Georgia Lilley Photography

Launceston, Tasmania

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Why I Use Film

As a family photographer here in Launceston, I made a conscious decision from the beginning to use film exclusively in my work. Perhaps you’re wondering why someone might choose film in today’s digital world? Well, here are 5 reasons why I use film:

1. Film photography is where I got started

My very first camera was a 35mm Olympus OM10. At this point, I didn’t know anything about lighting or composition. In fact, I didn’t even know how to use my camera! I improved my skills over the next few years by taking intimate photos of friends at BBQ’s, nephews while babysitting, or my partner on average old days at home.

2. It’s simple. . .

For me, film is a mechanical and straightforward process, and since I prefer to keep things simple, this is the ideal working method for me. I’m not a particularly ‘techy’ person, so I don’t want to worry about white balance, memory cards or anything remotely complicated. With film, I just load the roll, measure the light and away I go!

3. . . .yet, it challenges me!

It would be a mistake to confuse ‘simple’ with ‘easy’! Charlie Chaplin once said, “Simplicity is the hardest thing to achieve,” and I’ve always agreed. I’m constantly humbled by my camera, such as when I must wait days or weeks to find out whether I “got the shot”. As a result, I am more patient and dedicated to my craft. Film has taught me that practice pays off in a way nothing else has, and I have become a better photographer over time because of this.

A close up portrait of a pregnant woman's bump on film. The woman is wearing a grey bralette and underwear, has long brunette hair and a tattoo on her far thigh. Photo taken on Portra 400 by Georgia Lilley in Launceston, Tasmania.

4. It’s beautiful

We can’t have a discussion about film without mentioning its aesthetic. I’m a sucker for the delicate structure of the grain and the vibrant colours, and I love creating photos that remind me of my own childhood. Providing the experience of traditional portraits for the next generation to grow up with is something truly special. We must take every little bit of magic we can get in this world, and for me, film is magic.

5. It’s fun!

I’ve worked with digital cameras too, and while they are amazing tools and other photographers create stunning work with them, I simply don’t have as much fun. For me, it is more fun to load the film, turn all the dials and hear the chunky “clonk!” of the shutter, and it’s exciting anticipating my scans from the lab. Having fun is the most vital step in my process and it’s the biggest reason why I use film.

A black and white portrait of a non-binary person with a spiky mullet, piercings, a collar and dark lipstick. They are snarling at the camera in playfully with their hands in their hair. Shot on Acros 100 by Georgia Lilley in studio in Launceston, Tasmania.

Hopefully this has given you a better understanding of why I use film for all my work! Interested in discovering the differences film has to offer for your next portrait session? Feel free to reach out, I would love to share my passion and schedule your session!

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