body type of either Nikon or Canon brand, and when there are two cameras that are extremely popular (especially in my area) and most of us use it, it becomes extremely hard to separate your "style". and Not only do we use the same camera bodies, but the same lenses. Not to mention the same flashes, and some photographers even edit similar! While we fully support each other's stylistic goals, we want to be distinctive from one another, which can sometimes be ...difficult. (artistically speaking)

natalie jayne photography mark III

While I've tried separating myself through different editing techniques, I starting thinking about how I could further separate myself. Today, I could describe my "style" as a film twist with a pop of personality , but like I said it is so hard to separate your style when you are using the exact equipment another photographer is using - even with editing. I'm sure their are other photographers somewhere out their that edit similar to how I edit (and their always will be.) Which is why I made the decision to invest in my business and am now the owner of a CONTAX 645 film camera! EEEKK!!!

 That's my new baby!

That's my new baby!

Why am I so excited about this little change? The mixture of digital photography and film photography can separate me further as a photographer and an artist. 

While film takes a lot more work than digital photography, It can be much more satisfying. I know that with digital photography it's hard for me not to be connecting to the moment the photo was taken, rather than the picture itself. The slowness to film allows me to detach myself from the moment and once I get the scans back I get excited about my work all over again! As much as I love the instant feedback of my photos, It will be an exciting experience to wait for the final product! (I am learning to develop my own film at VCU, but will most likely be paying a lab to do that part of the process to speed things up a little bit!)

I will admit there are some cons when it comes to film. Film photography is more expensive than digital photography all around. Not only do you purchase the equipment, but you pay for film (forever.), getting your images developed, and printing photos. Also, with digital you have an unlimited amount of storage to take images. You have the option to take thousands of images, dump them, and re-use the cards. Which makes the cost per image virtually...nothing. With film, there is a low capacity, but that causes you to slow down and not over shoot. As one of my professors said it "when you have limited frames you pay attention to making each shot count". I think the slowness and commitment of each shot can improve my composition skills more than ever.

I will also be the first to tell you about the perks of film. Images that are taken are always readable, they never can be corrupted like a card can, and never delete themselves since it is a tangible item. Again, it is a tangible item! In the end I feel like I actually created something, rather than a virtual something. I also LOVE the control you have in film. You control every aspect all the way down to metering your own light! I'm hoping I will gain more technical skills and have a better understanding of techniques to use!

One of my favorite things about film is that a film camera show a greater "dynamic range" of highlights and shadows. Not to mention film cameras typically have no shutter lag, sometimes my Canon Mark III will have a lag trying to focus which can cause frustration for me when trying to capture more candid moments (which I try to incorporate often into my photos!)

Lastly, I've noticed myself spending way too much time on my computer, even though i have sped up my process lately I would love to do more shooting than sitting, film keeps me off the computer and shooting like I should be!

The best part about the pros and cons of film vs digital, is that now I have all of the pros! The benefits of shooting both digital and film are endless. I can't wait to share my "film journey" with everyone! I will be shooting black and white, and color and sharing my process a long the way! While I will not be offering Film sessions YET, I'm excited to be offering them soon! Stay tuned!!

Thank you so much for reading my blog and I can't wait to have you back next week! In the meantime, feel free to check out last week's blog posts!