A Truly Embarrassing Confession From a Film Addict

Anyone who knows me, even just a little bit, knows that I shoot loads of film. Seriously, loads. 120, 35mm, original Polaroid and The Impossible Project film, and Fuji instax film. Some new, lots expired. I have much, in fact, that my film stash was recently kicked out of the vegetable crisper in the fridge. So I bought a mini fridge for my studio, and I loaded it with film.

So what am I shooting with all this film, eh? Maybe this beautiful and amazing California light–golden and perfect near dusk. Or maybe the birds and hawks at the preserve that’s just a couple of miles away. Or maybe I take daytrips; you can take amazing day trips from LA you know. The desert,  the mountains, or the beach: They’re all within a short drive.

Seriously, what the heck am I shooting with all this film? (Cause it’s loads, you know.)

My dogs.

In the studio, on my bed, in the backyard or in the doorway, I rarely shoot them with my digital gear (which is quite nice, you know); but I won’t hesitate to break open a pack of film when I think the light is hitting Jack’s ear just right.

I usually have my film developed locally; I’m lucky enough to have a film lab in the neighborhood, and they can turn my stuff around within a couple of hours. Whenever I drop it off and they ask, “when would you like this back?” I always say “as soon as possible!”And then I’ll bargain with them if I think the time is too long: “How about 2 hours?” “Oooh, I’ve got so much stuff to do (lies), how about an hour and a half?”

I imagine the people who develop my film think I’m insane.

I shoot my dogs in the same space, in the same light, almost all the time, but when it’s time to wait for it, it’s like…well, it’s like I’ve just shot a royal birth, or a presidential inauguration. You know, the once in a lifetime thing that is so newsworthy and special and unique and earth-shattering that I must.see.now!!

But no; it’s my dogs.

I used to tell the people behind the counter at my lab that I was testing a new camera, and therefore, would like to see the film as soon as possible. I’ve said that so many times that it can’t possibly be true! LOL. I’ve ruined my own cover by abusing it. They don’t ask anymore; they just nod their heads and smile to themselves and wonder if I should maybe get into some kind of program.

I have binders full of negatives of pictures of my dogs. I have a stack of CDs that contain the scans; and I have those backed up on external hard drives. Yesterday, as I uploaded the most recent scans from a couple of rolls I shot with my Nikon, I thought to myself (mind you, for the first time, like, ever!) “Wow, I have so many pictures of my dogs!”  I do. It’s ridiculous. You would so laugh at me if you knew how many photos I have of my dogs, and how I try to make each new folder as descriptive and unique as possible. I have a folder named “me & dogs studio one light” and “me and dogs in studio with dress” and “me and dogs in studio jeans” and “me and dogs jumping.”

Oh my God! Just writing that makes me a little creeped out by myself.

So I guess this is a shaming. A public shaming. I spend all my film on my dogs. There, I’ve admitted that I have a problem. Now I’m going to put my camera in my bag, and start shooting other things with my film.

In the meantime, here’s some from the last roll of my dogs….

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