I know I’ve written about this before, but the struggle is real, you guys. I’m currently on Day 3 of waiting for my latest film scans to arrive in my inbox, and it is KILLING ME!!!!!
Last weekend, a girl who used to work in the dress shop below my boss’ old pinup studio, Miss S., agreed to model for a film shoot with me. I was very excited to shoot her because this girl is a brunette bombshell, and she seemed very excited to do a film shoot! Also, Miss S. had modeled for a promo shoot for the boudoir studio a few years ago, so I already knew she would be great in front of the camera. (Here is an instant photo I took with my Fuji Instax camera during that promo shoot.)
To kick off this film shoot with Miss S., I had a few exposures left on a roll of Portra800 35mm film that I needed to finish off, so I decided to try playing in the dark a little bit at the photography studio. I’m not sure how the shots will turn out, but I set up a ring light outside of a cracked door and shot Miss S. wearing a vintage slip sitting in the sliver of light that came through the door. I played a little with intentional motion blur using that set-up, as well.
Once I finished off that roll, I loaded a roll of Portra400 120 film into my Pentax 6×7. I had Miss S. try on this HUGE sweater that someone left behind at our studio a while back, just to see if we could have some fun posing in it. I also took this opportunity to play with the extension tubes that came with my Pentax 6×7 a little more. For instance, Miss S. has this little golden scorpion ornament thingy glued to the outside of one of her teeth, so I used all three of my extension tubes to basically get a macro shot of her tiny dental accessory as she snarled for the camera. I really hope that the shot turns out, btw, because it looked really cool through the viewfinder!
After exposing all ten shots on the Pentax, I loaded a roll of Cinestill 50D into my Canon EF 35mm camera. I haven’t shot with Cinestill film very much, but I always admire the shots I see on Instagram. I knew that I wanted some of Miss S.’ photos to have kind of a retro vibe, and I thought this film might be perfect for that.
Before we got into the retro stuff, though, I shot Miss S. outside the studio with the dying rose bushes that surround the porch. I also took a shot (no pun intended) at a couple of double-exposures. This is something I REALLY want to experiment with more, but for some reason I just never do. Even as I’m typing this, I’m thinking, “Why did I only take TWO double-exposures that day?”
Anyway, after another couple of wardrobe changes and a few more shots inside the studio, I decided to drive Miss S. down the road a little bit to this demolished building I pass by each day on my way to work. I’ve been eyeballing that site ever since they knocked the building down. However, unfortunately, on the day I finally had a model to shoot in front of it, they had added a bunch of yellow caution tape all over the site. Regardless, I had Miss S. stand in front of the rubble and we pretended not to hear all the stupid dudes honking their horns at us as they drove by.
Our shoot concluded at a local arcade, which I was both excited and nervous about. I was excited because Miss S. had changed into a rad 70’s looking outfit, and I was hoping the Cinestill film would help us achieve that retro vibe as she posed in front of a bunch of old arcade games and pinball machines. However, I was a tad nervous about whether or not I’d get yelled at for trying to do a photo shoot inside the arcade. Plus, I had never actually been inside the arcade before, so I had no idea what to expect in terms of lighting.
As soon as we walked in, I paid 20 bucks for us to each have an hour of play. I figured that might keep the owners off my back if they caught me photographing Miss S. sprawled out across their pinball machines. (Just kidding, I had no intention of posing her like that.)
Anyway, as we walked inside, my jaw kind of dropped. This place was STRAIGHT out of the 80’s with just rows upon rows of vintage arcade games! Everything from Pac-Man to Pole Position. Then, we turned a corner and found an entire row of pinball machines in front of us, just as I had hoped! Unfortunately, it was also VERY dark inside the arcade with just a few overhead fluorescent lights here and there, but I was hoping I wouldn’t have to set my shutter speed much slower than 1/15 of a second.
Well, I was wrong. No matter where I posed Miss S., my camera kept metering at these super LONG exposures. I even found a couple spots where I could pose her directly underneath an overhead light, and I was still shooting at, like, 1/2 of a second. I was actually feeling kind of confused about it, until it finally hit me…. I was still shooting that roll of Cinestill 50D film!!!! Jesus. No wonder my exposures were so slow! I was shooting at box speed in a VERY dark space! Duh! I still feel pretty stupid about not realizing that when we first walked in, but I guess I was just too excited and not thinking at all about the technical crap.
Anyway, Miss S. and I are both pretty excited to see what does and does not turn out from the 2-1/4 rolls of film we shot that day. In fact, I was almost ready to spring for the 1-day film processing at Boutique Film Lab, but when I was filling out my order form online, I noticed a box at the bottom of the screen that said they are not currently accepting rush orders.
That means we have to wait at least FIVE WHOLE BUSINESS DAYS to receive these film scans via email! Like I said, I’m on Day 3 right now, and I’m honestly not sure I’m going to make it. Please send your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.
UPDATE – June 11, 2019
After seven looooong days, I finally received the film scans from my shoot with Miss S. last night! And, guess what? It was totally worth the wait. Check out my set, Miss S. – Stunningly Saucy, now on the Projects page!