A week ago, I kicked off the project at my studio open house. But this project has been in the works for almost a year now. I’ve thought and thought about it for so long, and now it’s a real thing in the world that I’m working on.
It involves capturing local Jackson, Michigan musicians on black and white medium format film through the summer. I’ll capture our conversations, make portraits, and share the creative love in my hometown.
Why Kickstarter? There are film costs, and the studio space to rent, and photographic prints to produce. It’s also a way to preorder prints or the book when it’s released this holiday season. Really, it’s a way to support creative endeavors like these community portrait projects.
It’s such a strange way to think about buying a camera.
If I’m going to make an investment in a camera or lenses, I’m going to think about the lifespan of the equipment and how much work I can get done with it. Resale value doesn’t enter into the do-I-buy-it equation at all.
For me, I’d rather have a well-used camera that helps me make photographs than worry about selling it down the road.
The space isn’t big, and it’s not that easy to find.
But after Friday’s studio open house, I learned that the space is perfect for me and what I’m trying to do.
I had a good group of friends, family, and artists join me in the new studio space. We snacked, and drank, and made music, and made portraits. The kids had a good time exploring the workout room next door, while I had fun watching the light go from “wow” to “gorgeous” over the evening.
You know that feeling where you’re kind of dreading doing something, because of either fear, uncertainty, or doubt? And then once you start doing, those feelings fade away, and you say to yourself, “Yeah, this is totally doable?”
One of the large makers needs to step up to the plate and make a compact film camera. And I am not saying this on a whim or with a wistful idea of halcyon days. I get more requests for compact cameras than I could ever fulfill, even if I had the cameras. People are prepared to spend nearly $1000 for an old Contax or Ricoh, knowing full well that it could simply stop working at any point and there would be nothing they could do about it.
Hunt’s point – that the current stock of compact cameras is dwindling, and getting more expensive – tells me that there’s a market for a new film camera out there, if someone would just take a chance on making one. And with more and more companies investing in film again, photographers need new tools to take advantage of those film stocks.
Compact cameras are my favorite kind of camera, and I’m not alone. The company that stepped up and started making new film cameras again would gain more than money – they’d earn a whole bunch of goodwill.
Tomorrow night I’m hosting a studio open house in downtown Jackson.
It’s partly to kick off my next portrait project, partly to test out the new space, and partly as a big “thank you” to folks around town who have supported my projects. Plus I have a few people whose portrait I’ve wanted to make for a while now. So, bonus.
Coupled with a 50mm lens, it’s a great option for street shooting. It feels like shooting with a film camera in some respects. I’ve grown quite fond of mine again recently, and I’ve been shooting with it more and more lately.
“Like shooting with a film camera” – I get that, too, especially because all it does it shoot straight-up stills.
The Grind is the selecting your location, choosing which equipment to bring, selecting a film stock, lining up subjects, finding an open slot in your schedule, making time to send/respond to emails, editing the photos when you’re finished with the shoot, picking your favorite picture to present to the world, sending a select few to the subject, backing up your Lightroom library…
But that’s what “photography” means – it’s the photographs, and it’s the Grind to get them made.
Lately, it’s the Grind that has me feeling overwhelmed. If I can pick away at it, bit by bit, I do okay. Otherwise, I feel like I’m swimming in “photography.”
Better learn to love the Grind if you really want to accomplish that project.