The summer I experimented with magic: An intentional journey with 35mm film | Charlottesville Family Photographer
I experimented with magic this summer — or rather, finding it.
Now that the season is unofficially over, I'll admit it: I was dreading summer. But eventually, I realized that instead of focusing on the heat and how I would occupy two little boys all day, I wanted to find every moment of pure summer, simplicity, and nostalgia.
I wanted to make this experiment tangible, of course. So I kept a notebook handy, and jotted down each moment when I recognized it. A few of my favorites are:
June 4: Watching Oliver eat a giant marshmallow by the campfire — dancing, smiling, biting into like an apple
June 12: Dancing with Tyler in the kitchen to "40 Day Dream" while Oliver danced next to us
June 13: Watching Tucker jump rope for the very first time
The notes end by July, though, when I started picking up my dad's old 35mm film camera again. With this, I realized could savor summer in a whole new, magical way.
I don't know when the last time you used a film camera was, so I'll remind you: It makes you slow way down. To think, to frame, to feel a moment before you capture it. Not to mention, it's oozing with nostalgia. It was just the right tool for an experiment like this.
I shot six rolls of film throughout July and August, each one feeling like Christmas morning when the scans came in. All but one roll was Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 400; the last roll (my favorite) was shot using the soft and wonderful Kodak Portra 400.
Not every image was a winner — there were lots of disappointments and frustrations (using expired film didn't help, either). But as with most things, the beauty outweighed the failures.
And along the way, I learned that the magic of summer is really just everyday magic — I was simply choosing to see it.
Welcome to the blog! I'm Laura, a Charlottesville-area photographer specializing in authentic, natural-light photography and heirloom print art. Hope you'll explore my little online home and reach out if you have any questions!