Megan Swick is an active Film Club Member within the community who has been a great promoter of film photography and PhotoLounge. This week we decided to interview her and share a group of her photos with the community. Scroll down to read more and see her images!
PL: What got you interested in film photography?
MS: I’ve always loved taking pictures. Growing up I was constantly adding to my collection of digital cameras, using Flip video cameras, an iPod touch, really whatever I could get my hands on. Around 5 years ago, sometime in college, I bought my first disposable camera. It was meant to be a way for me to take pictures when I’m out, but still feel “in the moment”. I loved the look of them so much I kept buying them, then I got a point and shoot, then a Canon FTB and I just kept expanding into different films and formats! It all grew from the need to take pictures while also being on my phone less.
PL: What type of camera do you shoot with and what kind of film do you usually use?
MS: My rollei prego zoom has proven to be my most trusty camera. It’s a regular old point and shoot but the size makes it really practical to keep on me all the time. For more planned photos, like if I’m going on a trip, I’ll take my Canon FTb. I’m Kodak stan as well, I’m usually shooting with Kodak Gold, Color Plus, or Ultra Max. Lomography 400 is up there too!
PL: A few of your photos capture candid moments of people. What do you enjoy about photographing people? What is challenging about it?
MS: My favorite photos I’ve taken are candid moments of people. I am big on nostalgia and romanticizing the golden days even when said golden days were days ago. Film lets me capture these memories in a way that feels so true to how I felt in the moment, the warm hues and grain bring this special dream-like quality to the photo. I especially love when a light leak, or a thumb in the corner ends up in the shot. I think it’s a beautiful reminder that you’re looking at someone’s memory, a friendly invitation to see what they saw for a second.
I would say the challenge comes when you want to capture a candid moment, but someone in the frame notices your camera. It breaks the photo in a way, especially when most people’s reaction is to pose. At this point I have my camera on me so often that the people I’m around most don’t think twice when I raise it to snap a photo, so I’m lucky in that way.
PL: When taking pictures, what are some objects or elements or feelings within a scene that inspire you to take a photo?
MS: I find I enjoy very simple moments. I look for pretty shapes and colors, natural lines. Sometimes I’ll take five photos of trash in the street, so it doesn’t have to be something special. I find that there’s a lot of charm in the ordinary.
PL: Some of your photos seem to be taken while you are traveling. What does it mean for you to capture these moments on film?
MS: A lot of my photos come from trips and adventures. I come home and end up having no photos on my phone to show people because I was too busy with my film. I just find that it has a special way of capturing moments that look exactly like you remember them. So it’s important to me to take pictures of the new places I go so I can remember them properly. There’s something so inviting about the way the pictures turn out, it’s like a personalized postcard and it always makes me want to go back.
PL: Out of all of these images, which photo is your favorite and why?
MS: My favorite has to be the Grand Canyon cowboys. That was taken on an incredibly long and hot hike in the Grand Canyon. These guys were coming so fast down the trail I was fumbling to get my camera out of my backpack and I didn’t even look through the viewfinder before I just snapped a picture and hoped for the best. When I got to see the photo I loved the bright colors, the texture of the rock, and the most satisfying natural line of these men, all looking to the left corner. I couldn’t have posed a moment better if I tried. I have this one framed in my house and I still smile when I look at it.
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!