Growing up with a family who preserves memories using film cameras, going the analogue way seems like the natural route for Jarrett Hayman to take. In this interview, he discusses his renewed passion for still images and why he prefers to shoot on film.
Name: Jarrett Hayman
Location: Austin, Texas USA
Please tell us something about yourself and what you do.
I work in healthcare, but I studied film at university. I’ve been involved in experimental film activities in the past, and was dedicated to using motion picture film at the time. I’ve always taken photographs, but usually only while traveling. Recently I’ve experienced a renewed enthusiasm for pictures that don’t move. Only now do I realize how much still photography has informed to films I had made.
How did you find the Community and who/what convinced you to join?
My beloved Canon AE-1 fell into disrepair, and in looking for a new film camera I found my way onto the Lomography site. Very quickly I found myself lost in hundreds of photos generated by the members. It became a daily practice to log on and see what my favorite Lomographers are doing, and of course to find new members to follow. After a time I began to recognize people, places and pets in other’s photographs, and a story starts to piece itself together in my mind. Doing this I think you get a deeper sense of what others’ lives are like than you would in other kinds of online interaction. It reminds me of the early days of the internet, when we had webrings instead of “social networks”. At that time people were drawn together on the internet by communities of interests, as they are in the Lomography community. Having a lot of my photos just sitting on my computer being seen by no one, I decided to join so that I could share them and take part in the fun.
As you have read the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography, what rule do you apply in your everyday life?
Rule 10: Don’t worry about the rules. Professional photography is so full of rules. I just go by instinct. I try to select the right film for the light and just go forth. I recently went to a public garden and there were photo enthusiasts everywhere with huge, heavy and expensive digital cameras with their huge, heavy and expensive lenses, and it all looked so cumbersome. I felt a bit of pride walking around with my small and light La Sardina camera clicking away without any anxiety over which of the rules of photography I might have broken, not worrying about getting the “perfect” shot because I know there is no such thing.
In this digital age, why still film?
I simply never made the switch! I grew up using film cameras. My childhood and family history is recorded on film. I learned everything I need to know on an SLR that is at least as old as I am. But there are many other good reasons why I use film. Film and digital aren’t two different paths to the same thing. They are two different paths to two different things that we think of as pictures. There isn’t one better than another- simply one that I prefer. Digital is profligate. It multiplies readily and goes anywhere. There is no source, no master. A computer interprets, whereas a film frame chemically reacts- there is a process, a metabolism. A digital picture doesn’t take up space really, it takes up memory. It is easily destroyed, and when it is destroyed, nothing changes. But set a film strip on fire and it turns into smoke, heat, and light. Film exists. It is more than an interpretation, it is a series of events. There is nothing wrong with film, which is why I continue to use it.
Your favorite analog camera as of the moment? Why?
I recently acquired a Canon Sureshot AF35M that takes lovely, lovely photographs. It is also noisy which I like. It’s a camera that lets you know it has life in it. It automatically advances the film, which acts like a kind of punctuation to each shot. A close second would be my La Sardina, which in many ways has the opposite personality to that of the Sureshot. It’s light and quiet and unobtrusive. This makes it very snap-able. When I get this camera in my hands I just start clicking away. Also people love to complement my La Sardina, which is nice.
What is the Lomographic camera you’d want to have someday?
The Lomo LC-A+. I imagine it could be a real workhorse. Also I love simplicity and thrive under restraint.
Any song, book, or movie you live by?
Erik Satie's Gymnopedies. Great music for lovers of walking, and walking is the best way to find photos waiting for me to take them.
Share your current favorite Lomograph, could be yours or a friend’s. Why?
This photo gives me the very distinct feeling that I have just fallen out of one of these airplanes, which is what makes it so disturbingly beautiful. It is like a dream image, and @mjanekerr is something of a master at making dream images.
Any Community member you look up to? If so, why him or her?
Goodness! Dozens! The aforementioned dream-image maker @mjanekeer is a wonderful colorist, @frenchyfyl somehow elevates his “vacation” photos into pictures of pure human happiness, the densely layered photos by @honeygrahams224 are transfixing, and no one photographs the interiors of buses quite like @ammers, scrolling through her photo albums is like taking a commuter’s tour of Bangkok.
What are you looking forward to in our Community?
Finding new members to follow and photographs to obsess over, and sharing my more recent photos. I have a stack of rolls to send to the lab that grows every week.
Thank you Jarrett for sharing your thoughts with us! Welcome to the community and we're looking forward to seeing more of your work!