My Journey to Hybrid Photography | Shooting Film for the First Time


If you asked me one year ago about film photography, I wouldn't have had an opinion or any knowledge whatsoever about this whole idea of hybrid photography (shooting film and digital).  It never even occurred to me that this is something that would peak my interest.  Well, after being part of the Mastin Labs Facebook Community for over a year and falling in love with drool-worthy images shared within the group, I quickly realized the ones that drew me in the most were typically shot on film.  

So what prompted me to start shooting film?

Besides those drool worthy images, I liked the idea of slowing down and shooting more intentionally.  Don't get me wrong, there is nothing like digital photography and the capabilities these little machines have but I wanted to find another way as an artist to push myself creatively and feel something different behind the camera.  There is something so rewarding about hearing the shutter click but not really knowing if you "got the shot."  I had zero expectations with my first roll that you will see below because I'll tell you a little secret...when I was unloading the film I thought I did something wrong and messed up the whole thing, but it turns out I didn't!  Phew!  When I got the email from TheFINDLab that my scans were ready, I quickly opened the attachment anxious yet prepared for the worst.  When I saw COLOR I instantly knew that they were okay! 

What did I learn from my first experience shooting film?

With my Hasselblad 500cm medium format camera, I learned a lot shooting with it for the first time!  First things first, the viewfinder is really tricky when you aren't used to looking down into a camera.  You can see what I'm talking about below:

Also, everything is backwards so that made me feel a little dizzy and shoot very slowly.  Several of the images turned out pretty blurry so going forward I definitely plan on practicing a steady hand and using the magnify glass to make sure what I want in focus truly is in focus.  Even with the out of focus shots I did get, I'm still thrilled with the overall image, color and tones that this little beast produced on Fuji Pro 400H 120 film.  I also learned that next time I will definitely have the lab push the film 1 to 2 stops to achieve brighter images to better match my photographic style of "light and airy".  


Honestly, I don't really have a plan.  I just know that this first roll completely sparked my interest and even a little more than just that.  I hope to incorporate film for things like personal travel or styled shoots that I have coming up this year.  I won't bring it to every session, or every wedding but I don't see myself NOT shooting film.  Who knows...maybe this will turn into something really exciting and a part of my photography journey and business.  For now though, I just want to keep practicing and shooting and having fun with it with zero pressure!  I hope you enjoy these images as much as I do!