Film photography making a comeback

Disposable cameras have hit the hands of students once more, offering an alternative to typical modern photography. Sarah Pinkerton | Photographer

By Avery Owens | Staff Writer

The saying goes, “Out with the old and in with the new,” but as for photography these days, it’s the other way around.

The average person today has an easy passage into the world of photography. From smartphone cameras to digital cameras with automatic features, a basic image can be captured without formal teachings or experimenting. Despite these assessable technologies, people still gravitate towards vintage film and disposable film cameras.

Auburn, Ala. junior Libby Hume enjoys using her mom’s old Canon EOS Rebel 35 mm film camera.

“I had the Canon Rebel because it was my mom’s in the 80s and 90s and she just kept it and gave it to me a couple of years ago,” Hume said. “I like using that one. It’s what all the photos of my brothers and I growing up were taken on, and I just like the way that the photos look.”

Another film camera that she uses is a Canon Snappy LX point-and-shoot film camera.

“Learning how to use the point-and-shoot was a little bit more difficult just because I had never used a camera like that. The one that my mom gave me, she taught me how to use it. I have a regular digital camera and the settings are pretty similar to the digital camera, so that one was pretty easy to learn on,” Hume said.

Waco doesn’t have a camera store, but nearby cities such as Austin and Fort Worth have stores that can develop film for photographers.

Tim Hoang, a photographer and the senior lab technician at the Fort Worth Photo Lab, sees photographers of all skill levels using film cameras.

“Customers that come in are a of both mixture of new people and veterans,” Hoang said. “We see students come in who are really wanting to get into it. We also see a few veterans that are still shooting film, or they were shooting digital but they were shooting film before and they switched to digital. They’ve gone back to film because they just liked the way it looked.”

Hume recommends learning the film camera method through trial and error.

“When I was just first starting out, I was just bringing the camera with me everywhere and playing with the different settings and that was pretty much how I learned,” Hume said. “Also, the manuals that cameras come with, even if they are 30 years old, [are] super helpful and that’s probably the best way to learn, just by reading about it.”

Hoang said doing your research before committing to a film camera is important. Taking time to learn about it before using it is a great way to save time and film.

Even though the digital age is always expanding, Hoang said the classic method of film photography is trending and many are returning to the beloved craft.