The Girl Who Knew Nothing.
It's no secret that I harbor a deep love for film. It's also probably no secret that I'm still trying to learn it, flip flopping from trying to practice with different types of film to technicalities to simply swooning over my favorite photographer's images. When I was lucky enough to go to WPPI for the first time this year, I was excited for what the week would hold, but I was most excited about Jose Villa's platform class. Thus when I got online and scrambled to preboard for his class, you can imagine how far my heart sank when I saw it was sold out. Sold out? THIS CAN'T BE! THIS IS MY DESTINY! Yes. It was every bit as dramatic. So I sulked and I sulked, eventually plotting the best way to simply sneak in when, unbeknownst to me, Jeremey Mitchell and Nick Godsell were ohsogenerous and GAVE UP their tickets so that I could go. Like, GAVE THEM TO ME. "We're videographers, we probably won't get much out of it, you go." It was like they gave me a golden frickin' ticket! (not Deena's). But it did make me want to Jersey Turnpike them just for the kind gesture. Within the first 2 minutes of Jose's class I was crying. Not because he had said anything moving, in fact he hadn't taken the stage, but just watching his work flash through a slideshow and viewing his images, I cried knowing that THAT was what I wanted to do. I wanted to shoot film and shoot it beautifully. I wanted to make people feel something with my work. I cried because I had found my niche. By the looks of this blog you'd say I was a cry baby, but, let's move on...
When Jose said he would be forming a group outside of the conference room and taking questions, I knew it was my chance. I was confident I had to stick around and battle the crowds to be able to speak my mind. There, in the MGM Grand's hallway I circled around, wiggled my way to the front, and loudly asked: "I have two questions. First, what is your advice for someone who is just starting off? What's the best resource to learn the ropes?" This is it I thought. This is my magic pill. THIS is just what I need to know to be incredible...
"Well, I have been practicing. A lot. Sometimes I get back work that I love and other times it's lackluster. Any online sites or resources that would be great to learn technicalities, like metering?"
"You probably aren't documenting like you should. You need to write down everything about every shot. And practice. That's how you'll learn."
Dammit, he's right.
And, in typical Ashley "Make your intentions known and put your dreams out there into the universe" fashion I belted out my last question. "Okay, so...how do I get you to take my picture, because I'm going to be real real good one day..."
Everyone giggled and I slipped away, back out of the crowd, tears quickly forming. I was so proud of myself for saying "This is it, go TALK TO THE MAN YOU STALK ONLINE" and for making my intentions known. Jose didn't give me the golden nugget of advice I was looking for, but he did open my eyes to the passion that has been forming inside. He caused me to leave and say "I am going to stop being the girl who feels like she knows nothing about film and start being the girl who knows everything".
Easier said than done, but I will continue document my journey along the way. I feel like there is a huge demand for updated education on the medium, but so far I haven't been able to find any clear and concise info (I love Jose's book and Jonathan Canalas', but I find them lacking in the technical department) If anyone has any resources they'd like to share, please feel free, and I will do the same when I find some as well! ;) I'll never give up digital either! I plan to continue to shoot weddings in digital and will start incorporating film into them as I progress. But an engagement shoot in film never hurts. ;)
Me in film, shot on my Canon 1Vn by great friend Erin Oveis Brant while I visited San Fran. She's good.