Member Moment: Jeff Familetti

Film Club

Jeff Familetti joined our Film Club through our partnership with REC Philly! He has recently been tagging us on Instagram and we wanted to know more about the images. These photos were actually some of his first photos taken on film while on a trip down the coast of California.  All of the photos were shot on Kodak Ultramax with a Minolta Maxxum 5. Read on to learn more about his experience with photography.

Q: What got you interested in film photography?
A: I have always been fascinated by film; I remember growing up with film cameras as a child. One particular instance I remember was going to see the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. My parents let me use their film camera and since I didn’t know any better I opened it up and accidentally started double exposing all of the photos. Completely on accident I took this incredible photo of the Statue of Liberty that got overlaid with a list of names from Ellis Island. I always wished I could find that photo because that’s when I first became interested in capturing unique moments like that. 

Q: What are some qualities that you like about film photography? 
A: One of my favorite qualities of film is having to wait to find out how it turned out. In a world of instant gratification it’s one of the only instances where you still can’t see the immediate result. That, and the fact that you get to physically hold the results in your hand. In fact, this was a conversation I had with my bandmate that sparked the idea behind our band name, The Last Generation On Film, because we are the last generation before digital became everything; we are the last generation to be able to hold our baby pictures on film. 

Q: What did you enjoy about taking photos of a different landscape? Was there anything challenging about it?
A: It really is crazy how different the West Coast is in terms of geography. Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway was one of the most stunning trips of my life, it was almost hard to choose what to capture because I wanted to take pictures of everything. I think the thing I enjoyed the most about the different landscapes was just that; how different they were. In just a few hours drive, from along the ocean to high into the desert, the scenery changes so dramatically. The biggest challenge was getting my settings right to adapt to the different lighting, and the way the sun just feels like it hits differently out there. 

Q: The way your photos are framed is visually engaging. When photographing, what are you thinking before you click the shutter?
A: I really enjoy framing, it’s one of my favorite things about photography, so I try to capture things in a way that draws your eye to different parts of the picture, whether it be the rule of thirds or the golden ratio. I aim to make the background just as intriguing as the foreground and subject matter. 

Q: Out of all of these photos which is your favorite and why? 
A: I’m torn honestly, I’m between the photo of the sailboat and the photo of Los Angeles. I love the sailboat one because I really had no idea how it was going to turn out; it was overcast that day and the sailboat was going by fast so I tried to time it as perfectly as possible and I was able to capture it just right. The view of LA is from my friends house and is the first thing you see when you get to the top of his driveway. It is one of my favorite views and it was only made better by the color of the wildflower bush that was in full bloom at the time, which the film captured beautifully. 

Q: Now that you have dipped your toes into film photography, do you have any plans for what you will take photos of next? Or any future project ideas? 
A: Now that I have a better understanding of film, my first goal is to not rely so heavily on my digital camera to help me set up the shot. I’m itching to go on another road trip and capture the scenery of different places around the country and the world. I also plan on diving deeper into the meaning behind our band name and having everything we do be on actual film.

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