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Overcoming Fear with Film


I have been fascinated with film photography for a while now. The dreamy look and whimsical feel that film can give you, is just so good. All those bright, hazy, glowing images, bokeh-ed out and a little blurry. It's so damn beautiful. I've just always been too scared to try it. I always felt film was for the big dogs. You know, the super professionals who have been in the business for a long time and know what they're doing. It doesn't help that I have an unhealthy, completely unrealistic desire to be perfect at everything, even as a beginner.

It wasn't until I met another photographer in Vienna, that ever so graciously allowed me to use her camera, a vintage Canon AE-1 35mm. This kind human was even generous enough to impart all of her film knowledge on me. We walked around Vienna, taking in all of the picture perfect, beauty of the city. But I was so nervous, committing to my first shot. 'What if I didn't expose it correctly? What if the image comes out blurry? I won't know that I'm making a mistake until I get it developed and then it's too late! I could ruin roll after roll of film without knowing it.'

Then the other part of my squishy brain yelled, "SHUT UP! YOU ARE SO ANNOYING SOMETIMES. JUST DO IT!" So I snapped my first shot of a red rose in the gorgeous Volksgarten and continued on with my photo walk. And that was all there was to it. It was such an anticlimactic moment for my fears and anxieties and yet, such a huge moment for myself!

I mean, honestly, how many times do we get stuck in our head, convincing ourselves that we are failing at life before we even do anything? How many experiences could we have accomplished if we just believed that we are already capable or that it's okay, and even good to fail? Folks this is a lie. A lie I know I fall victim to more than once a day and a lie I'm done listening to! And you should be too.

Life is too short on earth for all this tip-toeing, what if, lack of confidence mentality. I may be preaching to the choir, or straight to your heart or merely to my own. But we have to stop living in fear and just take the shot. Pun ver much intended.

A lot of my shots came out a bit too yellow for my liking, the exposure is off in a lot of them, some are out of focus, some too grainy and the first 10 pictures that I took didn't even get developed because I failed pretty well at removing the film properly BUT I still got some pretty little shots that I'm proud of.

Now go try something you're afraid of doing. Something that little nagging voice says, you can't do. Something you feel completely incapable of doing. I promise, even if you fail, it will make you feel alive and well, stronger and better for even trying.

xo Mia




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© 2015 Mia Seilern