Boys on film, by Annika Weertz
"Shooting film just makes you think before pressing the shutter."
Tell us about yourself.
I am 25 years old and I am doing my Master's program (technical editorship and multimedia documentation) at the moment.
When and how did the film journey begin for you?
I have had a Holga for a while and I had only used it once until this year, because I had such an incredibly awful experience getting the film developed. To cut a long story short, I was misinformed about the costs and ended paying twice as much as expected. My boyfriend bought me a Nikon FG for Christmas in 2015 and I have used it a lot ever since. I have also found an amazing lab, that does an incredible job. www.meinfilmlab.de
What drives you to keep shooting film?
Most of all the experience and and that it teaches me to think more about what I do and when to press the shutter and to be more patient. Also I find that although you have endless possibilities to edit your photograph when it is taken with a digital camera and a lot of photographers use the same films, shooting film makes you think more and the thing being photographed needs to be more important than when shooting digital.
I find a lot of digital images are a bit meaningless but nevertheless successful on social media because the camera the photo was taken with has a huge sensor and makes everything look professional. Shooting film just makes you think before pressing the shutter and you do not need to post-edit that much at all.
How did the first roll of film come out?
Well, the first film was the roll film I had put into my Holga. The 6 pictures that happened to be good enough to be printed, were quite alright, I'd say.
What do you focus on when shooting film and what inspires you?
I mostly focus on things that have a meaning to me on a general level and things I find important as an artist. The first few rolls I shot showed my boyfriend to 95%. I was practicing and learning how it works, so I wanted to shoot something that would still have a meaning to me even if the picture was not 100% perfect. Although, perfection in general is nothing that I aim for. But just because you practice, it doesn't mean you need to take 36 pictures of a boring vase on a window sill.
How do you see improving your technique or what do you want to learn more regarding film?
I have learnt that film has much more tolerance than I thought and I want to try out more films and learn which one is best for which situation.
If you were to choose one roll of film that would be the last roll you would shoot, ever, what would it be and why?
I really love the Kodak Portra 400. The colours are not as vibrant as the Portra 160. I do love the Ilford XP2, as well, but I guess if it is the last roll then it would have to be Portra 400. It is also very tolerant to pushing.
What a keeper!
What do you think is the biggest misconception of other people when it comes to shooting film?
I like the coincidence that comes with film, but I think a lot of people just love it a bit too much. The coincidence is also a sign that you didn't know exactly what would happen when shooting. I want to become so good at it that I don't feel like it's a coincidence that the picture turned out great. It's like spending a huge amount of money on serendipity. As far as I am aware there aren't a lot of film lovers who can afford that.
Generally, I would like to point out that my work currently focuses strongly on men and boys because I want to capture their vulnerability, their fragility and their soft side. Because we are all people with similar feelings. And while women are feeling pressured into looking a certain way, I think that man are experiencing this pressure too — but they do not speak up for themselves yet. I currently get the impression that girls are only talking about girls and what it feels like to be a girl in today’s society and that the boys should just listen. While this is a good start, we need to start talking to each other and not stay in our own worlds.
You can find Annika Weertz here: