FILM PHOTOGRAPHER INTERVIEW | GARRICK FUJII

1. Hi Garrick! You have a unique last name. Please tell us more about yourself.

Haha, sadly I have no part of Fuji Film, Mt Fuji, or even Fuji Apples, but it is a very similar name. A little bit about myself, let's see, well, as you already know, I really like taking pictures and going to places that I've never been before. Some things that you may not know are that I work full time as a Registered Nurse here in California, and I also own and operate a photobooth company. I am a contributor at They Shoot Film, Film Shooters Collective, and am also starting up another blog with some amazing photographers that is dedicated to native panoramic photographs called The Grand Expanse. 

2. Great to meet you here in Singapore. Enjoying yourself in Malaysia and Singapore? What is the most unforgettable experience/food/thing during your trip?

Malaysia and Singapore were both amazing and I will likely be returning to both countries in the near future. I don't think I ever really stopped eating during the entire trip haha. The most unforgettable food that I tried was definitely durian haha. I was completely NOT expecting it to be mushy, and am reluctant to say that I am not a fan. Maybe I'll give durian ice cream a try next time, but as far as the fruit goes, that will be my first and last time eating it. My favorite unforgettable part of this visit was definitely Mulu National Park. Mulu was absolutely amazing and just breathtakingly gorgeous. We did several hikes and visited a number of the largest caves in the world while we were there, we rode down a river, and we also walked along the treetop canopy on these rickety walkways. 

3. I see that you are very-traveled from your photos. Give me a place you would love to shoot again and why?

Iceland. Hands down Iceland. I'd pack a tent, rent a car, and drive around the entire island for a few weeks if I visited again. That place is seriously a landscape photographer's heaven. The scenery changes are so drastic, you can be in one place with huge fields of moss-covered rocks as far as you can see, and then drive a little more to find yourself at some of the most amazing waterfalls you'd ever imagine, and then drive further to some black sand beaches with giant icebergs scattered across the land. Everything there seemed so pure and it was just a really enjoyable place for me.

4. How did you come to know about the Film Shooters Collective? What is your experience so far with this collective?

I believe I was one of the original members and had met Cameron via Instagram. He invited me to participate in FSC and I couldn't pass it up. So far, I feel the group is really great, but I should probably participate a bit more. I was very excited to be a contributor and part of the production team for our NSEW book. Even if I don't post for a while, I feel quite connected to everyone in the group and think that we have some great discussions between us. It's really been a great community of photographers whom I admire and respect.  

5. A little history on your photography journey please. Perhaps start with your first camera and how it evolved to what you are using now.

It's kind of funny, I have been interested in photography since fifth grade when we did a stop motion project in my elementary school. I had a couple cheap film cameras since then, and then I waited until digital quality became more prevalent and purchased a Sony point and shoot camera. From there, I moved to a Nikon D50 DSLR and a Nikon FM2n SLR soon after. I went through a handful of digital cameras between the Canon and Nikon lineups and currently still own a Nikon D700 that I use for side jobs, but other than that, it sits in a bag in my closet. My film camera purchases have been a bit more interesting and currently own about 15? or so cameras that range from 35mm to 4x5. I guess my camera collection has evolved into a pretty wide range of cameras that have pretty different looks and capabilities. I have a few 35mm cameras including rangefinders, SLRs, and point and shoots, one 35mm panoramic, one 645, one 6x6, one 6x7, two integral Polaroids, one pack film Polaroid, and one 4x5 view camera. Each camera is pretty different than the next and I've tried to keep the redundancy in formats and styles to a minimum just to keep things interesting.

6. I see that you have a lot of outings with film-loving friends out in nature. So what draws you guys together to film photography and nature?

To simply put it, it's just fun. There are SO many amazing places in the world and nothing is more inspirational to me than exploring those places. Photography, regardless if it is digital or film, allows me to harness that inspiration and translate it into something that I enjoy even more. I've had this thought in my head since I was a kid, and it's that at the end of it all, when we're old and frail, nothing really matters except the things that you remember. So, it's kind of like that, for the sake of nostalgia. 

7. What is your dream set up? Give me 1 camera, 1 lens and 1 film.

Ricoh GR21, Neopan 1600. The widest point and shoot camera, film or digital, ever created. I've shot this camera all across the globe; it has traveled with me to four continents, over a dozen countries, and countless cities. I just wish Neopan 1600 was still in production.

8. What advise do you have for people who are looking to venture into film photography?

Man, I don't know haha, I just push the little button when I think it looks pretty lol. But really, there's not much to it. Here's a few tips anyways though: expose for the shadows, be patient, level your horizon, pay attention to the foreground and the background, and the most important thing, just go out and shoot... and then invite me to join ya  =) 

You can look up Garrick's work on his blog Garrick Fujii or his collaborative website They Shoot Film


Singapore-based film lover, Kevin Lim, interviewed Garrick for this post. See more of Kevin's work on his website, on Tumblr or on the Film Shooters Collective 

Kevin Lim

Singapore

Someone who's crazy about cameras. Someone who loves photography but wouldn't call himself a photographer. Someone who's lazy to do PhotoShop. Someone who loves the smell and physicality of film. That's why he loves films.