Member Moment: Mary Kang

Film Club
Mary Kang is an active Film Club Member who takes beautiful photos! Her images are nicely composed and have a soft quality to them that is dream-like. This week we decided to interview her to get to know her better and what she likes about film photography. Scroll down to read the interview and see some of her photos. 

Photograph of overgrown silo next to house

Photograph of wooden basketball hoop

PL: What got you interested in film photography?

MK: I started admiring film photography when a friend of mine began toting his camera around and sharing his photos with me. I loved the quality of the photos but also reminiscing on shared memories together months after the fact. I started to do my own research and took the plunge myself during quarantine after my parents found my late grandfather’s camera and lenses and shipped them to me! It remains a way for me to feel connected to him.

Photograph of horses in a field

Photograph of a highland cow in a field

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

MK: Nikon FM2 and point and shoots: Minolta Hi-Matic AF and a Canon espirit (a fun, free FB Marketplace find!) As for film, it’s been hard to find anything affordable or in-stock these days! Been working with Kodak Gold lately and a few precious leftover rolls of Portra 400.

Photograph of cacti next to house

Photograph of tree outside house

Photograph of steering wheel in vintage car

PL: When out photographing, what are some objects or elements within a scene that inspire you to take a photo?

MK: Moody lighting and small moments! I stop (or pull over) to capture details and emotion in an otherwise common scene for me: Cotton candy skies behind the overgrown silo I drive by all the time, the light perfectly hitting an old homemade basketball net I noticed on a dog walk, the big cow staring at me on a long country road… 

Photograph of vintage car in garage

Photograph of orange light in Lincoln Memorial

Photograph of dog shaking off water

PL: What are some qualities that you like about film photography vs. digital photography?  

MK: I enjoy shooting film because of the connection. 

Connection to the moment - having to be mindful as you shoot since each roll of film is so precious! This means I am more thoughtful about each shot, and am more present in each moment because of the delayed gratification. Being a yoga student and teacher - just practicing what I preach about mindfulness! 

Connection to my grandfather in shared hobbies, using his lenses.

Connection to a simpler, analog time - nostalgia. 

Photograph of ocean between two cliffs

Photograph of watering hole with waterfalls

Photograph of person with legs in poll overlooking landscape

PL: Some of your photos seem to capture a variety of places you have traveled to. What does it mean for you to capture these places/moments on film? 

MK:  Film photos allow you to relive and reflect on that moment, that trip, revisit how you felt…long after arriving home.

Photograph of horses on a beach

Photograph of white plant house in a garden

Photograph of house with clothes line looking through trees

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

MK: Laundry hanging on a clothesline! I enjoy the way the leaves frame the photo as if the viewer stumbled out of the brush onto this quaint scene of a pastel wardrobe soaking up the sun. It transports me right back to that perfect day in Ravello, Italy - my friend and I had actually taken one wrong turn and gotten separated from the group, but ended up finding a wonderful terrace bar with an epic view, steps away from where this shot was taken! 

Photograph of vase of flowers on coffee table in living room

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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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