Digital photographers have been arguing that analog is over pretty much since digital cameras were invented, but there’s a passionate crowd who insist that film photography is only getting more popular. When it comes down to it, there’s just something compelling about the grainy depth of analog images. Plus, the spontaneous feel of shooting film is hard to imitate when you know you can store hundreds of RAW files on your memory card.
Developing film can be pricey, but analog gear often comes cheap—you can easily pick up a decent SLR from brands like Pentax or Minolta for under $100 on eBay. And with companies like Impossible Project and Lomography reviving instant film photography, there are more and more options out there for shooting analog.
From Tel Aviv to Toronto to Kansas City, here are 18 photography portfolios that prove film is alive and well.
This Boston-based photographer uses 4x5 film to capture mesmerizing portraits of Mars, right here on Earth. Cassandra Klos has photographed Mars simulations in Hawaii and Utah, documenting the people who devote their time to living the way astronauts on Mars would in order to further space travel research. Recently, her work was published in Time Magazine. Klos uses a simple horizontally scrolling theme to showcase her work.
Currently based in Tel Aviv, by way of Vancouver, Canada, Jill Schweber’s analog photos are full of personality and movement. She’s worked with Editorial Magazine, Nakid, Contributor Magazine, and Junk. Schweber uses a vertical scroll to display her images in a way that fills up the whole page.
Selected for the Portrait of Britain Award in 2016, this British photographer is definitely an expert when it comes to portrait shots. Matheson often shoots on 120mm film, and her images are always crisp and neatly composed, capturing her subjects in moments that let their personalities stand out. She keeps the selection of work on her portfolio brief, making sure that her best images are the focus.
UK photographer Leanne Surfleet specializes in dreamy, surreal film photography. She’s worked with Lomography, shooting on their instant film camera, as well as with indie film company Impossible Project. Surfleet uses a classic serif font for her horizontally scrolling portfolio, which showcases a large volume of work using dropdown menus for easy navigation.
5. Lily Brown
This Brighton, UK-based photographer shoots both analog and digital fashion photos, and is also the co-founder of skate and streetwear platform By The Level. Brown has worked with an impressive roster of clients, including Nike, New Balance, and Converse. She organizes her work by separating it into commercial and editorial projects.
6. Emma Picq
Parisian photographer Emma Picq balances shooting both film and digital for her fashion photography and evocative personal work. She uses a pale pink background and beige fonts to add personality to her portfolio, showing each image one by one in a frame that fills up the whole page for maximum impact.
Most recently, this Toronto photographer has shot for Galore, as well as behind the scenes work for Roy Woods. She’s a pro at capturing the vibe of a party or a set via 35mm film. Fullad keeps things simple with her portfolio, using a horizontally scrolling theme to show off a small selection of work.
8. Tess Mayer
Based in New York City, photographer Tess Mayer works at Interview Magazine. Her photo work ranges from documentary to portraiture. An ongoing series following her younger sister growing up is definitely a work to watch. Mayer neatly divides her personal work into a separate category from her commissioned photography.
9. Phoebe Kelly
Currently a student in Brisbane, Phoebe Kelly excels at capturing meditative moments with analog photography. Her portraits of friends are evocative and personal, and her photos of her travels around the world offer small glimpses into her life. She organizes her photography neatly with a variety of different collections making for easy browsing.
10. Cian Oba-Smith
Based in London, Cian Oba-Smith shoots only on film, documenting dirt bikers in English suburbia, the Islamic community in Iceland, and a tiny island off the Irish coast. These are just a few of Oba-Smith’s unique film projects. The analog photographer has also been featured in a slew of publications, from The Guardian to Dazed & Confused.
11. Katie Sadie
Located in Toronto, photographer Katie Sadie often shoots on 120mm film. Her analog photos are crisp and carefully composed. Sadie especially excels at capturing street scenes, documenting unique personalities and locations on a recent road trip across the United States. She draws attention to her latest work by placing it at the top of her portfolio menu, and making a new series her default homepage.
12. Chase Castor
Chase Castor is a Kansas City-based photographer and filmmaker. He specializes in documentary photography, capturing the environments around him with a careful eye, as well as documenting political events, like the recent Fight for 15 minimum wage protest in Kansas City. Castor uses a blog page to share updates about his work while keeping the rest of his portfolio uncluttered.
Based in Oregon, Rachel Jane Lemme is both a photographer and a fiber artist. Her analog photography is intimate and richly colored, with a similar vibe to her fiber artworks, which tend towards organic shapes and are often photographed in natural settings. She divides her portfolio up between her artwork and her photos using a simple sidebar menu.
14. Ana Topoleanu
Ana Topoleanu excels at capturing stunning landscapes and portraits alike. Whether it’s a shot of a crowded Barcelona beach or quiet Chilean mountains, her analog photography is always a visual treat. Topoleanu is originally from Romania, but has lived in many countries and is now based in Mexico. Her use of full-page images on her portfolio website really helps the film grain and the small details in her 35mm photos stand out.
15. Anna Gallifent
Currently a fashion photography student, Anna Gallifent is based in London. Her 35mm photography features lots of lush film grain and light leaks. She organizes different magazine editorials and categories of images using a menu at the top of her portfolio, with clickable photo captions on images for added context.
16. Mia Sakai
This London-based creative works with mixed media and edits Aether Magazine, in addition to taking gorgeous analog photographs in cities like Stockholm and Tokyo. Mia Sakai organizes her dreamy photography in a neat grid, and uses a sweet pink-and-blue pastel background to make her work stand out and add a poppy aesthetic to her portfolio.
17. Francesca Allen
Based in London, photographer Francesca Allen has been nominated for awards by Magnum and Saatchi, and exhibited at galleries including the Serpentine and Southbank Centre. Her analog photos are full of personality and color, and she uses a click-through gallery theme to let each one shine.
Cover image by Jill Schweber.
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