I’m a big fan of photographing strangers when abroad. It’s a fine way to get a little information, directions or just make contact with another human being. Some of my favourite portraits are of people I will never see again, and I find myself asking why I only do this when away from home.
Usually an oddball film camera helps to break the ice, as I referenced in an earlier post on advice for photographing strangers. Opening up a dialogue is easy after that, since you’ve already established their buy-in. Taking a photo is a natural progression; most people are happy to be a subject after taking the time to ask about what I’m up to.
Interested people are generally also interesting people. If you’ve taken time to look up from your Facebook feed and notice another human enjoying a hobby and take the time to interact, you get a gold star. And I’m going to ask you to pose for me.
I have a business idea that’s going to take some time to bring to life, but it will also take a lot of legwork and P2P marketing.
- a social and gallery space, tailored to traditional photography.
- a fully equipped studio for rent.
- a small darkroom area.
- a photo-book library and seating
- a selection of loaner film cameras for the curious or first-timers.
- a small selection of film and supplies.
As part of my market research I plan to put my travel SOPs into play here at home. Each of the people I’ve included on this page have expressed at least a passing interest in what I see as a major part of how I interpret the world around me. Given the opportunity, how many would give it a try for themselves? Maybe they’d #believeinfilm too.
Being out and on the ground in my hometown should help me connect with like-minded folks and potential clients. People who have that curiosity might even want to take a classic camera for a spin and try their hand and developing. We don’t have so much as a camera store here in Saint John anymore. I send any colour film to California, and buy my chemicals in British Columbia. I drive 8 hours minimum to meet like-minded folks at considerable time and expense. Am I really alone here?
I’ve shouted about the lack of a film photography community in this city for years, but have done nothing about it. Can you deride the problem without trying to be part of the solution? I’m going to try my best to be an ambassador for traditional photography and make any connections I can. I can talk the legs off a cast iron stove, but I need to use these powers for good.