Portrait photographer Brock Sanders has always been interested in film photography since a very young age. He experimented with the Diana F+, and in this interview he speaks of the way using a different camera and ratio changed the shooting process and shares tips for new photographers.
What drew you to photography originally?
Photography has been special to me since a very young age. My parents gave me my first camera around the age ten. I used the camera to capture everything around me and quickly became designated as the family photographer. The ability to capture a moment and be able to hold them in my hands always fascinated me.
Your subjects are mainly centered on portraits and landscapes, what draws you to those two very different things?
Landscape photography was my first love and this started at a young age. Living in California I was surrounded by tons of beauty in every direction. We’d take trips down the coast or we’d head to the mountains. Portraits came much later on in my photography journey. When I started shooting them I did not realize how much I would become connected with the people in front of me and the work we create. Being able to sit with someone and get to know them and capture their emotions is a very intimate experience that is like nothing else.
How would you describe working with film vs digital?
The entire process of film is just amazing. I grew up with film photography and honestly it just is how my brain works. When I load a roll of film in my camera I know I am limited in the number of shots I can take. I shoot what my eye sees and the whole process is much slower and intimate. It gives me time to interact with the person in front of me and its the moments in-between that I can capture. I took a break from film photography when digital came around. I often found myself stuck behind the camera snapping hundreds of photos without knowing if they worked or if I had captured the subject how I wanted. When I picked up film again a couple years ago it really helped me become mindful to slow down with my digital shoots. The funny thing is that I find I get more keepers with film out of 72 frames then I do when I shoot hundreds of shots digitally.
How’d you describe the experience working with the Diana F+?
Honestly, I had never worked with a camera like this and it was a ton of fun! I knew I would be getting lots of light leaks and end up with some unique and interesting shots. Using the little flash was a blast and something I really haven’t ever used on portrait shoots but definitely will use in the future.
How did working with a 1:1 ratio make you re-compose your images?
It was a bit different at first. I noticed I framed things a bit different then I normally would. It wasn’t totally unfamiliar to me since it wasn’t that long ago when Instagram was square based.
What as your approach your approach when working with the Diana F+?
I used the Diana F+ in a few different ways. I carried it around with me on a couple of different day trips and snapped document style photographs. I also brought it with me on a few different shoots with models and snapped some random photos throughout the shoot.
Where do you think film photography is going with newer and more accessible modes of photography being developed?
I definitely see it growing, even in the past year or two. I see more and more people with film cameras. In reality, it wasn’t long ago that we lived in a non-digital camera world. I think many people are realizing that film photography is a great way to learn the art and have something physical that depicts your work.
What advice would you give to new-coming photographers?
I always tell everyone that they should shoot every day. This will help you discover your own style and it’ll also help you learn what you love to photograph. Shooting every day led me from landscapes to portraits and truly defined me as a photographer. I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me next!