February Inspiration: Music + Film

I've decided it would be kind of cool to share some short posts once a month about the things that inspire me on a daily basis: a little more insight into the work I do, and what keeps me going. I hope it will keep you refreshed and dreaming (and working) as well. If there's any topics you'd like for me to cover in the coming months feel free to let me know! 

Fujifilm Instant Film Photographs:

Over the last few years I've been shooting Fujifilm Instax images - so this means I usually have about 4 cameras in my bag no matter where I go - get ready to have a heavy backpack and add about 3 hrs to every outing if you're like me and want to take photos of everything on all of your cameras. 

These photos are experimental; I usually don't really know how they're going to come out - which is pretty much why I love them. Sometimes it's really frustrating, but if you learn to get the settings right, you'll come away with some sweet shots. Side note: I usually press the pack of film (where it says not to) to let some light get in - usually I get some light leaks + other imperfections that way. 
Gear I'm using to take, scan, and edit these:

Lomography Instant Wide Camera 

Epson Perfection Scanner

Fujifilm Instax Wide Film

I scan these in, crop them right around the edges in Lightroom and then usually to get the white border around them to post on social media, I use the app Afterlight and use one of the frame options. 

February Tunes: 

Music is a huge part of my life and always has been - when Spotify came around I was sent straight back to the days I searched for new music all the time in high school, and it was so refreshing to have an easy source of discovering music again, because we don't have the hours we did in high school to dedicate to finding sweet new indie bands to listen to, ya know? 

Here's what I've been listening to on the road, by the ocean, and in the city lately:

February Inspiration Playlist


35mm Film

My first camera was a 35mm made by Fisher Price - I got it when I was 7 - I brought the chunky thing on our family vacations to Arizona every year and took photos of movies I was watching in our living room. So basically there's a lot of photos of cacti and Homeward Bound floating around somewhere in my family photo albums.
I let go of film for a while as I was growing up though - I was so intrigued by digital. It wasn't until college that I picked up a film camera again. I shot rolls and rolls of 35mm B+W film when I was studying art/photography, which I learned to process and print in the darkroom. Over the last year though, I've really got back into trying to document travels and life with color film; I find it refreshing to slow down and step away from digital and create work that I often forget about until I send it in to get developed after weeks or months.

It goes back to that feeling of experiment + the mystery of not knowing, like the Fujifilm instant photos. The amount of time and intention you have to put into taking a frame is so vastly different than digital that you will probably question if you actually took the photos when you get the scans back. I do it every time. I'm always shocked at how curated and more well-thought-out my compositions and moments are that I capture on film. It forces you to choose - whether it's subconscious or not, you do - you start to select the moments that are prioritized to you on trips, and I think it teaches you a lot about your vision for story-telling. 

I use an old completely manual Canon AE-1 with a 24mm f/2.8, along with Kodak Portra 160 + 400 speed film. 

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Nicole Mason