I started on my journey of shooting 35mm film about three years ago. It's changed the way I take photos by forcing me to slow down and really think about what I want out of the shot before pressing the shutter. Being a fan of Taku and 823 for the past few years, I jumped on the opportunity to be part of a global expired film project - something that I have never seen before. I think the revival of not only film but a young, enthusiastic photography community is refreshing and exciting to be a a small part of. When I first heard of Neighbo(u)r , I was feeling creatively burnt out and I believe it was exactly what I needed to start bringing my film camera around again everyday and reconnecting with those around me through my love of photography.
The most challenging part of this project was deciding who and how I wanted to capture the portraits on this precious roll that could only hold 36 faces. Shooting on expired film is also always a challenge. You never know how the colors will turn out or how the dynamic range of light and shadows will be handled. But that's what makes it exciting, the thrill of picking up a roll from the lab never gets old.
The most rewarding part of this project was probably knowing that these photos will be part of a bigger story - namely a collection of portraits taken by like-minded creatives from all parts of our world. Carrying my camera around with the Neighbo(u) r roll inside made me feel like I was sent out on a mission to tell my story through the people around me in my city. It made me feel connected to every other person who had the same roll, like we were on that mission together.
I started my roll by asking interesting looking strangers on my daily commute to and from work for a portrait. However I quickly realized that I didn't want a roll full of strangers by the end of this, but rather I'd like to use this opportunity as an excuse to photograph the ones I love around me and share my passion for making photos with them one-on-one. Taking portraits on film is a whole different experience than digital and I think it affects the connection with your subject extremely because they can't be checking how they look after each shot. They are forced to fully trust you and immerse themselves into the interaction rather than their photo being taken.
I learned that I'm lucky to have people in my corner that support what I do and that everyone is interested in photography more than I thought. It was nice to talk about photography with people I wouldn't normally do that with like my own mom or the cleaning staff at my work! Shooting film also offers a lot of interesting talking points such as how it can still play a role in our modern world where almost everyone now has a very capable camera in their pocket.