Gosh, that title makes me sad. But not sad enough to continue shooting film. The simple truth is that film has become way too expensive, and given that I only shot it for personal photos, I can’t justify the cost any longer.
When it comes to my professional work, everything is digital. I shoot primarily commercial projects and a quick turnover (usually 48-72 hours) is required. It’s simply not possible to get film processed in that amount of time, even if I were inclined to take an analog approach. Gone are the days when I could simply take my rolls to a local professional lab and have it developed and printed within 48 hours.
For many years, however, I have enjoyed continuing to supplement with film to document my own life and family. I don’t necessarily think that film is better than digital or that it has more “soul” than digital (you can mimic film pretty accurately these days) but I have enjoyed the slower pace of it, and perhaps the nostalgia. After all, decades of my life are documented on film. It makes sense that it would conjure in me a sense of familiarity and comfort. That might be enough to sustain the cost for some photographers. I’m not one of them.
Unfortunately, film has also become a fad and with that increased demand has come a steep price increase, literally almost double what it was a decade ago. Not to mention that film isn’t manufactured in the same quantity it used to be so the supply is also down. I know there are many purists who will defend film down to their last breath, but to me, film is just another part of my gear kit – a tool to be used. I have more effective tools.
Earlier this year, I sold my last remaining film camera and just recently got back the scans of the final rolls of film (Kodak Tri-X 400) I shot with it. Goodbye, film. It was good while it lasted.
*That portrait of me in the giant hat was taken at the zoo by my daughter. She also took the portrait of my husband and I.