My Analog Summer | Mikaela Joy: El Paso Portrait Photographer

You haven’t heard from me in a while.  There are a couple reasons for that.  One is that I’m on vacation.  I’m in the Pacific Northwest soaking up the sunshine and taking in the beautiful mountain views.

The other reason you haven’t heard from me it that this summer I’ve gone analog.

Well sort of.  I recognize the irony of me typing that sentence from my laptop.  But as I type I’m sitting on the front porch of my parent’s house, a slight breeze lifting the smell of lavender to my nose. So I'm outside at least.

And yes, I’ve spent a good portion of my summer glued to my cell phone screen, as per usual, but it hasn’t been all day from the comfort of my couch.  It hasn’t been all summer.

Instead I’ve spent this summer huddled by the warmth of a campfire.  I’ve spent my summer with books- the paper kind, well loved, with writing in the margins and blueberry-stained pages. My summer has been spent loading film into a 30-year-old camera, and the satisfying click of its shutter.

My summer has been perfect.

You see, this summer has brought me a new love- film photography. 

I didn’t grow up with film like many of the older pros.  Although I went through a significant number of disposable cameras at a young age, I was quickly upgraded to a 5 megapixel Olympus in order to save my parents money on developing costs.  I’ve always been able to see my shots right away, to instantly upload to a computer, and to shoot as many images as my SD card (or whatever those cameras used) could hold. 

Shooting with film is a beautiful slow down.   

There’s something so freeing about taking a shot and not looking instantly to the LCD screen to see how it turned out, something in knowing that you only have 36 shots so you better make them count.  And it’s amazing to be using a piece of technology created 30 plus years ago that works beautifully and doesn’t require batteries. 

And the feeling of seeing a roll of film for the first time, weeks after the first frame was shot? There’s nothing quite like it. 

I’m so excited to play more with this medium and see how it changes my work.  But until then let me share some images from my first roll of film. These images were shot on a Nikon FM with Portra 400.