As I’ve mentioned before (and will likely mention again and again) I very much enjoy researching, reading about and viewing other film photographers work. Instagram has become a great place to find like-minded individuals and it was through Instagram that I discovered Charlie Kingland-Barrow and her work.
The Instagram post talked about a second book she was coming out with me…which made me immediately hunt down the first. I found her ebook, Supercharge Your Profits Learn To Shoot Film available for download on her website. To be quite honest, ebooks make me a little nervous – like you never quite know what you might get for your money. But she provided a free 27 page preview of the book which I quickly downloaded. I only read a few pages into it when I knew I would want to purchase the whole thing!
I won’t go into great detail about the contents (you should go buy it!) but will say that there was a theme throughout that stuck with me. If you are interested in film and have done any tiny bit of research on it, you have likely heard the names Jose Villa and Elizabeth Messina. You also might have found that the most common equipment of choice is a Contax 645 and Fuji Pro400h film. While Charlie acknowledges and salutes their suberb qualities, she also stresses the importance of being yourself. Just because you use Jose’s camera and film and lab does NOT mean you will produce work like is. And while is it undeniably beautiful work, why would you want to? Aren’t we as artists constantly trying to find ourselves, our voice, our artistic approach?
Charlie recognizes that and mentions more than once the need for each photographer to find what works for them. She provides examples of other beautiful work not shot on a Contax 645. This gave me a nice little boost of confidence.
When I first decided I wanted to incorporate film into my portrait and wedding photography, not just my personal work, I was hesitant because the film camera I had been using was a Bronica ETRS. And while for me it worked wonderfully and provided results I loved, it wasn’t the ‘norm’ for film wedding photographers. So I definitely had hesitation in using it. While I eventually did, I still wondered if I should be saving my money for the Contax. But Charlie’s book reminded me of my decision to be unique. Besides my absolute love of everything to do with film, one reason I wanted to incorporate it into my work was because of the uniqueness it offered my brand. Nobody in my area uses film. And I appreciated the acknowledgement through Charlie’s book that it was ok to be different, it was ok to use the medium of your choice, it was ok to be the artist and photographer YOU want to be.
The ebook provides a ton of useful information and I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in shooting film, particularly incorporating it into your business workflow. I will definitely be purchasing her second book!
For more about me and my work, check out my website, Katie Leona Photography.