About two years ago, I bought a Holga. I loved my digital camera, but I was ready to try something new – and since I couldn’t afford to upgrade to a DSLR, I decided to go the other direction and try film. I was excited to try medium format film, and I liked the idea of a toy camera – all the imperfections and the dreamy quality of the plastic lenses intrigued me. So I thought I’d give it a shot (ha!).
Two years and seven rolls of medium format later, and I still hadn’t developed a single one. Part laziness, part…ok, mostly just laziness. I loved taking the pictures, but finding a shop that would develop 120 film, dropping them off, scanning, choosing prints, etc. just kept getting pushed to the very bottom of my to do list.
This month I finally dropped off all seven rolls to be developed, and yesterday I got my negatives back. I was about 76% sure none of them would come out and I wouldn’t have a single picture to show for my years of Holga-ing. Amazingly, most of my shots did turn out. They’re far from perfect, and they’re not the classic Holga square because I had the wrong mask on the entire time (I win at life). But I LOVE them. Each and every one.
And because it has been years since I took some of these, I had completely forgotten about a lot of them. For example – I forgot that I handed the Holga off to my mom at my wedding, giving her a quick rundown of how to advance the frames. So last night I got to see wedding pictures I didn’t know existed. It was like finding buried treasure.
I plan to order prints, but I haven’t yet. These are “poor man’s scans“: my SLR + a piece of glass + a blank Word document + Picnik.
It’s like looking through a scrapbook I didn’t know I had made.
As I type this, I’m still deciding whether to publish this post. Maybe I should wait until I get actual prints? Maybe some of the wedding photos feel too personal to share. Maybe I’m afraid the magic I see when I look at these won’t translate. Regardless, I’m completely addicted to Holga now. I’ll try not to wait another two years to get my film developed this time.