Sometimes, depending on the time and place I'm conscious of the camera.
But for using film? Hardly. I use 35mm Nikons, a Rolleiflex Standard, a 4x5 and an 8x10. No choice but to use film. In the small town which I live in, I'm well known as a stubborn single minded eccentric. None of the locals even notice, just the touroids. Plus, I really don't give a damn if some TV/ pop 'culture' addict leaps to an inaccurate conclusion. It's their problem, not mine. :)
As someone pointed out, just think, and if someone asks, respond, "that this is my hobby".
Most people understand hobbies and they understand that lots of people may have hobbies that are a bit obscure, and they sort of seem to let things go. I mean some people built things, miniature ships, bird houses, some people collect stuff, some people hunt antiques, some people drink, some people climb sheer cliffs, etc etc.
There is no logic necessarily associated with hobbies, it's just what people enjoy. And most people understand that.
So if you like taking pictures whether analog of digital, small or large format, and you get the big quiz, you only need to respond that, "Hey dude, it's my hobby."
And when wandering around with your camera, no need to feel self conscious, ....you're just doing your thing...... your hobby.
A few years ago, someone I know stated "everyone does something which someone else will think is strange". So don't worry about. Do what you want.
I think it's an interesting question. Shooting film, to me, IS photography. I don't know much about digital cameras, and the only one I own is attached to my iPhone.
Sometimes I use the light meter that's available for the iPhone when I travel light (it's surprisingly good), and I get some looks sometimes from people who think I'm nuts as it looks like I'm taking a picture with the iGadget, and then another with the film camera.
In the end, I feel great about what I do. That's all that matters. When people ask about my camera I am usually very forthcoming and respectful about questions. Some go so far as to contest whether it's worth it to still shoot film, with all of the advantages of digital cameras and work flow, and I simply tell them that it gives me a hundred times more satisfaction to shoot film and print in the darkroom, that it's simply much more fun for me. In the same breath I tell folks that I fully understand why others might feel differently, but that I take pride in doing what I feel is right for me, going against the modern trend.
So, there is no self consciousness going on regarding shooting film. Just pride, a grin on my face because I'm enjoying myself so much, and just a hair of satisfaction that once in a while it spurs a great conversation when people are open minded enough (and I try to return the favor, obviously).
More self-conscious about shooting digital in public now. Main reasons - I sold all my EOS lenses, now left with the 18-55mm - average Joe is more aware of amateur/pro connotations of digital systems and I can hear them laughing at my 'toy' in their heads, and they are mostly right to laugh. It's silly, but I do feel inadequate shooting digital in public for this reason. But the digital only comes out for metering and test exposures anyway - it's put away quickly.
Making photographs in public these days, with many a suspicious gaze, I feel it's important to photograph with authority and it just happens that a hefty (and loud) medium format camera helps with this. I certainly feel like more of a prat when I get my iPhone out - "what if a film photographer sees me!?"
EDIT: I love that I'm using the term 'in public' as if photography, by default, should be practiced indoors. :blink:
Interesting topic. I frequently feel self concious using my old film gear. Not because of the hipster connotation though, as I am old. Just because it calls attention to me and what I'm doing, and I really don't want to interact with people when I'm in my "zone." I get the hipster thing, my kids have an opinion on that (they grew up in Hipster Central), and it's not complimentary. Just do your thing, make some good work and be proud of it.
On a side note the "friendliest" camera I use is an old Rolleiflex TLR. Everyone smiles and likes it, young and old. Doesn't hurt that it is capable of taking outstanding photos, too.
Nope, not at all.
There was a time when I did but no more.