Nolan Bear Bryan On Film

Happy Friday, folks! A while back I shot the dreamiest newborn session in Jacksonville. He happens to be our nephew! I may or may not be biased. 🙂

A few days before the session, I acquired another film camera that I was excited to use. The camera was my trusty Canon EOS Elan IIe. I’ve also been working my way through a box of Portra 400 so I threw a roll of that in the Elan.

We had just finished the shoot which was done on my Mark IV. I was so excited and felt accomplished since it was a new style of portraits I’d been wanting to try. I was pleased with the results and felt like it was a step in the direction I am wanting to go. I almost didn’t pull out the film camera. But I did anyway.

I nervously loaded the film. I had just shot a roll of dummy film to make sure the camera was still in working order. My Nanny Ruth had just given it to me after it sat in the closet for some 10+ years. I had run all over Baker County the night before searching for a specific battery for the camera that I had ordered online and still hadn’t received.

As I started shooting, I felt something start to happen. I began to let go. I began to be creative- really creative. I discovered in that moment that in the age of digital, we let the final image drive us….not our creativity. We spend so many extra seconds looking at the back of the camera and tweaking what we liked or didn’t like. Which is okay. But with film…I had to let go and trust. Trust myself. Trust the camera. Trust the film. There was no fixing or correcting. What’s done is done so all I could do was let my creative heart shine. I focused more on the subjects than trying to get a certain type of portrait. I had purpose in taking each shot. I wanted to practice this type of framing or get in that type of lighting. It was a blast hearing that shutter click.

Then came the waiting. Oh, goodness, the waiting. In the back of my head, I thought, “Are the photos even going to develop? Will they turn out ok? What if the camera has light leaks or a malfunction and the pictures come out ruined?” I wasn’t to know. Until today.

Although I still have a long way to go with film, I’m already a devoted fan. I also feel like I’m finally stepping to my skin as a photographer since I can flex my wings more with film. I feel so overwhelmed with love for film, photography, and all things beautiful right now. I’m in love.

Canon EOS Elan IIe + 50mm + Portra 400 | TheFINDLab














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