FIlmNeverDie Sits Down With Spenser Paul

So Spenser, tell us how tall you are! And you know all the other relevant details about you.

Hi, so my names Spenser Im a 19 year old Photographer. Originally from Melbourne I grew up around an hour and a half out of the city on the Mornington Peninsula. Im mainly a Portrait and Documentary photographer, but I find all forms of photography enjoyable. I am know at FND as the tall guy, Im around 195cm or 6 foot 5 inches, I am a bit hard to miss.


What attracted you to photography? and why film?

I only started photography at 17, when a I was travelling with some friends, he had bought his Pentax K1000 with him and I was curious immediately. I found the concept of capturing a moment in time something I should look into.

When I returned to Australia I picked up an old 35mm Ricoh KR-5 from my local op shop and the obsession started there.

I was immediately attracted to film because I found the immediacy of digital images too fast. I enjoy the waiting for my negatives and scans, it felt as if it made it all the more worth it. As well as the film itself being a physical thing, rather than data on a computer.

Did you have many friends in high school who shot film too?

A few, as we got older it definitely picked up popularity. Mostly people using them at parties but a couple of people picked up SLRs and started doing more artistic work, my best friend Chloe, picked up an SLR and is really getting into fashion photography on film, which is exciting.

You recently went to japan yeah? What were some highlights from the trip photographically speaking.

Thats correct!,

I recently spent 6 weeks in Japan doing a mix of skiing and photography. It was my second time to Japan and the first proper overseas trip in where I was interested in photography. The journey was incredible, I spent lots of time exploring the cities and looking at the camera stores, but most importantly shooting film!

On the trip I brought my Leica M6 and my Hasselblad 500cm, however in hindsight I should have just brought my Leica along. The Hassy was too space consuming, as someone who travels light I found it cumbersome.  

I mostly shot street scenes, I find capturing the everyday lives of people such as the Japanese can show a window into their world and such I see it as documentary work. The recording of their everyday lives can be enlightening and inspirational. I attempted to capture Japanese way of life, and to some degree I thing I accomplished at least some of their culture.

As I am a B&W shooter I shot 64 rolls of 35mm B&W and around 8 rolls of 120 in B&W. I was lucky enough to cover cultural events such as the Japanese fire festival in Nazowa Onsen, Nagano.

(infamous youtuber Logan Paul in Japan)

I heard you are building a darkroom how is that going?

My darkroom is up and running!

Almost a year ago I learned how to darkroom print at the Fox Gallery and since then Ive always wanted to set up my own darkroom. Lucky enough in knew a photography dealer who had a durst 6x6 enlarger up for grabs for not a whole lot of money. Darkroom printing allows a different style of photography. Rather than thinking What will look good on Instagramyou think of your images as prints on your wall at home or at a gallery. Ive found this helps with gaining a deeper understanding of your images. 

Its currently in my laundry at home, but I hope to expand to a more permanent space. I at this point Im only printing on resin based paper, but its really quite enjoyable! Im loving the challenge that it provides and its something else to see your image printed on paper rather than a screen. I do have plans for an exhibition at some point in the future, that I will print and frame myself and having my own darkroom is great practise. I recommend all film shooters to give it a go at least once!

Whats your desert island camera? Or just walk us through with what youve got!

If I was trapped on a desert island I would like to have my Leica M6! But I wouldnt mind some chemicals and a Patterson tank to develop what I shoot!

I own quite a few cameras, but if I dont shoot them I have the tendency to sell them. Im not a collector, I use all the cameras I own.

Im currently experimenting with 4x5 large format, I picked up a Linhof Monorail, quite the challenge, 4x5 has its own unique quirks when compared to 35mm or medium format. I also shoot a great deal of Nikon, I have an F3, a Nikonos 4, F100 and my recently acquired D850 for paid work. I try to shoot one roll a week minimum.


If you were gonna start all over again as a highschooler, what would you tell yourself to do differently?


Thats an interesting question, if I had anything to tell myself id tell him to focus on whats in front of him and work on his style. I spent over a year without paying any attention to what I was actually shooting. If I had set out to define a style from the start I think I would be a better photographer now.  

You can find me and my work at

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