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Maryssa on film: Portland lifestyle photography and boudoir shoot

35mm film portraits for Portland artist and hair stylist. Lifestyle photo session meets boudoir shoot.

Check out Part 1 of this series featuring digital personal branding and lifestyle photography

Update Aug 10, 2023

Any film photogs out there ever shoot an entire roll of film and completely forget about it? That's what just happened with me and this roll of black and white film I shot with Maryssa. I'm a color film girly all the way so I honestly did not put a ton of thought into this black and white roll. JOKES ON ME, RIGHT?! Because *sigh emoji* - I might be a convert now. I never would have expected this gorgeous colorful setting to look so good on black and white but I love the simplicity and the different vibe it serves up.


I first got into photography through film. I took my first dark room photography class as a freshman in high school and learned how to shoot and meter and compose on my dad's old Pentax K1000. I still vividly remember the very first photo I developed in the dark room. It was a shot of the ivy growing agains the garage in my family's backyard. It was a black and white shot, captured and printed on Ilford products. I will never forget the feeling of watching the photo develop before my eyes.

I've loved getting back into the art form after shooting predominantly on digital for most of the past decade. Shooting this 35mm film portrait session with Maryssa was a dream project. Her apartment is perfect for a nostalgic, vintage film vibe with tons of natural light, plants, pops of color throughout the decor plus that iconic vintage orange couch.


What goes into a 35mm film portrait shoot?

In this digital age, there is something undeniably nostalgic and mesmerizing about shooting with 35mm film. Shooting with 35mm film demands a different approach to photography, one that requires patience and precision. Unlike digital photography, where we can review and delete shots instantly, film photography encourages us to slow down, be intentional with every frame, and make each click count. Film appeals to me for this and many other reasons and it's been exciting to get back into the art form after shooting predominantly on digital for most of the past decade.

As a photographer, I find myself drawn to the authentic and raw quality that film offers. It adds a touch of imperfection and unpredictability to the images, resulting in photographs that are unique and impossible to replicate with digital tools. Embracing the imperfections allows us to capture the true essence of our subjects and create images that evoke emotions and memories that last a lifetime.

Shooting film is a different vibe than shooting digital. You can't rely on the "spray and pray method" - as in holding down the shutter and praying to get a shot in one of the many frames you capture. Film is a much more intentional medium, making it appealing for a lot of clients who want a more intentional feel with their branding or portraits. Film has a more textured, vintage look and captures a certain aesthetic that usually gets polished over by the high quality of digital images.

Because of this intentional quality, I like to ease into a film shoot with a handful of detail shots of the setting. I like to capture the vibe of the scene as well as portraits of my subject. A portrait shoot doesn't feel complete unless I've caught the feeling of the location and I like to get these early on while both me and the client are "warming up." I also like to have my client move through the space naturally. I appreciate a candid approach and don't like to start shooting immediately, but instead prefer to make sure we're all comfortable around each other. I think this makes for the most intimate and natural portraits.

Portland's vintage vibes and the timeless allure of 35mm film create a perfect marriage, and make for captivating and unforgettable portraits. As a candid photographer, my passion lies in preserving moments and emotions through the art of film photography. Whether it's a romantic engagement session, a playful family shoot, or an empowering boudoir session, 35mm film never fails to add a touch of magic to each frame.

So, if you're looking to capture the essence of your brand or embrace your true self in an intimate boudoir shoot, reach out for your own 35mm film portrait or boudoir session today.


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