for the love of film {no.4}...

This week i'm super excited to feature Amanda Gilligan of Mocking Bird blog. I just finished taking Amanda's Shoot by Design photography course and it was completely inspiring! I've learned so much, including how to keep working on developing my style and how to stay inspired. If you're looking to take a photography course I highly recommend it, as it's the perfect mix of creativity and the "technical stuff"...

Amanda's photography is so beautiful, always telling a story and capturing such perfect moments. It was so hard to pick my favs! Read her answers below and be sure to pop by her blog and flickr site for more...

What do you love the most about film photography?

I mostly love the way it looks and I do because to me it feels more artistic, more like a painting, more like magic... what I can create with film just feels more like what I see in my head. It helps me to tell a story the way I want to tell it. I love that you never know what you're going to get and that often there are magical little accidents that make my images a little messy and a little less than perfect. I'm not a perfect kind of girl, so film suits me fine.

What kind of camera(s) do you use? Do you have a preferred brand/type of film?

I use a Nikon FM3A, Polaroid Sx70, Polaroid SLR680, Yashica FX3 and Yashicamat 124. For Polaroid I use Polaroid 600 and Impossible Project PX680 and PX600. My film of choice is Kodak Portra 400.

Your photos are so soft and dreamy, while each telling a story. What inspires your style the most?

I'm inspired by nature and light. I love all the textures, tones, colours and softness of the sea, forests and the environments around me. I am very fortunate that I grew up and lived in beautiful Australia where the light is always warm and the ocean so blue. And I now live in gorgeous British Columbia where the forests are green and full of glorious pine trees and there are snow capped mountains at every angle.

How do you go about setting up the perfect shot? Do you have any photography "rules" that you keep in mind?

My mind thinks about light and composition first and foremost. I look for the perfect light or as my partner calls it, "Amanda light". He spots it for me now too. I know all the photography rules that I trust and that are ingrained in my mind, but I don't always stick to them. Art is about breaking the rules. As long as the composition is strong and tells a story, I'm happy.

What would be your best tip for beginners?

Shoot as often as you can. Wanting and doing are too completely separate things. You need to just get out there and shoot every day. And believe in yourself. Believe that you have something important and original to say. You are the only one who can tell your story.

Who are some of your favourite photographers?

Mikkel Vang, Osamu Yokonami, Anton Corbijn, Aya Brackett, Jose Villa, Elizabeth Messina, Ditte Isager. And I'm constantly inspired by peers and friends.

What would be your dream location or subject to photograph?

Clich├ęd it may be, but I've been dreaming of wandering around Paris with my cameras for as long as I can remember. Polaroids and Paris sounds kinda perfect to me. Japan is second on my list. I just want to spend a good month there exploring the culture and photographing the people.

And lastly, do you have a favourite photo you've shot so far?

I'm still working on that but I always cherish the shots I take of my sister.

Thanks Amanda! I especially love your tip to get out and shoot every day, so true!


  1. Great feature and picks, Amanda's work is amazing.
    I could identify her photo amongst hundreds (it's the "Amanda light" I think ;)
    And I like the way she explains why she prefers film:
    "I'm not a perfect kind of girl, so film suits me fine" -
    I can totally relate to that. The little imperfection and surprises.

  2. I love this. I hadn't seen her work before but now I am off to explore her blog--thank you! Enjoying this new series, of course. :)

  3. Thanks for having me, Daniella!
    I'm honoured to be included in such a great series!

  4. Lissa - Aren't they? I love Amanda's photography!

    Katarina - Yes, that's what I love about film too, the little imperfections are actually what makes film so great!

    Maggie - Definitely check out her site, you'll love it! Glad you're liking the whole series :) I'm getting to know so many great bloggers like yourself!

    Amanda - Thanks again! It was so great to have you participate.

  5. I'm so excited to come over from Amanda's blog to yours, I can't wait to read more of these posts.

    Amanda has said exactly how I feel about film, i've always thought film shows how I see things in my head too!

  6. Great interview Daniella! Amanda has been such an amazing mentor and inspiration to so many of us. I hold her responsible for rekindling my love of film!