Skip to content
Home » Featured Stories » Portraits On Film – Shooting 3 rolls of 120 Film in Melbourne

Portraits On Film – Shooting 3 rolls of 120 Film in Melbourne

Portraits on film. Why am I still shooting portraits on film?

I had an entire blog post written for this and just deleted it. It just didn’t feel right. And that’s the point, I think; if something doesn’t feel right, I don’t proceed.

Film on the other hand, feels undoubtedly right. And making portraits on film, especially black and white film, feels like a natural place to be.

Maybe it’s why so many photographers, YouTubers and Instagrammers often post things about why they choose film.

Rarely does anyone stumble upon any real, hard evidence as to why film is the better medium but almost every mention I’ve seen comes back to some sort of emotion.

I say this, but I have recently seen a point about how there’s no hardline pixel edge between colour and light. On film, the colours are able to blend through more gradually, or something.

But I’m not here to get all technical. I want to talk about feeling an image. 

People remember how you make them feel

An image, whether made on a digital camera or with film, is about evoking an emotion.

When making portraits on film, despite probably appearing anxious and rushed (that’s just me in general, sorry), I feel I’m able to slow down a heck of a lot more to give a subject more time to breathe.

The goal is not to make as many photographs as possible but to make images that reach out and touch the viewer. In a portrait especially, it’s the connection between subject and photographer that brings a photograph to life. 

When each collaborator has time and space to breathe, you are free to be lost in conversation and listening intently to what is being said.

The results speak for themselves. The photographs are worth holding on to.

3 Rolls of Film

Without getting too carried away, which is usually just me rambling about my love and appreciation for shooting photographs, let’s look at some portraits on film.

I’ve made photographs and portraits with Ria before. Ria is a kind soul and absolute joy spend time with. 

We had a solid vision prior to the portrait session and over coffee, got right to ‘work’.

The first roll was 100% in the plan whereas the second colour roll was a kind of in there but also equally a bonus idea we had.

The third roll, Ilford HP5+ pushed to 1600 was, at least for me, the main event. This roll turned out possibly better than I’d imagined.

Please, let me know what you think in the comments below.

Roll #1

Kodak Portra 400

Vibe: Lounge room with the morning coffee. Reading magazines & pondering the day and what’s ahead.

Roll #2

Kodak Portra 400

Vibe: Breakfast in the Kitchen, smoke from failed attempts and making do with cereal.

Roll #3

Ilford HP5+ Pushed to 1600

Vibe: It’s been a rough day/I don’t want to go to work. Preparing for battle in the bathroom.

black and white photograph of construction in melbourne photo of the day

Images look better when they're bigger

Please consider viewing my website on a device larger than a phone – or don’t. I’m just happy you’re here! Thank you!