1. Choose your camera wisely
It’s not necessary to have the most high-end camera to achieve good film photos. If you’re looking for a way to start shooting with minimal commitment, choose disposable or reloadable cameras.
2. Picking out film
The range of different film options and ISO can be overwhelming. Simply put, ISO is what controls brightness and darkness. When shopping for film, you’ll find numbers like 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1600; these refer to the film’s speed and sensitivity to light. The higher the number, the more sensitive and the more flexible your options will be when photographing without sunlight. Pro tip: as a beginner, your best bet is starting with ISO 400.
3. Experiment, experiment, experiment
Make the most of your film. Experiment shooting in different lighting – daylight, artificial lights, indoors, outdoors, in a bar, on a boat – wherever you like. Just practise!
4. Expect accidents
Light leaks and blank shots are all part of the process. Don’t expect your film to be perfect; these accidents are what make film photos unique.
5. The most obvious rule
Don’t open the film compartment until the roll is done! Even the most experienced film photographers have made this mistake. It can be tempting to open the camera if you think something’s wrong, but all it takes is one second for your roll to be damaged by light exposure. If you do make this mistake, don’t panic. You can still get it developed and check out the interesting light leaks.