I will say it outright: I am addicted to photography. It really is a drug to me. Using cameras, processing them on the computer, shooting an event, discussing projects with potential clients, geeking out with friends.
I think I said it before but I am very much a child of the digital age which means, I always knew about film photography but I only really started out on digital.
Only recently have I discovered film and I am loving it. The results I got back were quite good and I was really happy. I have amassed 6 film cameras and an Instax too. Additionally, I am hording rolls of Kodak Tri-X-, Kodak Portra, Ilford HP5, and Kodak Ektar. Jeez, I must be mad but I just love it.
I think film photography is more a passion and a hobby than the digital photography but thinking about business, I might actually start to offer to shoot portraits and events on film. It might be a bit more expensive for the client but I think the results are worth it.
Shooting on film provides a totally different experience in my opinion and I noticed that I interact with the medium of photography differently. I recently bought a scanner to be able to handle my own negative scans as this is something a lab charges a lot for. So, in the long run I think this will be a good investment and actually a cost saver. Just need to get my head around to how it actually works and how to get the best results out of it.
I am in Manchester at the moment, of course with a film camera but also with my Fuji X-T20. I think, I managed to get a few good images out of today and now I am blogging from a coffee shop in the Norther Quarter which is a really vibrant area.
I constantly assess the equipment I use and having used film cameras for a bit now, I have gained a different perspective on digital and it is not that important to me anymore what kind of camera I use as long as I can create the images I want to, I’ll be fine.
Having said that though, whilst the Fuji X-T20 is a fantastic camera, I think I’ll swap it for a Fuji X-Pro2. It just feels better in my hand and has the option of an optical viewfinder which I enjoy more.
Besides, it might actually be better to act as a backup to my work equipment which is based around a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV system with lenses, flashes and all (the release of the Nikon D850 has really excited me but actually, I have no intention of switching my work gear to a different system. The 5D IV gets too much bad press from amateurs who just don’t know what it really means to shoot with this camera and if you compare them, the new Nikon and the 5D IV are actually not that different to be honest. People need to keep it real I think)
I will look into what it would take to get the X-Pro2 which I think is a camera that is also very close to actual film cameras in the way it handles and also the image quality. I read somewhere (maybe on the Phoblographer?) that the X-T20 RAW files are holding back something and I would actually tend to agree with that. I am not a fan of the X-T20 RAW files and I wouldn’t be surprised if Fuji held something back on purpose as not to eat into the X-Pro2 and X-T2 market. This is quite common practice from camera makers and I don’t really blame them.
In other news, I am in the process of building a proper business plan for my budding photography business. This includes market research, a gear plan (which was a lot less fun than I thought it would be) and eventually a SWOT analysis leading to a gap analysis and then finally into a solid business plan. I will need to do a business activity model to be able to see the gap and analyse it properly. It is a lot of work which I have to do on top of my day job. I guess I will just have to power through somehow and make it happen. I hope it will all work out the way I imagine it to be in the future. The good thing about photography is that it’s not age dependent so it doesn’t really matter that I am in my mid 30s now.
I also think this can give me a bit of an edge with potential competitors as I have been in a corporate environment all my working life and that provided me with a bit of a business sense in that I guess I am a bit more sensible when it comes to building the business. Besides, I have a business analysis qualification which helps a bit too.
However, the most important thing is to just get out there and do it. This is not always easy but I am very much getting there. My photography is becoming more consistent and I feel quite happy with my current portfolio.
Of course, there is always room to improve and better myself which I will do quite soon as I will attend a workshop dedicated to film photography and a street photography workshop with Eric Kim. I am really looking forward to these and I strongly believe that they will enhance my photography. Call it professional development.
I will leave you to it now. Time to get back onto the streets