Daughter’s Photography. The very first roll of film.

My Daughter’s photography, at present, is digital based. Her application to photography and subsequent experiences are also not so busy at present due to the fact that the 4 children are coming to those combined siblings’ ages where she exists in ‘daily chaos’. Daily routines of getting them to school, walking there and back long trips, organisation of their activities/social inclusions and being a fantastic Mother means no time to do much for her own interests. She takes photographs of her children aplenty. Just not so many projects nowadays. There has been a few. But her ability to focus and get them done happens during the nighttime extending into the early hours. Tiredness then overwhelms. 

Below are the photographs she took on first picking up a camera.

Now in her mid 30’s she first picked up a camera at 17. Began with film. For a few years too. Moving to Worcester to study Sociology she took the Pentax MX I gave her but quickly found digital for convenience. 

I thought about the ‘start of it all’. She had watched the process of film. How it went through all it’s journey to the realisation of a black and white print. Helped me with some of my own photographs in darkroom processing.

Her Art Lessons at school came to exam time. She chose photography as her medium to work in. Going to New York she took many photographs. Particularly of cityscape buildings and skylines. Because it was Winter, there presented skies of interesting clouds. A juxtaposition of soft sky against jagged, busy and coarse building imagery. 

When she first picked up a film loaded camera and took her first set of photographs though. It was of the subject of one person. She had a best friend who she asked to help by being the subject of her considered ‘A’ level Art exam project. To put it all together she needed a decent camera and asked to use my precious Pentax LX SLR 35mm film camera. It was my one and only camera at that time. 

What! This camera was my pride and joy! But….I will be forever thankful that I said ‘Yes’. Why? Over only a couple of sessions, my daughter produced these. And more. As said….She was 17 at the time. First roll of film. First time pointing and shooting manually. Not on automatic mode. I’d given her some tuition about f-stops, depth of field, camera speed, focusing, pre-checks for focus availability on the Pentax LX. And no flash attachments either. So basics. That’s how I worked. Also. The great photographers I had books of like Imogen Cunningham, Bill Brandt, David Bailey, etc. were influences. And techniques like Imogen’s slightly out of focus, heavy Brandt contrast work, high key images, motion blur, etc. She experimented quite a bit with this first roll of film. Fair play.

She went off to her friend’s house and took a couple of rolls of 35mm film. She used one roll. Developed the negatives herself and printed them herself in the darkroom. And remember. This ‘subject’s face’ is all of the same girl. Talk about inspired camera work. Amazing really. 

Her dilemma of presenting for school exam came from choice. Her friend’s images or New York. I spoke to her of doubling up two negatives under the enlarger lens. One image on another. So her project became her friend’s image on a New York background. Worked really well.

Photos here below then are from that very first use of camera.  Also a couple of recents. The couple dancing is mine.

She no longer uses film at all. Her photograph project portfolio is truly amazing. Many families have been over the moon with results. She has the ability to capture a social candid in that magical second which tells an infinite story. I can’t do it. It takes a special inherent skill that is a gift unlooked for. 

Digital is great. I suppose. Never used it other than this iPad for blog convenience. I’m an all things vintage fanatic. So. In a camera? Film rocks! 

Oh! And I’ve included a photograph of a dance couple as one of my ‘only a few ever taken of people’ photos here. Also here is my Daughter taking an old fashioned ‘Selfie’ using film and a mirror!

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