#FILMFORYALL: OLIVIA WALTERS
We at Cute Camera Co. believe film should be for everyone, and as such, we've had the pleasure of connecting with as diverse an array of people as one could hope for. To our excitement (be still our film-loving hearts!), the pool of fellow film photographers seems to be growing by the day.
As we grow together, we've also been growing more curious, and so we want to hear more of your stories. We want to find out what drives you, the film photographer, and hopefully help to inform, inspire, connect, and share the fun!
Today we have Olivia Walters (@livoutd00rs on IG) based in Tacoma, Washington. All photos were taken by Olivia using her Olympus OM-1 from Cute Camera Co., along with her Olympus EC-2 point-and-shoot.
How did you get started shooting film? Is film your preferred method of making photographs?
When I was younger, I remember that my mom would take hundreds of pictures of our family on a disposable camera, which she then had developed and organized into numerous old photo albums until they were bursting at the seams. As I got older, and technology advanced to where you could take and store photos on phones, she stopped adding to those photo albums and started adding to Facebook albums instead. My mom passed away in 2015 and whenever I want to be re-connected to a memory with her, I turn towards those photographs tucked away in albums because those photos are much more “real” to me than scrolling through a forgotten Facebook album.
When I stumbled across the film community online, I felt that the same essence of “realness” was captured in film photos in a way that digital photos just cannot compete with. In honor of the way my mom attempted to capture everything on her camera when I was growing up, I decided I wanted to capture my moments and adventures on film with that same unique authenticity. I started with a disposable camera and the minute I got those photos back and was instantly transported back to each moment… I knew I was hooked.
What camera and film stock did you use to make these photographs? Do you have a favorite camera and/or film?
I use an Olympus OM-1, my dream camera, that I got from Cute Camera Co.! Some of these photographs are also from my first camera, my trusty Olympus EC-2 point-and-shoot. I am still learning about and playing around with different film stocks, but I have been using Kodak UltraMax 400 the most due to the current film stock drought. I also recently just shot CineStill 400D for the first time and loved it!
What has your experience been in the film community? Both in person and online?
I recently started reaching out to other female photographers online that I have been quietly inspired by since the beginning of my journey with film, and I have been met with such kindness and compassion. The online film community has actually changed my perspective on social media because I view each photographer’s profile as their own personal art gallery that we get to “walk” (or scroll) through. It’s amazing that we have this other form of media to share our passions and connect with others through - near and far. Due to this positive experience online, I have been inspired to join my first in-person experience! A film walk this month!
How did you find out about Cute Camera Co?
I found out about Cute Camera Co. when I was searching for my dream camera, an Olympus OM-1. I was able to get it from you in record time and in the cutest packaging! You have been so supportive of my photos online and are even fixing up my Canon AE-1 currently so I have another working camera to use or lend to friends to get them hooked on film too!
What is your favorite thing about shooting film? What are you most excited about in terms of shooting film?
My favorite thing about shooting film is that, to me, film can perfectly capture not only the memory, but also the emotion, the feeling of what I was experiencing in that moment… something that digital has never been able to capture for me. I also love that you have no idea how the pictures will turn out until you get them developed. With a phone or digital camera you can immediately look at the photo you took and begin to pick it apart pixel by pixel. Whereas with film, once you get your scan back, if it’s blurry, under/over exposed, or has light leaks, it just is what it is and it is unapologetic about it. It really teaches you patience.
I am most excited about messing up more and learning from my mistakes. It’s fun and challenging to be a beginner at something again and I am excited for my growth in this newfound passion!
Do you have any advice for fellow film shooters?
As a novice to film photography, the best advice I can give to anyone who is looking to try shooting film is to let go of perfectionism. Not every roll or picture is going to turn out, and even if they do, sometimes they do not match the image that you imagined in your head, and that’s okay! Every single time you express yourself through a creative medium you are making art. That in itself is beautiful, no matter what the end result is.
Interested in being featured? Tag us on Instagram in your Cute Camera Co. photos or use #filmforyall.