This is my lockdown photo diary, all shot on a point and shoot 35mm film camera.
I think every household should have a point and shoot film camera. Particularly in this age of snapping away on our smartphones (which I do plenty of too!) it's really nice to slow down and capture life's little moments in a different way. The added anticipation of waiting to see how the photos come out & often forgetting what you shot by the time you get the roll developed, adds to the magic and value of the results.
This time has been a challenge for us all. It's not been all sunshine and rainbows. However, my baby continued to learn and grow, so it was important to me that I documented this time in a way that I could look back on it with some positivity. When we go for our family walks, I like to make an effort to leave my phone at home & just take my little film camera and really think more intentionally about the photos I take.
Point and shoot cameras don't require any technical skills, they do all the work for you! The results of film are so beautiful, I highly suggest everyone pick up a film camera and give it a go! Just think about your parents' & grandparents' photo albums - depending on your age, they'll all likely be film photos. Don't those photos just have such a special feel and look to them? You can create your own collection of memories in the same way with a simple film camera.
Here's a couple of examples of the difference between a snapshot on a phone and a snapshot on a film camera.
Left is phone, Right is film.
Film has so much life to it! The colours are vibrant and flattering, there's depth and contrast to the photos.
I'd recommend the following cameras for beautiful but easy results!
- Olympus Mju II (this is the one I have)
- Nikon L35AF
- Yashica T3
- Canon AF35M
You can find an abundance of film cameras on eBay - but be cautious and make sure the listing says it's been tested and is fully working before you buy. Note that none of these cameras are exactly cheap, but the lenses on them are what make the photos really beautiful, so it's worth investing a litte! If you want to buy from a physical shop try London Camera Exchange. Or if you want to buy online but not on eBay, try Ffordes. Alternatively you might be able to find some camera treasure in a charity shop or thrift shop. There are many other places to find film cameras but these are the places I suggest trying first.
Which film should you use?
Kodak Gold or Kodak Colorplus are affordable film stocks with beautiful, warm tones.
Where do you get film developed?
There's lots of options for where you can get your film developed. You might have a local film lab/photographic shop near you or you can send your film off. Jessops develop film on site in many of their stores. If you'd rather post your film to a lab, I recommend Southsun, Photographique or Exposure Film Lab, all in the UK.
I hope this has inspired you to give film photography a go! And if you do, please do share your results with me!