Hey guys, it’s me again. I’m back this time with something new and exciting, by my standards at least. I’m starting a new series: in which I highlight local, and not-so-local, artists of all types. These artists inspire me in one way or another, and I feel the need to share their thoughts with you.
I begin the series with Mr. @_d.miller_ on Instagram, a film photographer from Alexandria, Va. When my interest in film photography peaked and I began my research, I was drawn to the Pentax K1000, easily discussed among most as a trusty starting place for anyone. Amongst my searches, I came across DeAndre’s page on Instagram, partly due to his many captures with this very camera. I quickly began to admire his style, technique, and down right dedication to the world of film photography. I also could not help but be grateful for his persistent reference to the film type and ASA setting on each image. It was like I had a quick reference guide at all times!
I’d like to think that even though DeAndre and I may not have had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face, that we have built a friendship based on mutual interest. He’s been most cheerful and outgoing in answering most my rookie questions. I like to preach that you should support your friends, so I asked DeAndre to do a Q&A session with me, to provide you, some insight on film photography, by an individual who has inspired me and is experienced, and more than knowledgeable on the topic.
It’s my pleasure to present to you, Q&A:
What attracted you to film photographer in the first place?
My first experiences with film were as a kid when I used disposable cameras during field trips and birthday parties. About 2 years ago I noticed a film camera displayed as a prop in a store and something about it called to me. Around the same time I had noticed photos on Instagram and Tumblr with a certain look that I had never seen before and after doing some research I found out that those photographers were using film. Then, in the spring of 2015 I bought my first 35mm SLR and I’ve been constantly shooting.
Where to you intend to take your film photography? What are your aspirations?
My short term goals include practicing more portrait photography and learning how to make prints. Long term, I’d like to travel and take photos full time. If my work makes in it a gallery that would be amazing. I also plan on creating some photo books centered around certain themes.
What style of film photographer would you classify yourself as?
I don’t feel like I have a certain style yet but it’s closely related to street photography. My inspiration comes from everyday life and I try to capture scenes in a unique way that invoke some emotion.
What is your go-to camera?
The Pentax K1000.
What film cameras would you recommend to someone looking to get started with 35mm film?
I would definitely recommend the Pentax K1000 because it is simple and reliable. Also, the Yashica Electro 35 is a great camera. It’s lens is sharp and it’s a rangefinder so it can help those who are still learning their way a manual camera since it takes care of the shutter speed for you.
What are your top three favorite films to shoot?
Rollei RPX 400, AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200, and Fujifilm Natura 1600.
Color film vs. b&w film. Which is your preference and why?
At the moment I prefer color film. I love using different brands and seeing how the colors comes out. More recently, I’ve been using B&W and appreciate how you’re not distracted by the colors and can focus on other elements.
Do you have any advice for someone shooting street photography on film?
Explore and use the streets to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to get close and talk to people.
Do you carry your camera everywhere with you?
Yes!! I always carry 2 or 3 cameras with me at all times (except when I go to work).
Tell us about a shot you thought you nailed, but ended up coming out wrong?
I don’t think there’s a specific shot I can think of. Usually on each roll of film I get developed there’s a few frames that didn’t turn out how I envisioned. A lot of the time it’s not choosing the right exposure combination and other times it’s poor lighting
As discussed in previous posts, take the chance and message someone who you think can help. I did, and it’s led me to a new friendship. I highly encourage you to check out this man’s work. He’s a purist, in my opinion. He has the ability to find beauty and curiosity in anything. I’ll continue to follow his work and support him in any ways possible, I hope you do too. Let me know what you think, I’d love some feedback on Q&A ideas.