for the love of film {no.8}...

I first came across Holly Cromer's beautiful work after I received a note from her, that she was enjoying the film series just as much as I am! I was so glad Holly told me about her own photography work, as her film photos are gorgeous, capturing every little detail with the perfect amount of grain. Check out Holly's interview below, and be sure to pop by her site and flickr page too...

First off, what do you love the most about film photography?

What I love most about film, is the same thing I hate most about film when I get a bad set of prints back, you don't really know what you are going to get back when it develops. I have had light leaks that made boring pictures look gorgeous and photos that I thought were going to turn out stellar that have come back completely out of focus with a bad multiple exposure. I also love that using film makes me spend extra time making sure that photos are composed better because I don't want to waste a single frame.

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

I have a 35mm Holga which I rarely use anymore. My go-to camera is the Canon Elan IIe, I love being able to share my lenses between my film SLR and DSLR. For film, I'm not really very choosy. A couple years ago I bought a huge box of expired Kodak 400 film that I have been working my way through. I want to try some of the Lomography films next and I have a roll of Revolog Tesla film that I've been saving for the perfect occasion.

What would you say inspires your style the most?

I'm not exactly sure what I would say inspires my style most, I always shoot wide open looking for ugly things to try to depict in a beautiful way, and of course pretty things to make look even dreamier. I've always been a collector of sorts, now I collect things as images instead of actually physically acquiring them so I can share with others.

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

I've never really been one to follow the rules. I only even remember a couple of the rules of photography from when I took a class almost 10 years ago. I do keep the rule of thirds in mind, but I don't follow it unless it gives me an interesting focal point.

What would be your best tip for beginners?

I still think of myself as a beginner most of the time (maybe I always will, it seems like there is no limit on what you can do or learn with photography). I think it's a good idea to take a notebook with you everywhere you go to write down ideas you might have for photos. When you add photos as your favorites on other sites really think about what it is that you like about the image then put it in your notebook. Read photography books, I can't finish a fiction piece anymore no matter how hard I try, but I can read a photography book cover to cover in one day. I just want to know it all!

Who are some of your favourite photographers?

I've fallen madly in love with the work of Davis Ayer recently. I follow so many amazing photographers on Flickr that it's really hard to choose. As far as wedding photography on film goes, Jose Villa and Elizabeth Messina never cease to amaze me.

What would be your dream location or subject to photograph?

Honestly, I have hardly traveled out of the state of Virginia in the past three years so just about anywhere sounds good. Right now I have four locations on my "wish list" to visit: Cape Cod, road trip across California, Florida Keys, and New York. And just about anywhere out of the country would surely knock my socks off (like maybe backpacking across Europe). For subjects to photograph, just a variety of portraits of people from all different walks of life plus whatever lovely tiny details I might pass along the way.

And lastly, do you have a favourite photo you've shot so far?
This one has been my favorite since I got the prints back from the lab: I have a huge framed print of it in my home, however it is not very popular with other folks. I was using a one-use underwater camera and can hardly open my eyes under the water so it is a miracle that it turned out so beautifully.

Dear Readers: Are there any burning questions you have about film photography? Send me a note, as i'd like to add a couple different questions for each interview! Also, if you shoot a lot of film photography or know of someone who's work you admire, please do let me know! I'm always looking for more people to feature for the series.

Photos: Holly Cromer, from film


  1. Oh my, her photos are just beautiful, I love them. Though I am a little jealous of her massive box of film that shes working through, I would love that!

  2. These images are gorgeous! The fading picket fence reminds me of home.

  3. Beautiful post!! I recently found my dad's old Minolta camera in the basement and I've been having some fun with that. Haven't had my first roll developed yet though so we'll see how they turn out haha