Recently I had the opportunity to participate in a Cheap Camera Challenge. I've seen these on YouTube before from other photography channels and always thought it was a fun concept. To be honest, I was pretty nervous when Dan Phillips (Check out his Instagram!) asked me to be part of one for his channel; mostly because I didn't love the idea of not knowing what camera it would be and that it was film. I've shot film a little here and there, but nothing too crazy - I didn't want to be caught off guard and look foolish. I considered turning it down multiple times but knew that it would be a good learning experience even if I failed. And you know what? It was not a fail and I'm super glad I did it!
The video was made for Dan's YouTube channel (link below), and Aline Chaprazian (Check her Instagram!) was my model for the day. I was tasked with shooting with this lovely little green Kids 'R' Us 35mm film camera.
There were certainly obstacles that day - we just so happened to be shooting on one of the coldest days so far this winter. (The thermometers maxed out at a whopping 7º in the sun.) Everyone was a good trouper - we had to take multiple breaks inside to thaw our frozen fingers. I also had a few technical difficulties with the camera; the film was not winding correctly. Between that and my fingers being popsicles it was challenging at times to get the shot. I also ended up with far less frames than the roll had to offer due to the film slipping (and also my patience in the frozen Boston tundra). Another challenge was that the lens has a fixed focal range. I kept trying to come in for tighter shots, but this camera would just not allow it. Despite my preconceived notions and challenges, we got some great images!
I had a fun time filming this project with Dan and Aline. Although the image quality may not be stellar, I love the look of the photos. Even the film slipping gave some of the shots a cool effect. This challenge really pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I'm so glad I was a part of it. What I loved about it was actually one of the things I was worried about the most - shooting film caused me to slow down and take more time composing the shot. With digital, I tend to shoot way more than is necessary. Doing this challenge has helped me to be more purposeful with my frames. I'm all for trying this challenge again sometime, just in a little warmer weather. You can watch the video below!