Anyone else a little self-conscious about shooting film?
So this is a really stupid thing to think about, I will go ahead and admit that. It's completely irrational and pretty ridiculous but I thought I would post it here and see if anyone else has felt the same way.
First off, I'm a pretty young guy (23) and thankfully discovered film photography about 4 years ago. I think it goes without saying that we are all very passionate about analog photography here on Apug. Yes sometimes I still shoot d-d-d-d-d-******* but I would have to say that the split is 90/10 in favor of film at this point.
When I go out to shoot photos I sometimes feel a little self-conscious about people seeing me out with a 35mm SLR, 35mm rangefinder, or my medium format setup and thinking that I am one of those "hipsters" doing it for the "cool factor". I think this has come from me (unfortunately) meeting people like this who are just into film because they think it will give their photos a "vintage" look. It just so happens that these people consistently put out horrible photographs trying to achieve that "look" of dirty, old, scratched up, washed out photos full of artifacts and imperfections.
Now I don't want to look down on anyone, nor do I think I am gods gift to photography. But I am pretty happy with my progress over the years and see myself improving everytime I go out to shoot. I just feel that when people see me out with one of my film bodies, they assume I am one of these "hipsters" trying to look/act cool by carrying around a camera as a fashion accessory.
This is something I have been thinking about for a month or so now and it's gotten to the point where I find myself not bringing my camera everywhere I go like I normally do because of conversations like the following:
X: "Why do you always carry around a camera?"
Me: "Because I like taking photos"
X: "What do you take photos of?"
Me: "Everything. Anything that looks interesting really."
-Thinks other people think I am a hipster for walking around with a film body
No, I have been using film for over 35 years and I guess I look like the typical WestCoast photographer, so film feels quite normal to me. And I don't really care what the general population thinks I look like.
I did have someone recently ask if I was scanning (I had my 8x10 wood field camera)! But I also had one ~11 year old who was thrilled to see the image on the GG.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
I wouldn't wanted anyone to think I was cool!
Originally Posted by tron_
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
Self concious about film? No
Self concous about carrying camera and shooting pictures? Sometimes
Do I let either of these change my behavior? Rarely.
Do I envy digital camera users? Often... but only due to the immediacy of results.
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Most people care FAR LESS about others unless it benefits them or hurts them. Some people has opinion about everything but I don't value those opinions unless I know they are valid.
If someone asks me why do I carry a camera, I'd just say because photography is my hobby.
I shoot both digital and film. It a choice of media, not the hobby. If someone wants to think I'm a hipster, oh well.... I am not sure if I care about those opinions because I know who I am....
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
Been shooting film for the better part of half a century, never felt self conscious about it ever. When I was a tad, my friends thought I was cool because I had a camera. As a teen, my friends thought I was cool because I had a dark room. As an adult, I was cool because I was a "pro" photographer. Now days people think I'm a dinosaur because I shoot film, but then they see my prints and think they are cool.
What is a master but a master student? And if that's true, then there's a responsibility on you to keep getting better and to explore avenues of your profession.
You have a few things going on here, and some opportunities as well. First I would encourage you to get into the mindset which would enable you to not care so much about what others may think about your actions. Feeling self-conscious is a part of personality development as is becoming self-confident. My analog cameras range from a Nikon Nikkormat to a Nikon F6. Some of the newer models (Like the F100 and even the F6) are masked. What I mean is that unless someone sees the camera back, they would have no idea that you are not working in digital format. No matter what anyone says or thinks, working with film is "retro". There are many individuals working in film now that didn't before just to get that vintage look. That is why plastic cameras are so popular right now. Fine art photography is a different story, and that seems to be what you are most interested in. That's great, and there is a realization that comes with that. Analog photography means something now that it didn't mean before. That is, before digital photography became so very common. The new meaning is individualized, and up to you to define.
If carrying around a bulky SLR feels self-conscious, try carrying around a small point-and-shoot camera. This may help you get used to working while others are around. You can also avoid crowded areas and street photography projects until you get more used to the camera being an extension of you. But remember also, that sometimes when working in arenas like public spaces, you may not want a big black artifact that makes you look and feel conspicuous. You may very well want a smaller instrument.
Also consider that the conversations that you have been having are opportunities to interact with new people, and opportunities to describe your purpose
Last edited by ajs77306; 08-09-2012 at 02:10 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Being 55 years old, people just think I'm an old dinosaur who can't get with the program. It's understandable that you at your age would feel the way you do, opting for older and supposedly inferior technology. Like BrianShaw, carrying a camera and taking pictures makes me self-conscious, but using film does not - I feel the same way whether carrying a digital or film camera.
This is a "Philosophy and Ethics" forum. As such, a more complex and philosophical response is appropriate. Also, I do type in complete sentences. No matter, the original question was complex and layered.
Originally Posted by BrianShaw
If there was something specific that I typed that you felt was ambigious, please let me know and I will try my best to clarify.