My first film photography

Anyone passionate about photography, amateur or professional, sooner or later gets curious about film. Film photography is where it all started and judging by today trends is what photography might eventually come back too. I had not even been thinking about having a possibility to try myself a film camera till last February, when my best friend told me: Hey we have found an old camera of my Dad, we don't even know if it works or not, maybe you take it and try it, it might be interesting for you.

So thus, I got an old Zenit 12sd, made in USSR, which turned out to have a broken exposure meter and some other minor defects. We decided with my husband to give it a try anyways, bought a Fuji film for 36 frames and started collecting memories about our life in Portugal without expecting too much. When the roll was finally finished, we sent the film to a photo lab in Lisbon. One day that they took for developing and scanning our roll seemed endless. And when today I received a link with our batch of photos I felt over the moon, like a child opening a box with presents.

Although due to the broken exposure meter some of the photos came out too burnt and due to my imperfect eyesight not everything is in focus, most of the photos came out just wonderful, much better than we had expected. So fewer words, more action, here it is: a little summary of our life in Portugal during the last month, without any editing, from the first shot.

The thing that impressed me most were the colors: those greens and yellows that look so natural without any need of editing. And of course all those imperfections of a vintage camera and this grain that make it look so special. I can only imagine what a pleasure it must be to work with a modern, functioning well film camera!

But the most extraordinary thing is the feeling that a film camera gives you. How you make only one shot for one scene, how you think and evaluate the image before you press the button. How it takes time before you see the photo and this waiting makes it even more special.

It is indescribable how film photos feel honest and intimate: it is that one moment, when the shot was taken, when you literally captured a piece of reality, without redoing it, without retouching or editing.

So, yes, my photography life will never be the same again I guess :)

Keep it natural,


Irina Odoardi