Just before Christmas, as we were walking through our local market on the way home from a pub lunch, we chanced upon a stall selling refurbished film cameras. Each one had been carefully restored, and some had been customised with coloured leather. One of these cameras, an Olympus Trip 35 with green sage leather, caught my daughter’s eye because it perfectly matched her personal style.
What is her style? We call it “Bletchley Park chic”, because it’s so 1940s and retro. If Tate ever fell through a spacetime portal and ended up having to crack codes in an English country house in the 1940s, she’d fit right in. There’s a lot of green and brown and tweed. Look at the picture above, and you’ll get the idea.
Of course I bought her the camera. Of course! She also wanted to learn all about how film processing works, because it involves chemicals and potions. She had seen my husband processing all my film when I did a 365 a few years ago and thought it looked like alchemy, with magic potions, only in real life.
So for the past few weeks she has been snapping away, and when she finished her first roll of black-and-white film, they processed it together in the kitchen. Since then she has shot a roll of colour film, and now she has another black-and-white roll in the camera. I know it looks as though I have lured her into some kind of film-photography cult, but it was all her idea, and it all happened quite by chance, because we happened to be walking through the market that day.
She has always liked playing with instant cameras, and sticking the pictures in her notebooks, so I’m thrilled that she has now discovered the joy of shooting 35mm film. It really was a happy accident!