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Stepping out of my comfort zone with film photography | LeeAnn Stromyer

I finally leaped and did something I have wanted to do for a long time.

Self-portrait in Rochester Ny at  a film photography workshop.
A selfie experiment with a Pentax medium format camera.

Fear of failure has a funny way of keeping you small. We convince ourselves that failure is the enemy, so we steer clear of obstacles and challenges.

One of the greatest lessons you can learn is that failure is your greatest teacher.

My first encounter with photography was in college when my brother and sister were graduating from high school. I wanted to save the family money, so I decided I would take their senior pictures.

They still hang in our home, and when I look at them, they remind me that the dream of one day being a photographer was always in my veins.

My sophomore or junior year of college, I finally decided to let myself take photography.

The moment I picked up that old Pentax 35mm camera I was hooked.

Portrait of a ballerina during rehearsal by LeeAnn Stromyer.
35mm Pentax on TriX400 developed on Ilford Paper - One of my all time favorite photographs from my work in college.

It wasn't so much the process of taking the photo but more the experience of creating a photograph from start to finish. The minutes that felt like hours as I tried to correctly put the film on the reel desperately trying to keep my undeveloped film off the floor.

From the moment I popped open the canister and to see my newly developed negatives for the first time.

And then the best part of all...... the time I spent using my negatives to create photographs.

Portrait of a ballerina during rehearsal by LeeAnn Stromyer.
35mm Pentax on TriX400 developed on Ilford Paper

The experience was exhilarating and meditative. The hours would pass by sometimes in silence, sometimes listening to books like Any Rand's Atlas Shrugged and it never got old.

I loved it all, but after I graduated from college, I stopped pursuing my love for photography. I went with the safe route, and along the way I convinced myself that I would never be good enough to be a photographer.

After six years and the death of my mother, I woke up. I stopped saying that dream wasn't for me, and I started seriously pursuing my business.

This July marked my first full year in business, and I FINALLY decided to face another fear - FILM photography. From day one, I have loved and preferred film photography over digital. The idea of finding a way to incorporate it into my business was overwhelming and scary. When I caught wind of a film workshop in Rochester, NY called Make Friends with Film I knew it was time to leap!

Portrait of people jumping in the air by LeeAnn K Photography.