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January 24, 2014
I am very excited to share with you today a guest post by the talented Chelsi & Justin of J. Layne Photography on their first experience with film and how it has inspired them. Belle Lumière is not only a magazine, it is also a community and we love to share and support all types of film photographers, whether they are seasoned or just starting out. Thank you Chelsi & Justin for taking the time to share your work and story with us.
Before we begin, we just want to take a quick moment to let you know that we still have much to learn and that just like so many of you, we are somewhere at the beginning of our journey. We are writing with the hope of inspiring others just like us, to take that first step and to do something to get you closer to your goals.
Who are we? We are Chelsi & Justin, husband and wife digital photographers who love and appreciate the aesthetic of film and whose goal is to become ‘primarily’ film photographers.
We have both been shooting digital photography for years, but we’ve come to realize that shooting film is a passion. We first began to admire the aspects of film soon after we became familiar with Jose Villa and Elizabeth Messina’s artistry. As we began to familiarize ourselves with their work as well as the industry itself, our admiration for film grew. We started to realize that every photographer we looked to for inspiration used film as their medium. It wasn’t long before our admiration turned into our passion and we realized that if we truly wanted to be satisfied as artists, we had to do something different.
For more than a year now we have talked about shooting film and our dream of incorporating it into our portfolio. This past September we purchased “Film Is Not Dead.” We read it from cover to cover, absorbing everything we could about different formats, film stocks, and cameras. We realized that we didn’t need to purchase the most expensive film camera in order to shoot film, we just needed to purchase one that would work for us at that time. In October, we purchased our first film camera, a 35mm Canon EOS 3. We purchased this one because it was inexpensive, it was an easy transition from digital to film, and we could use our same Canon glass. We shot our very first roll on November 3rd. I can’t really describe the feeling I had while shooting, I just remember thinking to myself, “This is the feeling I should have every time I pick up a camera.” I remember Justin & I being so nervous as the scans were downloading, wondering if any of them even came out, if we were totally off exposure wise, and just praying at least one photo came out okay. When they were all finished downloading we were SO pleased. We were able to see the beauty and nostalgia that only comes from film and the moment we saw our own images in film, our passion became real. It became tangible and we fell in love.
Our goal in 2014 is to continue growing as artists, to learn, to create, and to inspire others to do the same. We attended our first workshop this month and will be attending BL’s film workshop in April. We are making this upcoming year different. Make this your year to take that leap, to make the changes you’ve been wanting to make, to satisfy your longing as an artist to create beautiful things that you can be proud of, to meet new people and learn from aspiring artists, and, most importantly, to live for your passion. You have to create a starting line for yourself in order to reach a finish line.
Canon EOS 3 with 50mm 1.2L. Fuji 400H & Kodak Portra 400, processed and scanned by Indie Film Lab.