Member Moment: Jenn Wang

Film Club
Jenn Wang is a Film Club Member who we interviewed this week. She submitted a collection of portraits and personal, quiet moments that have inspired her to take more film photos. Scroll down to see her photos and to read the interview! 

PL: What got you interested in film photography?

JW:  I’ve always loved taking photos, none of them particularly good or artistic, but just as a way to record the things around me for myself. In high school, my mom really indulged my interests, and bought me a Casio point and shoot, a Polaroid I-Zone, and a little camera attachment for my Sony Ericsson cellphone that I definitely bedazzled. My friends and family got used to having a camera in their faces, and even now, that’s something that they’re all very accommodating of.

I became particularly interested in film photography when I picked up my first film camera at a flea market in Antwerp 10 years ago. The first photo I ever took was of the camera shop owner who I purchased my first roll of film from.  He was also the person who showed me how to use the camera, and his kindness was my first introduction into the film camera world. Getting film developed, and seeing what turns out has become one of my favorite feelings.

PL: What type of camera do you shoot with and what kind of film do you usually use?

JW: I shoot film mostly on my Konica Autoreflex TC. I’ve purchased a couple of other cameras since that first one, but maybe because of familiarity and just ease of use, I always end up bringing that camera when I decide to shoot film. I use Kodak Portra and Fujifilm Superia the most, but I’m excited to try all of the rolls of expired 35mm film that my friend Steven recently gifted me.

PL: What are some qualities that you like about color film?

JW: I like that with color film, it becomes a large part of how you compose your shot. You notice the colors that really stand out in a scene that’s in front of you, or the placement of a subject in a scene that may seem out of place. The tones in color film are always so beautiful (when I can get the exposure right), and even with digital photos, is something that I tend to try and recreate in the settings or post.

PL: Out of all of these photos, which one is your favorite and why?

JW: I think my favorite is probably the photo of our family dog, Oliver, standing in the snow. I feel very lucky when I get to notice moments where things seem perfectly in line, and the photo makes me feel very peaceful. Oliver was always the first thing we would take a photo of when any of my family members got a new phone or camera to test out, and we miss him very much!

PL: What do you enjoy about photographing people? What is challenging about it?

JW: I really enjoy taking photos of people because it gives me the opportunity to capture how I see them, beautiful and lovely. I always feel the most proud when I show someone a photo of them that I’ve taken that they say they love.

I remember seeing a really beautifully painted portrait at the MFA Boston, and in the description, it said that the artist, Sedrick Huckaby, created portraits of his friends and family because everyone deserves to be the subject of art – “..They’re important enough to make monuments out of them”. That description has stuck in my brain, and I love it very much.

The most challenging aspect of photographing people, for me, is making sure they’re in focus and exposed correctly. I still have a lot to learn in terms of all of the technical aspects of photography, digital and film, but I’m looking forward to learning.

PL: When photographing, what are you thinking before you click the shutter?

JW: Honestly, I’m mostly wondering if my camera settings are correct, and if I’ll be able to capture exactly what I have in my viewfinder and brain once the film has been developed. I’m working on bridging that gap, and it’s always fun to see how things turn out. Sometimes, the photos are unexpectedly better than you thought they would be, and other times nothing is in focus, and everything is too dark, but it’s all a learning experience, and it’s fun to be able to have something tangible to document the ride.


Every day, Club Members take exceptional pictures. If you are not a Film Club Member yet what are you waiting for? Join today to support the photo community in Philly and to start saving money on film processing!
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