B&W Film – A long, lost love

It’s taken me a while in my journey to find my style. I did a blog post a while ago about how I had found my warm, summery style and was in love with it. It’s true! I love this style and I love digital photography. However, yesterday I found myself at a Barnes & Noble with my husband. I wandered over to the super small “Photography and Art” section. I was at that section for a good 25 minutes or so just browsing through the collection of what I have to say was no more than 20 books. As I turned the pages of books of black and white photographers like Dorthea Lange, it brought back a familiar feeling; one that I’ve been stifling for the past couple of years.    

My old film camera. Used to be my dad’s. Have to get her fixed.

  I’m in love black and white film and the style of film noir. I keep looking back at it – like an ex you broke up with for practical reasons but never really stopped loving. Lately, I’ve just been admiring from afar but never producing new work. I’ve dabbled in some “noir style” digital work but any film photographer will tell you that the aesthetic of film and digital are just not the same no matter how much you manipulate it. You can always tell the difference. 

Double exposure done on a Holga camera with 120 film

Also, there’s something that’s been bothering me about digital photography. It’s so accessible to everyone now. This is good, in a sense, but it’s turned into more of a business and less of an art. I may get some backlash for saying that, but I’m not the only one that thinks so. The placement of the “Digital Photography” section at Barnes & Noble was a confirmation of sorts. It was nowhere near the “Photography and Arts” section and it was much, much larger. I spent about 10 minutes looking through the books. There were a lot of “how to price your sessions, portraits, etc..” books. 


In the “Photography and Arts” section, I browsed through Gregory Heisler’s book, 50 Portraits. Amazing images. In the “Digital Photography” section, I picked up a couple of books of portraits from photographers I wasn’t familiar with, and no offense, but it just looked like a book of senior portraits taken by local photographers – myself included. There was nothing outstanding about the work at all. This ultimately made me examine my work as well.


Right now I’m at a point of my life where, while I’m still working on my lifestyle fashion career, it’s something that’s not entirely feasible at this moment because of many different circumstances outside of my control. Black & white film and I broke up because it wasn’t practical for business, but I think it’s time to get back together – if he’ll have me. 😉


These were all done on a medium format camera with 4×5 film.

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