I’ve been asking you guys to send in your stories to inspire more people to pick up film photography. I’m really thankful for all those who have participated and supported this thing I’ve started. I think it’s high time that I shared my own.
We’ll have to go back 4 years ago when I felt that I was going nowhere with digital photography. Whether it was because I can easily shoot and check the output or the fact that I can simply edit on Adobe Photoshop, each shot began to feel really empty or rather too easy.
It wasn’t as fun as the time I picked up my first DSLR and started to play with light. It, not that I’m boasting or anything, wasn’t challenging anymore.
One day while looking for something to inspire me on the internet, I happen to stumble on a website about film photography. I believe most of us know it as Japan Camera Hunter.
Although I couldn’t remember what article it was exactly, it lit a fire in me. I wanted to get my first film camera as soon as possible and try it out.
I began searching the internet for the most affordable and cool looking (Yes, yes, we’re all guilty of this) film camera I can find. But as me and my fiance (now my wife) were preparing for our upcoming wedding, I just couldn’t cough up the budget and commit to buying. Eventually, I forgot about it.
2 years and 2 jobs later, an officemate of mine who loved all things art brought up film photography in a random conversation. He told me all these wonderful tricks, tips, and everything in between that rekindled a long lost fire within.
I searched Facebook for buy and sell groups, as well as local film photography groups. That’s when I stumbled upon Lomomanila, a local community of film photographers. I was able to buy my first film camera there, a Panox-2 Way.
I was happy, excited, and burning with passion again. So much that I came up with the Film Traveler. Initially, it was supposed to be a travel website featuring photographs shot with film.
Unfortunately, the Panox-2 Way I bought was a lemon. It broke just a day in and again, I lost interest but I continued Film Traveler.
Related article: 4 tips for the 1st time film camera buyer
As the Film Traveler reached its 1st year anniversary, I tried to get in again. I searched the interwebs again and saw this post from Ja Lim on Lomomanila Marketplace. She was selling a Kodak Disc 4000 if I remember correctly. It looked so cool, I just jumped the gun and told her I’m buying it without doing a bit of research about it.
Good thing she told me that although it was working well, film for it was extremely hard to find. She recommended that I buy another camera from her instead, a Fujifilm Zoom Cardia Super 270 and I loved it.
Days after, I packed my bags and went to La Union to shoot and fell in love with the results. The photographs by far don’t have the wow factor you would expect but it was enough for me to keep doing it over and over.
9 months in, I’m able to buy my second film camera a Canon FX and had the honor of meeting a lot of people in the industry who have helped me learn and really push myself to get better. The rest, as they say, is history.
Would you like to share your own story as well? Be a Film Traveler Contributor now.