Back to the Basics.

         Anytime I bring up shooting film with people nowadays, I seem to get the same response. "Oh that's so cool! Isn't that scary, though?" Um...yeah. the answer is YEAH! It totally is. The comfort of shooting digitally and having that instant sense of relief is huge, but it lacks the sole reason I fell in love with photography 16 years ago. Vulnerability. 

When digital became the wave of the future, it took me some time to accept that I needed to adapt and learn a new skill. The same way that I was still using a flip phone until a handful of years ago. (I didn't get my first brand new iPhone till I was pregnant with my daughter. How sad is that?! haha). While most people were honing in on the new technology, I was still in the darkroom, developing and printing my own work. It took me awhile, but I learned, kicking and screaming along the way. Pretty sure I'm a Grandma in a younger body because I hate technology! If there was a jitterbug version of Photoshop, I'd probably use it. 

Flash forward to 2018. It's been a year of inspiration and reinvention for me. I knew it was time to shake it up so something great could have a chance to grow. I was up late, like I usually am, looking for something to watch on Netflix. I came across a documentary about Vivian Maier who was an absolutely amazing photographer. I had learned about her in Art History class and know about her for a long time, but I felt now I was truly able to appreciate this amazing artist for the first time. Her technique, style, personality, and most of all, her camera. Obviously my budget does not permit me to own a Rollieflex (In my dreams...maybe one day!), but I knew in my heart that I had watched the show for a reason. So on a whim at 3am I researched twin lens cameras until my eyes were ready to fall out of my face. Then BOOM. I found the Minolta Autocord.

Made in the 50's, the Autocord is old and has a lot of character. No light meter. No extra bells and whistles. It requires a whole lot of patience, understanding, and you guessed it, VULNERABILITY. All the things I'm trying to master in 2018. To be honest, yeah, I was afraid. Because in a perfect digital world where images are crystal clear, bright, airy, and tact sharp, I feared there wouldn't be room for my imperfect camera and shooting style. For so many years in my recent past I've allowed fear to drive me and dictate the decisions I've made in my life. I have come to realize that if there's a camera for me, this was it and there is room for perfectly imperfect me in our overly perfect world. 

Join me on my journey while I go back to the basics and fall in love with photography all over again. 

***Shot with Kodak Ektar 100 120 film***    


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Amanda Gallagher