Summer? Over. Film? Developed.

Kodak Portra 400 35mm Film Photography | SarahMichiko.com

I started physically shaking when I finally got an email from The Darkroom that my scans were being uploaded. My first and second rolls were my testers, my failures, my learning experience. But I knew that these two rolls were special. (Scroll to have your mind freaking blown at film photography.)

Canon Canonet Rangefinder / Kodak Portra 400

The old rangefinder I inherited from my great uncle produced a blank roll on the first try (not to my surprise, thankfully). The shutter curtain was stuck together and I knew it from the first frame. So when I reluctantly loaded the mechanical disappointment with a second roll, I had to get it right. Since it is a rangefinder, most of the photos are out of focus, blurry, shaky, you get it. But that’s something that only film can capture in the best, messiest way.

One day, my friends and I went into midtown for a group hang and it was one of those days that we will never forget. Somehow we all showed up looking fine. Outfits on point, we immediately group-hugged out of appreciation for each other. Maybe it was the pure joy emanating from years of friendship, but Bryn decided to get bangs at the salon next door. Cue the camera to capture one of our most spontaneous memories.

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I’ve said over the years blogging that I go to Outside Lands every year, but I have never had the photographic proof… until now. My older film camera was the only camera (besides iPhone) that I brought with me into the festival. You’ll see the following: the view from the front row at Bahamas, my shaky attempt at capturing a girl with glitter in her hair, a stranger-turned-friend smoking next to me at Florence and the Machine.

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Canon EOS Rebel 2000 with a 50mm 1.8 / Kodak Portra 400

Okay, now for the grand finale. The photos that I’m truly blown away by and that literally shook me to my core. The double exposure featured at the top of this post made my jaw drop. Yes, I love film for the inconsistencies and surprises and quirks, blah blah blah. But man, film looks good with a quality camera. This setup is cheap for anyone wanting to get started in film photography, btw.

I kept this camera in my purse at all times over the span of about two months. Right after Outside Lands, my Rebel came in the mail and it quickly became my favorite toy. I took it with me when my sister and I got matching tattoos. I brought it along to Lake Tahoe, the birth of my newest cousin, installing confetti panels at work, grandma’s house, everywhere.

For my birthday, my best friends (see above) and I took a trip to the most magical place on earth (it’s Disneyland). The day before, we stopped at Griffith Observatory (see this insane blast from the past). All of these photos are my new favorite photos I’ve ever taken, and for good reason. I can feel how happy it made me to be there, taking that photo and remembering the best moments of my life with the greatest people I know.

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October 19, 2018
October 26, 2018

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