I'm currently doing some photography for a charity which involves portraits, on the fly, in quite difficult situations - technically, but also sensitive subject matter. Almost without question, I decided to use the Pentax 67. I started out with a roll of Delta 400, but since they're more interested in colour images, I'm now using Portra 400 exclusively for the rest of the work.

The deeper I get into it, the more uncertain I feel about my film decision. When I first mentioned it to the development manager of the charity, surprisingly, there wasn't any issue - I sort of made believe it was nothing. The fact of the matter is, since I've sold my DSLR lenses for financial reasons, I don't have much choice but to shoot on the Pentax. So this isn't actually a statement or crusade for film - it's somehow become the only practicality. The fact is that the work is dealing with a very timely issue in the UK, and the true value of the images might well be as historical documents, even if they're not used. Physical, archived photographs feel important for that reason. Someone has to think about the future... Now I sound like I'm crusading.

The nature of the work means all the shots are handheld. Did I mention I'm using the Pentax 67? A few subjects have become restless while I meter and focus. I'm usually only getting one frame per person for this reason, unless I'm taking candids - which is a little questionable under the circumstances, where consent is important.

But anyway, it's difficult for me to gauge whether my trepidation is purely about this being my first job (which is also politically sensitive) or the fact that I'm 'doing it tough' in the technical sense. I'm not really under any pressure however and as yet, haven't been given any time limit - except a mention that their last photographer worked for about a month. To get it done within this time frame seems reasonable. The biggest hurdle, as with anything, is being very up front with people and engaging them in the photograph. Then it's just about focusing efficiently with the Pentax!

So ultimately, these are the things I'm struggling with. Firstly, I keep thinking "stop being so stubborn and just rent a couple of DSLR lenses" and go hard at it, problem free. My relative freedom with the work though means I have the opportunity to tackle my hiccups with the 67, but I suppose the hard truth is I'm not using the right camera for the job - by conventional standards at least. I'm also still unsure about how I'll present the final images within my financial means - whether I get them drum scanned in the city I'm working, hoping to get discount by telling them it's for an important cause. To 'befriend a drum scanner' has always been on my to do list and this situation has made it more vital than ever. I know this is a controversial area on APUG, but it's part of my reality here - shooting film for someone other than myself.

For illustration, here's one of my first shots from that Delta roll:

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