Jeremy asked me to talk a little bit about shooting with film compared to shooting with digital. I’m not much of a teacher (or a writer), so I thought a lot about it before committing. Nevertheless, here I am, and I hope this message finds you all well.
My name is Steven Taylor. My goal as an artist is to create honest representations of a vision, and to capture whomever I’m working with in the most sincere way. It’s easy to find artists, photographers especially, that pour all of their time and focus into bolstering their social statuses by only creating beautiful images. I guess their hope is that the public, whether Twitter and Facebook or even friends from back home, will praise them for their work. I’m not that person. My hope is that my images would be the best in the eyes of the person I’m photographing—that they would truly see themselves in it. It may not always be the most beautiful, but it’s always the truth.
As I’ve learned, grown, and failed as a photographer, I’ve noticed that the ease of using a digital camera tends to speed the process, leading to lost time with my subject. Film allows me to slow down and be intentional about the shots I’m taking. Instead of firing off hundreds of images, hoping for a few winners, I believe in everything I’m shooting. Not to say every frame will be perfect just because I took more time on each shot, but the ratio is always much better. The slow pace and extra time spent shooting allow me to connect with my subjects, which builds confidence on both sides of the camera. I’ve found that that connection is what has the power to produce the perfect image.
That said, without the ease of digital cameras, I may have never excelled as a photographer, so I’m thankful it’s an option but I much prefer shooting film.
Here’s a shoot I did with Matt Wertz, Jeremy and my mutual friend, for his most recent record. All the images used for his packaging were shot on film.
I think its dumb to comment like this on blogs but I know steven very well and think you misunderstood DUSTY. Everyone takes social media serious he just doesn't focus on making a technically perfect image like a lot of people do.
"that pour all of their time and focus into bolstering their social statuses "- really Steven???? you are the epitome of that.
fantastic! I just purchased an old Rb a couple weeks ago and haven't had the guts to get it in action. Great post
Oops, i accidentally hit the submit button before finishing my comment. Anyway, we're always hearing about all of the technical and aesthetic battles between Film and digital, but I love the simplicity in Steven's post advocating film because it tends to slow you down. To think and spend time with the subject a bit more. Very cool.
I kind of like that one of Steven's biggest reasons for using is film is that it helps slow the shoot down. We're always hearing about the differences in color, grain, lenses, iso
Steve, you hit the nail on the head. I think many who began shooting film would have continued, had not the sheer ease of digital not been so great. well said. -dave
Steven - I love what you wrote here: "My hope is that my images would be the best in the eyes of the person I’m photographing—that they would truly see themselves in it. It may not always be the most beautiful, but it’s always the truth." ... I want to do more of that instead of just producing "pretty pictures" ... you're inspiring and I love the rawness of your work. :)
I really don't get the whole "film forces me to slow down" thing. It's fairly easy to slow down with digital. You just literally shoot slower.