That's a wrap // Medium format color

"Learning how to use different formats has made me a better photographer. When I started working in medium format, it made me a better 35 mm photographer. When I started working in 4x5, it made me a better medium-format photographer."

Mary Ellen Mark

Dear Kodak Portra 400,
We've had our ups and downs. I do love you dearly. Every roll (10 frames), you cost $6. Oh, and then $9 to process. Four times a week. And that's just for the film, never mind the scanning, and digital processing, and printing. I admit, I knocked off a bunch of rolls of you just to meet my quota. Also, I kind of hate that 800 is the highest speed you go, which you have to rate to 400 for metering, anyway. I felt like I was working backwards with you all semester - people shoot digital to look like film colors. We were forced to shoot film and strip your gorgeous green shadows and dreamy skin tones to be “color corrected” - AKA look like digital. Everyone’s work looked digital. Which goes against that lovely nostalgic, romantic element of film. For the thousand dollars I spent on you and getting you developed these past three months, though, I’m happy with the results. I came out with at least twenty photographs that I’m proud of. And that’s cool! Going from digital, to medium format, to 4x5, back to medium format, has made leap through hoops but become stronger with each hurdle. I'll be posting a Film 101 ongoing series as part of The Newsletter (don't forget to sign up at the bottom of any page!), but I'll end here saying that if you have a chance to shoot film - do it. Slow down and strengthen yourself as a photographer. It's an investment that's worth its weight.
Thanks for the memories Portra,

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Baked // 20x24 Polaroid

Yesterday, on the cloudy, then sunny and warm, then torrential downpour, hail, and 40MPH wind St. Patrick's Day... I had my Polaroid shoot! (Can anyone say New England?!)

SO here's the deal: There are 5, yes FIVE of these cameras left in the world.

1 piece of film is $75... yikes. But, the chance to shoot with this rare gigantic beauty was a once in a lifetime experience, and damn did we have a great time doing it.

Tunes cranked, crew from home came into Boston, lights, camera... POP! Yes, the lights actually did crackle like old fashioned flash bulbs. My series is called "Baked" - going through the stages of baking a cake in a backwards sort of way, with the incredible Anna modeling for me. She got frosting smooshed on her face, a flour smack to the ass, raw eggshell in her mouth, and wait for it, a gallon of milk dumped over her head. She's a messy baker; what can I say?

A huge THANK YOU to Anna, Rosa, Barb, Jenny, Claire, Ian, and most of all my incredible professor Keitaro Yoshioka. Behind the scenes photos by Barb and video from Rosa & Jenny!

The prints are stunning. Absolutely stunning. Sharp beyond belief, 1970's trippy Polaroid colors... so as you can imagine, scanning the prints removes all the unicorn dust. I wish every one of you could see these gigantic prints in person! But in reality, scans will have to do. Presenting: Baked!

35mm Film // California dreamin'

Welcome everybody to the wild wild west.

Rachael and I took nine days to travel from sea to shining sea, from Massachusetts to California  on the first of July. The past two weeks have rocked my world in amazing ways and terrible ways, but that's life. I saw some amazing things on this trip, and experienced it all with my best friend.

I interviewed with ad agencies in LA & SF for art buyers to look at my book (my commercial portfolio) - they went so well. The meetings were a lot of fun and the art buyers & directors I met with were more than fabulous. I couldn't be happier about how they went.

We stayed with the amazing Cat Gwynn in LA, watched the surfers at Venice Beach, drove up the Pacific Coast Highway to El Matador Beach to swim in the beautiful Pacific, had coffee on the porch and overlooked the mountains, visited the Hollywood sign and put our hands in Judy Garland's handprints in the concrete at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Instagrammed our feet on the stars on the Walk of Fame, went to meditation, took walks to get breakfast in the mornings, laughed every night, played Rummikub while we drank multiple bubble teas each day, rollerbladed on the Santa Monica pier, ran into the gushing warm waves, and listened to fireworks explode in the distance on the Fourth of July.

In San Francisco, we stayed in the middle of Union Square, rode off the side of a cable car to the waterfront, saw a disappointing number of sea lions at Pier 39, stuffed our faces with ice cream at The Ghiradelli Factory, walked up and down Lombard Street, drove over the Golden Gate Bridge singing with Pharrell in our little car, got lost in Sausalito, pretended to be hippies at Haight-Ashbury, ate some amazing food in Chinatown, went on a private after-hours tour of a winery in Sonoma, shot at the most incredible, incredible farm in Santa Rosa for SheStock, met my AMAZING editor and founder of SheStock, Karen, laughed way too loud in Petaluma, stayed with her family, trekked through the Redwood Forest, and took a nap on the beach.

Nine rolls of film, eight long nights, seven cities, six bubble teas, five postcards, four souvenirs, three airplane rides, two exhausted girls, and one amazing state.

California, I kind of love you.

35mm Film // I dream of NYC

Olivia Bee announced her first show opening in SoHo, and it gave me a rather lovely idea... I called up the girls with a great excuse to go to NYC.

Hit the road at 6:30am, Dunks in hand, ready to run around the Big Apple last Friday.

We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (something I've always wanted to do), shopped around Chinatown getting little Buddhas and bubble tea, ate in Little Italy, took a lazy afternoon walk through SoHo for hours, stopping at coffee shops and patisseries for a little something sweet, and of course hitting store after store for some shopping. We went to Olivia's opening, Kids in Love, and there was just something magical about seeing her work huge, and in person. The amount of talent that girl has... it's unbelievable. Quite the inspiration for other young shooters. Just be yourself, kick ass, and never stop doing what you love. We're young; excited by much and in love with the world. See it all, do it all, love it all.

After looking at her photos over and over, we left SoHo for Times Square for a little touristy action (Amanda had never been here before!) and had dinner yelling at each other over the World Cup madness at the pub. A few more stores and a cannoli later, we bid adieu to the twinkling lights of the city and drove the very long drive home through the night.

A day well spent.