Shooting My First Roll Of Film

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to capture moments on a film roll, just like in the old days? In the age of digital photography, where everything is instant and easily edited, shooting on film seems like a lost art. However, there is a certain charm and nostalgia associated with film photography that cannot be replicated digitally. If you’re a photography enthusiast or simply curious to explore the timeless appeal of film, join me in this blog as I embark on the journey of shooting my first roll of film. Together, we’ll discover the challenges, surprises, and rewards that come with this unique form of expression.

Shooting My First Roll Of Film

About the Journey

About a week before the trip, the decision was made to buy a film camera and delve into the world of film photography. The idea had been discussed for a long time, so it was finally time to take the plunge. Online, a pristine Canon AE-1 Program was found on eBay, recommended by a couple of people as a simple and easy-to-use camera, perfect for beginners. The camera came with a 50mm lens, making it a worthwhile investment.

Loading the Film

Excitement filled the air as the first roll of film was about to be loaded into the AE-1 Program. Being part of the digital era, the opportunity to experience analog photography was missed. Film photographers and their work had become a great source of inspiration over the years, and the desire to capture the film look was strong. Sharing the entire process with others seemed like a cool idea, even though the outcome of the first roll was uncertain.

The Chosen Film

Portrait 400, a film by Kodak, was the film of choice for this first roll. Previous photos shot on this film had caught the attention, not only because of their visual appeal but also due to the forgiving nature of the film. Overexposure by a couple of stops was possible without significant negative consequences. Considering the limitations of the AE-1 Program with regards to accurate metering and different metering modes, a forgiving film seemed like the best option to handle any exposure mistakes.

The Excitement of Results

After what felt like an eternity, the scans of the film were finally received. The anticipation and nerves were high, not knowing if the photos turned out well or if the whole endeavor had been a waste of time. However, relief and happiness flooded in upon seeing the beautifully captured images. The experience of waiting for a week or two to see the photos, forgetting the moments they captured, and being surprised by the results was a truly special experience. The joy that came with remembering those moments was incomparable.

Additional Photography

In addition to shooting on film, some digital photography was also done in Sydney with a friend named Lily. For a behind-the-scenes look at that photoshoot, a video is available for viewing.

In conclusion, shooting the first roll of film was an exciting and fulfilling experience, providing a glimpse into the world of analog photography. It served as a way to bridge the gap between the digital and film mediums, exploring the unique qualities and surprises that film photography brings. The journey had just begun, and there was a lot more to discover and capture in the world of film.



Shooting My First Roll Of Film – FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions – Shooting My First Roll Of Film

1. What camera should I use for shooting film?

It depends on your preferences and budget. Some popular options are:

  • Canon AE-1: A classic and reliable choice.
  • Nikon FM2: Known for its durability and versatility.
  • Pentax K1000: A great beginner-friendly option.

2. How do I load film into my camera?

Each camera has its own loading mechanism, but generally:

  1. Open the film compartment usually located on the back or bottom of the camera.
  2. Insert the film canister into the designated slot.
  3. Pull out the leader (usually indicated by an arrow) and align it with the film take-up spool.
  4. Carefully wind the film until it is securely attached to the take-up spool.
  5. Close the film compartment, making sure it is tightly sealed.

3. What film speed (ISO) should I start with?

ISO determines the film’s sensitivity to light. For beginners, starting with a versatile ISO 400 film is recommended as it performs well in various lighting conditions.

4. How many exposures are there on a standard film roll?

Typically, a standard 35mm film roll has 24 or 36 exposures. Some specialty films may have fewer or more.

5. What are some tips for shooting with film?

  • Experiment: Film photography allows for creativity, so don’t be afraid to try different exposures, angles, and compositions.
  • Take notes: Jot down relevant details for each frame to help you analyze your shots later.
  • Be patient: Unlike digital, you won’t see the results immediately. Embrace the anticipation and enjoy the process.
  • Practice: Mastery comes with experience, so keep shooting and learning from each roll of film.

6. Where can I get my film developed?

There are various options available:

  • Local labs: Check for photography stores or specialty labs near you that offer film development services.
  • Mail-order services: Many online platforms provide film development services where you can send your rolls by mail.
  • DIY development: If you’re adventurous, you can develop your film at home using a developing kit and equipment.


I hope you find useful my article Shooting My First Roll Of Film, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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