It seems that photography has been destined for Theresa (aka Pine/@pinelich), a camera operator for television. Her dad had a film SLR which she ended up having, despite her initial hesitation to use it; and, after working several jobs, she somehow gravitated towards working behind the camera. Through film photography, she is able to take a break from the clean and perfect technicalities that come with her job. It's also a way to honor her father, who loved working with cameras. Here is her story.
Hi, Pine. How did you get into photography?
When I finished school, I had no idea what to do. I worked as a waitress, harvest helper, I cleaned hotel rooms, helped out in a school, I sorted out cans in a factory—until I finally came across that job ad from the local television station. They were looking for an intern in the editorial office. I got the job, but real soon after we found out I had no talent for texting, but a big passion for the camera. So they sent me to the "Technology Crew" where I couldn't screw up their texts anymore. That's where all the cutters, graphic designers, and camera operators work. This crew became my second family, they taught me most of what I know now. They of course didn't work with analog cameras, but they brought me to photography and taught me how to handle these machines and how to observe my surroundings, waiting for the perfect shot.
What are your other interests aside from film photography?
I really like to read, but I am the type of reader five books per month and then none for another half a year. I also have a special love for old movies, especially horror classics. I just love how they produced movies in these times, how the actors played, and the way the camera operators worked. For a long time now I am thinking about how to combine this love with my photography. Might happen one day. I am also into music, old school hip-hop to be exact, I also like to deejay for fun and I make beats, but nothing is as big as my love for nature. Spending hours and nights outside, especially when there are storms. Wandering through the rain to get a good video clip of thunder. I know, one day I get hit.
Who or what inspired you to shoot with film?
There was that old camera, the Canon A-1 my dad handed down on us, my mother and sisters. I didn't remember it existed, my sister took care of it. But she never took a photo, it just gathered dust in her closet. When I finished my training as a camera operator, she came around with that camera. I never thought about shooting film, I actually had no idea how these cameras worked. She said I know best what to do with it. I got all of my dad's equipment, and I remembered how much he carried around this camera. As a kid I once accidentally destroyed an undeveloped film by exposing it to the sun, my dad never got angry with me. Nowadays I think, I would get angry hahaha!
So I had the camera and soon I figured out there was still film loaded in his old camera. I developed it and I found photos of my mom younger, me and my sisters, cats, our house, the last photos he took. It was such a great feeling, and ever since then I only shoot film.
What do you like taking pictures of?
I love taking pictures of my mom and her dog Eminem when we take a walk, of friends when we hang out, walk around in the village we grew up in when we are silly, or just enjoying the moment. When they first saw my old camera they were skeptical, but ever since they saw the first developed roll they love the old Canon. What I don't like too much is pure nature photography. Don't get me wrong, I love nature. But it's not what really catches me in a photograph. I always need to add something to nature photography (cause I still want to do them though) like double exposing it or wrecking the roll with bleach or, when I do instants I have to do polaroid transfers so I can imperfect them a bit.
Can you tell us about the work that you do as a camera operator for television?
I am working as an audiovisual media designer with a main focus on camera and broadcast processing at a local TV Station. Local also means we have lots of freedom to be creative. We don't have to mind lots of requirements, the journalists I work with just count on that I know how this report needs to look and how I can realize it. We know each other pretty well, the strengths and where we have to pay more attention to. Like, when I have to film with animals my colleagues know they have to remind me to stop petting the dog and do my job.
We report things that happen in our town and around, good and bad, news and just fun. So it happens I meet a lot of fun and exciting people. What I love most is the variety. I sometimes work early at 8 AM, the next day till 11 PM, the other from 10 AM to 6 PM. It always depends on what event I have to film. Sometimes I don't leave the studios at all, for example when we have to record the news program or I have some cutting work to do. But what I love most are the outtakes. We have tons of and it's my passion to collect them, cut them and show (and embarrass) everybody from time to time when I have nothing better to do. It's awesome when every fail got to be filmed.
Does your profession influence your photography (or vice-versa)?
Yes, it indeed does. When I started my camera training I couldn't leave my house without seeing every place in a whole new light. I once caught myself on a parking spot in front of the supermarket, checking on how I could possibly position the cameras and lights in a good way to make the parking spot look good. Meanwhile, it's automation, wherever I go I know how I would like to photograph or film the spot. When I see something being arranged nicely I get the urge of making a photo. When I see smoke in the light, nice shadows on a person, the lights of a lava lamp, I just have to catch it. There are many rules for perfect image design that I learned in my training. And I followed them the way they taught us. But analog photography made me realize that you can break a specific rule and nothing bad happens, actually. The picture doesn't have to be "perfect" in the rules of perfect image design, the imperfection makes it even better. Not for TV of course, but even there, since I shoot analog, my work got its little own touch, I think.
What does film photography mean to you?
It means a lot. Since I was a little kid I always wanted to be a cop like my father. He was kinda proud I think. But I never became a cop, and I kind of felt bad. But one day, I realized, I didn't become a cop, but I became a camera operator, and what he loved so much was working with his cameras. I somehow still followed him. A few days ago I thought about for what money I would sell that Canon. For no money at all, never.
To see more of Pine's photographs, visit her LomoHome.