Photographer Feature 5questions x 5images: Rachel Winslow

What made you start shooting film? 

"I always carried disposable cameras in my bag as a kid and and took pictures of my friends but I never really got serious about it as an art form until I discovered a Diana F+ sitting on the shelf at a store. I went home to do some research on it and discovered the wonderful world of toy camera photography. The pictures that were taken with these cameras were vibrant and messy and I loved everything about them. I went out and bought a Holga and really focused on trying to make pictures instead of just taking pictures. I was hooked & just kept buying cameras and teaching myself how to use them. 11 years later, I'm still shooting as much as I used to and have had so many great opportunities and experiences because of it."

Who or what are you most inspired by? and why? 

"I’m very inspired by light - I always pay attention to the way light falls on things and how it changes throughout the day and year. I love how you can just stay in the same spot all day and everything will change around you as the sun is moving across the sky. It’s something I don’t think I would have ever appreciated if I wasn’t a photographer."

How did you educate yourself to take better pictures? 

"I just experimented and tried to be thoughtful about every picture I was taking. I never just took a bunch of pictures and hoped for the best, I really tried to make every picture count. When I first started shooting film I acquired a bag of expired film that wasn’t being made anymore. It really taught me to slow down because once I shot these rolls they were gone forever. "

What does photography mean to you? 

"It means the world to me - photography changed my life. Before I bought my first film camera I was just wandering through like without purpose. It sparked my curiosity. Photography helped me to see the world and express myself. I’m not the most verbally expressive person so photography feels like my voice at times. When I find myself stumbling through words, photography helps me to communicate."

What’s your dessert island camera?

"It will forever be my Holga. It’s the first film camera I bought and it’s the one that will always be in my camera bag. It’s a tricky camera to learn because it’s almost too simple, but I've been shooting with it the longest and know all it’s quirks. A close second would be my Polaroid Spectra. I love that it can do double exposures and I especially love the creative filters you can buy for it. To me, nothing beats toy cameras and instant film."

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