How did you become interested in photography generally, and film photography specifically?
Film photography became a part of my life in high school. We were taught by an encouraging teacher the basics. I loved the process and the time spent in the darkroom trying to create an image that turned out just right. As I graduated high school and went to college, my first two years were spent in an art program that did not include fine art photography. After that time spent ignoring what I actually wanted to pursue - photography (specifically, film) - I was able to transfer into the fine art program at The University of Cincinnati.
There, I was encouraged to experiment in the darkroom. Senior year was spent in the darkroom making photograms as my thesis project. This opened up, or expended my view of photography- using a light sensitive material as a medium for capturing light and objects. Exposing the paper and the excitement of seeing the image that emerged. This project sparked my interest in experimental photography and the process involved. After a few years away from film, I found myself drawn back to it.
What would an ideal day of shooting look like for you?
A day where I am curious and open minded to the possibilities of what can be captured on film. Most of my photography is an experiment of some sort. By not knowing the end result of the image until I develop and scan, I am given freedom to explore. I love the anticipation. The last few years, multiple exposure has been a large portion of my work. With my Vivitar V3800N, which is small enough to easily fit into my purse and it's multiple exposure function, I have been exploring overlapping lines and light.
What projects are you working on right now?
Destroying film. A few months ago I had tried a new film soup- soaked the film in detergent, which resulted in the emulsion partially peeling and completely coming off in a few spots. Also, it was a very expired roll of 35mm that was bought in one of those mystery bins of discounted film at a camera store (those bins are the best). After developing, it was clear that the film was very fogged, as well as having lost some of its emulsion. I decided to hold onto the roll anyways. After some time I looked at the film again- the section that had the emulsion peeling was very interesting and I wondered what it would look like on some Fuji FP100C. I loaded up the film in a slide printer and was very surprised with the results- beautiful flowing colors moving in and through each other. Seeing these results has sparked more interest in exploring the possibilities with destroying film.
Two years ago, my local grocery store stopped developing film and I started developing film at home. As a result, my options widened. I started shooting medium format, and fell in love with the larger negative. First, using the only medium format camera on hand- a Holga. Pretty quickly I acquired a Mamiya RB67, then a Yashica Mat124, and my newest, a Mamiya 645. I am finding myself taking extra time with each image, being drawn into the image on the screen, and being reminded why I love film photography. I am looking forward to continuing this focus on composition and proper exposure.
There is such a lovely, interpretive quality to your work. What draws you to a subject? Do you have an idea of what you want to do before you make an image?
Simple. It is an investigation- wondering what will show up on the image. I am drawn to lines, light, and darkness. With that combination, exposed multiple times in a single shot, what will be the result? I don't know the answer, but I can't wait to find out.