So, where do you come from & what do you do for a living?
I was born in the UK, raised in the countryside, I moved to the Northwest of England after university (Liverpool & Manchester) - then moved to Melbourne with my wife 15 months ago.
I am a freelance digital designer, primarily a web designer, with a love of print and photography.
How young are you? Even if you are old in age we believe you are young in heart, because you still want to shoot film :D
I’m 41 this month, with a lot more grey hairs than when I started shooting film about 24 years ago.
How did you become inspired to shoot on film?
I grew up when film photography was the only option. I loved the process of photography, how it captures memories and you can hold in your hand a tangible piece of history.
I love travelling and I always have a couple of film cameras in my bag, it takes me back to the time when you used to go on holiday, come back and then have to wait for the film to be processed before seeing the shots.
Over the years I have collected myriad film cameras, and after shooting digital for several years, I decided to start using the cameras in my collection to recapture that feeling of analogue photography. The 2 formats are so different, I believe that digital photography can capture a moment in time, but film photography captures the feeling.
What format do you shoot? 35mm, Polaroid, 8 x 10 etc
I use most formats, 35mm, 120mm, Impossible Project, expired film formats, and Fujifilm peel apart instant film. I can never resist an old black and white photobooth either, there is a great one on Chapel Street, South Yarra.
The 2 formats I use the most are 35mm and Fujifilm FP-100c / FP-3000b.
Why do you like this format?
I love using 35mm, as it is so versatile - there are so many grades, finishes, colours and camera options. Finding the right combination has been a lot of fun over the last few years. Moving to Melbourne has meant I get to use 100 iso film a lot more than in the UK!
The first camera I used the Fujifilm peel apart instant film in, was a Polaroid Colorpack. As soon as I peeled back the negative, I knew that I was hooked - I love the ‘magic’ it creates. It’s a really good ice-breaker when you are in social situations, taking a portrait and then getting them to peel it apart themselves, it feels the same as it probably did 40 years ago.
Where do you see the future of analogue photography?
Analogue photography has had a real roller coaster of a ride these last 5-6 years, with different formats being discontinued, the Impossible Project perfecting their formula, big name companies closing or injecting more money into their film products. I think the future looks bright for analogue photography, the market is definitely growing and there are some big name advocates for film, especially in the movie industry. Just this week Kodak has announced the launch of a new hybrid Super 8 video camera, so I think there are some interesting times ahead.
I think the combination of digital and analogue should always live harmoniously together, neither is better than the other, they just have different qualities. I know that I want to pass that belief on to the next generation.
Where can we find out more about your work?
Design work can be found on my website: websitesarelovely.com
Photography blog is: websitesarelovely.tumblr.com
Camera collection and vintage blog is: carbootsalefinds.tumblr.com
What is Film Never Die to you ?
Building a business and a community
Film Never Die is a great place to meet other film photography enthusiasts, get advice on cameras and film, and buy products at great prices. With the addition of tasty coffee and a cool cafe vibe, it’s the perfect place to hang out on 100 ISO and 400 ISO days!
Neil Richards - www.websitesarelovely.com