Bryan Johnson of A Brian Photo, is an avid film shooter with a BEAUTIFUL portfolio of images. I met Bryan last year at WPPI (which we happen to be at now) at the Richard Photo Lab party. When Bryan contacted me, wanting to find out how he can support this blog community, I jumped at the chance to pick his brain about why he chooses to work with film. You should definitely spend some time, touring his really unique website and viewing his amazing work and the work of his team. I especially like the Bryan Boom Box on his blog, way too cool...I gotta get me one of those :0)
Q- Bryan, why in this digital generation, do you choose to remain faithful to shooting film?
A- I remain faithful to film first and foremost because of the look. Life on film is so remarkable and beautiful. Digital tends to be more literal than film. I love that film captures more of a feeling. Shooting film also forces me to trust my instincts and engage with my subjects not with the back of a camera.
Q- What film cameras do you use faithfully and why?
A- I'm currently most faithful to the Rolleiflex and the Lomo LC+A. I LOVE the glass on the Rollei, so rich and romantic. Plus when you walk into a room with one around your neck, my brides automatically know that this experience is going to be different than most. The Lomo also has an amazing lens, but it carries with it a bit of an X factor. You have to guess your focus which always means you are in for a surprise when you get the film back. When you nail, the exposure and focus on a Lomo image, there is nothing more beautiful.
Q- What are your films of choice for weddings and why?
A- I shoot Kodak NC 160 for color ( and a little 400) and Kodak 400 CN for my Black and White. I shoot Ilford 3200 (rated at 1200) in low light situations. I use these because I love the colors and tones I get, especially in the B&W. And of course, Richard Photo Lab is largely responsible for this! Best lab in the world!
Q- what are the advantages and disadvantages of shooting film at weddings?
A- Film is great for its limitations. Since I shoot alot of 120 Rollei, I have only 12 frames per roll. This forces me to trust my instincts all the more and get the image right in camera. Film is also great because you don't have to "work" your images in photoshop to get them to look cool. They naturally look cool. You don't have to spend time applying a Lomo filter, when you are actually shooting with a Lomo.
Its definitely has its disadvantages. Its very pricey. This forces us to charge a premium for our service. It also takes time. We try and use this to our advantage by creating an environment that feels relaxed and not rushed for our clients. If I'm reloading every 12 frames, there is gonna be some down time. I personally like it because it forces me to breathe, connect with my subject and surroundings, and hopefully spark a connection with the subject through conversation.
Q- what advice can you give to new photographers who are considering film as part of their service of offerings?
A- Advice to a new photographer? Remember that being engaged with your art is so important. Do things that will keep you excited. The minute you get bored looking at your own images you are in trouble. You should be the number one fan of your own work! Push yourself and create work you are proud of and connect with.
Q- Can you share with us a few of your favorite film images and tell us why they stand out as your favorites?
A- Here are a few personal faves.
I have recently had a renewed love for 3200. Here's one of my favorite shots from my last wedding.
Here's a recent groomsmen shot I really like. I love the depth I get with medium format. This is shot on Mamiya RZ 67.
I love the energy of this shot. Dancing through the streets of charleston, being led by a gospel choir. So freakin' southern.
Here is a shot from the Lomo. It really gives such an interesting perspective. I love Lomo's motto, "Don't think, just shoot."
Who wants to remember the literal when you can remember how it felt instead?
Southern. Simple. Beautiful.
Welcome to Keep Film ALIVE!!!!
My name is Tanja Lippert. I am a 100% film shooter dedicated to the art of film photography. I love film! I love it so much, it almost hurts. I believe film is the #1 reason that my business as a photographer has thrived. I wanted to create this blog as a resource to photographers all over the world who love film like me. I wanted to create a place where photographers who love film and would like to see it STAY ALIVE forever could come and gain useful information relating to film and all the lovely things it offers. I also wanted to create an online resource that would INSPIRE and encourage photographers who have forgotten about film or only use it sparingly might be inspired to run out and buy a few rolls, who knows maybe one day put down there shiny new digital cameras, dust off their Rollei and get back to work!!! :0)