MY FILM PHILOSOPHY
Over the years, film photography has become more meaningful as an ideology to me. A state of mind rather than the physical practice of documenting still photographs on an analog medium. I apply this ideology to every photo I take, whether it be on film or digital format. I also apply it to life.
For me, film philosophy is all wrapped up in a little black frame. The lovely, naturally occuring black frame surrounding the photo left is present when a negative (this one being a Hasselblad 6x6 negative) is scanned or printed full frame. Most scanning these days isn't wide enough to include this frame but rather crops in on the image. In other words, most negative scanning these days isn't full frame. Because I scan my own negatives I can choose to include this border. It is time consuming to scan this way and therefore this frame isn't visible on every film photo I shoot but when I do scan a roll full frame it never fails to make my heart skip a beat. So, long story long, full frame borders are not something one sees authentically very often these days. They are easy to fake. But of course, I would never. Sacrilege!
I love the aesthetic of this inherent black border but the concept is metaphorically much more interesting. So interesting to me, in fact, that my one and only tattoo is of this black frame. It informs my entire photographic philosophy, even when I'm shooting digitally. If the frame is present it serves as a symbol or proof that the photo hasn't been cropped. Of course, in our digital world, one could easily break this photographic code but it's existence has come to mean something in the photographic community.
It represents honesty, integrity and the skill to make the photo right in camera without the failsafe mentality of just fixing it later in post production. Getting it right in camera means being present, slowing down, breathing, really ingesting the moment, respecting the subject and caring for each and every frame.
In work and in life I believe in making every frame count.
I belive in doing my very best to appreciate and create moments.....to tell an honest story. Yes, I look for the beautiful parts of life but not at the expense of authenticity. I seek these moments out and document them to the best of my ability. But once it's done, it's done. This ideology is about perfecting a craft, embracing the moment and accepting the unexpected. A crooked architectural line, an unintentional double exposure (pictured above), a hair out of place.....whatever the so call flaw may be, it is now part of the narrative. I love the idea of respecting people and moments enough to take care before I press the shutter but also accepting the end result with affection. I'm an optimist and I aim to document the uplifting, but film has taught me that even the most lovely pieces are flawed. Even better, it's taught me that the flaws enhance the lovely. Film has taught me to accept the light and the dark. I apply this attitude to my film and digital work and more importantly, I apply it to life wherever possible.
To me, film is tangible and flexible, unapologetic and wise, honest and impervious to time. It has quietly done its work on me as an artist and as a human and for that I'll always be grateful, whether or not I have a roll in my camera. I could easily expound on the merits of color, light sensitivity, film grain and more, all of which hold great value, but to me it's really about the idea of film. Universally applicable and beautifully flawed.