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In Black and White

Heidi Shenk photography

Last night, my friend Paige, posted this photo on Instagram. I had to have a good laugh because I instantly recognized the location in Chicago, and it was because I had snapped the same exact photo on black and white film many years ago. Her photo prompted me to pull a box of old photos down from the shelf and look through the contents inside.

What I found was pleasantly surprising-- equal parts of nostalgia and inspiration. Not only was I reminded of places I'd traveled, I realized how I used to seek out art in light and texture through things I might overlook today. There was an intentional aspect in what I used to take in from my surroundings. There was a reason to slow down.

Shooting with film makes you seek out the abstract within daily life. It puts a new perspective on what you see with your bare eye. It makes you focus on details you might not notice at first glimpse. And you only have one chance to interpret what you see and capture it within a frame. There's an excitement and anticipation about it because you must wait to see the final product maybe weeks down the road when that roll of film is finally ready to be developed. That inspires and pushes me creatively in a different way than other art forms. And these photos reminded me to push my boundaries again.

Are you a photographer? Have you spent time shooting or developing film?

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