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Hi there! Welcome to the blog, a journal of my photography, family, and adventures. Stay a while and say hello!

i'm sydney biggs

My First Roll of Film


I have been a long-time admirer of film photography. The look is remarkable. I love how soft and dreamy the images can be. The color. The grain. The bokeh (blur in the background). It’s all just so good.

I had just purchased my Canon A-1 on eBay at a really great price and was waiting for the right time to pop in my first roll of film…I just wasn’t really sure where to start. So when the chance to take Julie Paisley’s Shooting Film Without Fear course at an amazing discount popped up, I couldn’t say no. I had to take it!

I immediately jumped in to the course and watched every lesson. Between lessons, Julie assigned her students (me) different tasks for shooting film. Keep in mind that each assignment meant I had to pay for the film, shipping the film to the film lab (I use theFINDlab – they’re amazing), and having the film processed. Film is not a cheap hobby, by any means. I felt a lot of pressure at first to make sure I got everything PERFECT.

Even though I had watched all the lessons, done a lot of research on different film stocks (brands, speeds, what films had what color bases, etc.), and knew the look I wanted to achieve with my film…I was still scared. With film, you have a very limited number of chances to get your shot right. It’s the opposite of digital – you can’t just take as many shots as you want and then delete whatever doesn’t fit your fancy.

Then I remembered something a church leader had told me a few years ago. He said that the only reason he was successful at anything in life was because he failed. He welcomed failure with open arms and was determined to learn from it.

I thought on that and decided to dive into my first assignment. I let myself take photos that were muddy and ugly because they would teach me how light and film interact. I let myself take photos of random things because not everything had to be beautiful. And I let myself take photos that I knew I wouldn’t want to display publicly…but here I am, letting you all see that even photographers who know what they’re doing…are still learning, too. 🙂

But don’t worry. Your portraits will still be beautiful! 😂

These images are all straight from the lab – I haven’t edited any of them! I’m proud of them because it means I let myself fail and learn. And I’m proud of them because I’ve learned a lot since this first roll of film!

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