I was so excited to interview Bloom Member Karyn Johnson. She is a super talented film photographer out of California. After you read her interview, head over to her blog for some drool worthy photographs!
Tell us about Karyn.
My blog describes me the best:
I am…a film girl
a chips ‘n salsa addict
a pistachio ice cream freak (preferably baskin robbins or thriftys!)
an anything apple i crazy person
a mom to two crazy boys
a wife to an even crazier husband
and just a girl with a camera.
When did your photography journey begin and what got you started?
I’ve always had a camera close by ever since I could remember…but really got obsessed with this crazy hobby just a few years ago, started a business to become legit and have been having fun with it ever since. (I have a tendency to get obsessive with my hobbies.)
I happen to know you’re a gorgeous film photographer, what started you shooting film?
Thank you!! After my obsession began, I started discovering so many great photographers (via endless nights of blog hopping) and happened to stumble upon Jose Villa’s blog…Hello, love at first sight! When I learned that his beautiful pastel colored images were produced on film I knew that I had to try it.
Do you shoot film exclusively now?
I would love to, but I still have tons to learn and a whole mountain of self doubt to overcome when it comes to shooting film and photography in general. I am shooting anything and everything that I can on film for now and signed up for Jonathan Canlas’ FIND workshop in December with hopes of shooting film 95% of the time in the future. I still love digital and the creative part that comes with the post-processing so I don’t think I’ll ever give up on digital.
How did you learn to shoot film? What were the biggest challenges?
Okay, don’t laugh at my education…I googled Jose Villa interviews (this was prior to all of the great published film resources out there now) and wrote down anything that gave clues on how he shot film. Purchased a Canon EOS 3, shot a roll of fuji 400h, mailed to RPL for developing and scanning, downloaded my scans and I was hooked! Since then, I’ve read Jose’s book, Jonathan’s book and Elizabeth Messina’s book and also had the pleasure of being part of Becky Earl’s first film workshop on The Bloom Forum (highly recommended btw). The biggest challenges have been manual focusing (still challenging me), choosing which lab to use, the long wait for my beloved scans and getting used to the grain of my first set of film scans…such a huge difference between digital images and film scans at first. Oh and yes, it still kills me to this day to not “know” what I have in my camera. But I love, love, love the simplicity of shooting film.
What is in your camera bag?
Canon EOS 3, 50 1.4, Contax 645, 80 2.0, Mamiya 645 AF, 80 2.8 (purchased with the intention of shooting b&w film), and a newly acquired Canon 5d (which I love so far).
Tell us about some of the photographers that inspire you.
There is something about Jose Villa’s and Elizabeth Messina’s images that just mesmerize me. But I am inspired by all the film photographers who are 100% film shooters. I am inspired by their love of film and total commitment to what they love…this is where I would love to be someday…fully committed to what I truly love and comfortable in my own skin.
If you could photograph anyone, who would you choose and why?
First on my list would be my boys…because I never tire of seeing their faces :). Second on my list…The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, but currently known as Prince again, lol!..my husband seriously might be his biggest fan…this would be the ultimate gift to him. He made me go to two of his concerts last year!!!
Share with us 2 of your favorite film images you have taken and why they are your favorites.
These are my nieces and I love these two images just as much as I love them…I love how calm & peaceful Allison looks with her eyes closed. She is very artistic and this reminds me of her dreamy artistic filled soul. And Kaede’s huge smile always puts a smile on my face…a little dose of Kaede’s happiness captured in this image forever…what more can an auntie ask for!!!
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
HA! I actually have a full time non-photography related job, so if I had the opportunity to put more time into photography, I would in a heartbeat. However, I was an avid knitter not too long ago and still love the sweater that I designed and knit, so maybe knitwear designer!
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Depends on my mood…but if I had to choose, chocolate.
Your favorite vacation spot?
I’m easy…any ocean + beach = karyn’s paradise.
What is your favorite TV show?
This one makes me laugh, because I am so behind on tv watching these days. Ranch and I don’t allow the boys to watch tv during the school year, so the tv is rarely on…I am very much lacking in the tv culture department! But when the tv is on my boys are watching Storage Wars and Pawn Stars…I live very much in a boy world…but wouldn’t have it any other way :).
Thanks so much Karyn for being so open and sharing so much of your talent with us. We are so lucky to have all this amazing talent on the forum!