Photography used to be time travel. We took photographs, and then forgot them. That magic roll of film held the memory safe, tucked away in the dark to be revealed and relived at another time.
A trip to the Fotomat was highly anticipated–the roll finished and developed, it offered wonderful surprises, time travel, remembering and reliving moments, the essence of photography.
In this instant digital world, that magic is missing, the distance between creating the photograph and reliving it is non-existent, perhaps why photography feels less fulfilling than it once did. I make a photo, I show it to you, you’ve seen it, I’ve seen it, it’s all done. Nothing left to do but the chore to get it to you, which I may never do, because who cares, you already saw it.
I made a portrait of a woman yesterday for The Wise Photo Project and I made it on a Hasselblad film camera on black and white film. Someone asked me why shoot film, and I said, “If I don’t shoot film, I have nothing to print in my darkroom. I need a negative to create a print by hand, a one-of-a-kind hand-printed silver portrait.”
If her family wants to share it, they’ll have to visit her to see the print–that’s the product of these portrait shoots, a photograph. Framed. For real. Not a swipe left or right. Not an email or a scan. A real photograph to place in her house and have for future generations to keep and always know her face.
She’s looking forward to her portrait. She’ll be very happy when she sees the wonderful image of herself. I’m proud of it and that I had the opportunity to make it.
But she’ll have to wait for it.
Therein lies the magic.
And if you want to see it, well, you won’t find it here. You’ll have to stop over and visit her to see her portrait.
Maybe have a coffee and some conversation, too. Another bonus to creating an actual photograph–time spent together.