SHE ADDS THE human touch to her photos and interprets couples’ love stories onto
film; Samantha Ann Francis is a rare example of a commercial photographer who executes her vision with 35mm film exclusively.
On the weekdays, the 24-year-old works as an editor for a magazine
and busies herself on the weekends with her weekend project, FEElim Photography. Samantha started out shooting for her
friends for free and its carefree origins is accentuated by its tongue-in-cheek name, "FEE-lim" — how film is often colloquially mispronounced.
“Every time I talked to them about film it brings back some sort of nostalgia because everyone had photos of them captured on film before. When you were young we only had film cameras so by shooting them on film I am hoping to bring back that sense of nostalgia,” Samantha shares.
The founder of FEElim Photography devotes her weekends to the couples she is photographing for. She explains: “I enjoy seeing relationships among people, whether friendships or relationships like lovers. If you take inanimate objects, that’s fine for those who love architecture but I prefer the human touch. I think couples show it best, I mean love is probably the other end of the spectrum.”
Film is the opposite of instant gratification, where every shot of the frame goes unseen once you press the shutter button of the camera
Samantha would never start her task by whipping her camera out to snap pictures of the couple immediately. She sits them down and spends time getting to know them better, understanding their personalities and their love story.
“Because you are shooting people, there is always this human touch where you bring their stories to life and I enjoy that process,” she says. She is genuine when it comes to understanding people; it is not only about taking their photos but being interested in their stories.
We should take a moment to enjoy the world as it is, one doesn’t have to always have it right away
Besides shooting couples, the film photography enthusiast also plays on other aspects on the theme of love. Samantha plays around with double exposures: “I shoot portraits and because it is film, I like to do double exposures. I did this series where I shot faces of people, superimposed with their favourite things”. Whether it is people or their favourite objects, she plays around with the two to combine them to be inseparable.
Film is the opposite of instant gratification, where every shot of the frame goes unseen once you press the shutter button of the camera. “When you have a film camera in your hand you take things a lot slower, you think before you take every shot. Every shot is precious to you in a way, whether it is a bit screwed up because you thought before you pressed the shutter button,” Samantha says. She encourages people to take up photography with film, because in this digital world, one can enjoy the nostalgia it can bring about in an organic and authentic manner.
"By using film I think I am encouraging the fact that we should take a moment to enjoy the world as it is. I don’t have to always have it right away, there is no need for instant gratification, you can have it later and just enjoy the moment," the film photographer says.