I ¬†have a “classic” photographic education — that is, I learned how to shoot with film, how to process film, and how to mess around with enlargers in the darkroom. For my high school memory book I listed “the smell of fixer” as one of my favorite things in the world. (If you know what fixer smells like, you should know that 1. it smells terrible, like something a cat would emit, and 2. that you are probably as enamored with the smell itself since the darkroom is such a magical place.) I used to shoot with an old Pentax SLR and a 50mm lens all throughout my high school years. Recently my father gave me a box of my old photographic equipment, and after storing it in a closet for a while, I decided to bring it out for a little bit of street shootin’.

      Do you know how freeing it is to walk around with a camera that has one body, one lens, and a limited number of shots you can take? (And knowing that if someone mugs you, they end up with a $5 garage-sale camera instead of a kit that costs enough to buy a used car?) I love digital and its versatility, but sometimes the best thing is to go back to your roots. 36 frames. 50mm lens. T-Max 100 pushed to 400.


      Here are some shots taken in and around Austin during SXSW (South by Southwest) in March this year (though not necessarily all downtown).

      So what if these photos aren’t my strongest work, or that I didn’t do any processing on these (they’ve been scanned, and that’s about it)… They feel… honest? to me.






      These are great! I especially love the last one.

      You’ve still got it! The last one is great, too.

      Totally agree and if I ever get anytime I am pulling out my mamiya and getting back to my roots!!! Want to shoot it so badly but just never have time. That, and it’s huge. Haha. Love the honesty of these…. exactly!!!

      yes! I love how film can create the perfect divide between personal and work, and i honestly find it to be soooooo much more fun. Great shots Elissa! way to make me homesick.

      The first shot is goooorgeous.

      I freakin’ looooove the last shot. xo

      Yes to the honesty. That’s EXACTLY how I feel about film. Sometimes I think that because digital is technically “easier” (pshaw) that we have to overcompensate by being really purposeful, but to me there is something really great about the grittiness, unpredictability and technically incorrect nature of most film photos.

      Love the last one, by the way.