Ilford FP4 Plus 125

In 2015, when Debbie and Larry gave me an old Mamiya C3 camera for my birthday, I didn't know what I was going to do with it. I hadn't picked up a film camera in so many years and I was really nervous. Don't get me wrong-I was over the moon to have it. I got so excited and wanted to shoot right away, and then realized I didn't have a clue how to load it. Larry is a high school photo teacher and lovingly instructed me.

I put a roll of black and white film in the camera and toted it around until I saw something worth shooting. Inspiration hit me right around 11pm, in Vegas, in my favorite hotel, the Mandarin Oriental. Ugh-you know where this is going. Vegas. 11pm. Nobody is sober at that time. And was I carrying a tripod with me. Of course not. So, I'm tipsy and handholding this camera. I breath in and hold my breath...and realize I haven't cocked the shutter. Breathe in and hold...click. I try again. It would be a miracle to get a focused image in these conditions. Hold my breath...I forgot to wind the film. Hold my breath...cock the shutter...SHIT! Hold my breath...click.

You can imagine I didn't have the highest hopes that these images would turn out. I mean, c'mon-it had been so long and it was film. I couldn't see anything I was doing. I was guessing all night at my exposures and I haven't looked at a meter in who knows how long. So, like anyone with a huge ego, I waited to send them in to be developed. Two years. I couldn't handle them turning out terribly. 

After the WPPI trade show this year, I did it. I love The Find Lab and Richard Photo Lab and tossed a coin to see who I'd test with first. Richard it was. I sent them in and immediately called to explain to the office staff why my photos might be the worst they'd ever seen. I begged them not to laugh. I am after all, quite fragile.

I got the scans back today and LOOK!!! They are awesome. Just what I wanted the photo to look like (as tears well up in my eyes...really, tears). Feels a little like magic. To be fair, they didn't all turn out this good, but this wall at the Mandarin-I'm in love.