Last year a friend offered me an old, slightly battered Canon 500N, which is a consumer-level 35mm film camera, and it's probably about 30 years old. I jumped at the chance and bought myself 5 rolls of Kodak Portra 400, some Ilford HP5+ and started shooting on holiday in Devon last October, and then some over Christmas as well.
Shooting film has been a breath of fresh air. I'd never really done analogue photography in the past because by the time I got into it, things were digital all the way and that's how I learnt. Then I started shooting weddings, and gradually over the last 4 years I've shot much less for myself; not because I don't enjoy it anymore, but obviously weddings come with thousands of photos to cull and edit, and the idea of spending even more time in front of my Mac didn't really seem that appealing. I would still always take my cameras when I went on holiday or for anything special, but I realised I was shooting a lot less of the day-to-day for fear of creating a huge task list for myself. But trying out film has given me the opportunity to re-learn my craft in a different way and appreciate photography for what it is again; see the beauty in the ordinary and take time and care with what I'm shooting.
I can't even tell you how excited I was when I got my first two rolls of film back (we're talking all the teeth on show), and I was just as excited the other day when I got the email from UK Film Lab saying my next three rolls had been scanned. It was like being a kid again, when you've sent your snaps of you and your mates on the French Exchange off to Tripleprint, and you eagerly await those bright yellow parcels coming through the letter box.
I'm not perfect at it yet by any means, so I have some improvements to make (and UK Film Lab kindly send you a feedback form with your scans to help with that), but I've well and truly found the love and I know I'm going to keep it up now, so that photography isn't just my job but also my hobby.
Here's a little insight into my world so far in 2016, featuring a day trip to Windsor, a weekend in Yorkshire, skiing in the French alps, visiting Oman to second shoot a wedding with Paula Broome, and of course my gorgeous nieces.