Sarah Black, Family Photographer

Melbourne family lifestyle photography with soul

Film for the Love [and the Lifestyle Photographer]


I hear often from photographers who would love to shoot or experiment with film, and many have gone so far as to purchase a film camera. If you are anything like me and my Rolleiflex, you may even have youtubed loading your first roll of film and successfully got that baby in there. But perhaps (like me and the Rollei) that is where it's all stalled. It's so much easier to keep returning to what you know. You've heard it's expensive. What if you make a mistake? And you're so busy, you already have clients to take care of, and your own family to nurture, the film 'thing' can wait til summer/quiet season/the holidays.

Soooo, how's that going?

Let's Get This Party Started

I know that the trickiest part of getting started in film is actually just getting started. So, over the past 2 years I have designed a workshop around your need to get some film rolling through your camera, so you too can get a feel for the beauty, simplicity and freedom (as well as the rules) of this medium.

I also want to you to have time delve into your 'why', what it is about film photography that speaks to you? Could film free you from endless hours of editing on your computer? How might film be able to help you find your voice, and your narrative, in an oversaturated market? How might it enable you to capture the beauty and transience of your family, right now? Perhaps you are already confidently shooting film, but want to carve out some space in your busy year to explore a little further, in a supportive environment? Would you like to try working with slower or double exposures, exploring light, or perhaps more abstract work, practising making creative choices that will take your work to the next level?

Film has truly given my photography wings, and I will do my best to help you find yours (and I'll bring my Rollei, so we'll be learning together).

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What you need to participate

  • a 120 or 35mm film camera
  • to be able to comfortably able to use your DLSR camera on manual settings
  • an interest in, or love for, film photography for capturing your own family, or lifestyle photography clients.
  • a light meter (if you have one, and if you don't, I strongly recommend you purchase one prior to attending the workshop) - ask me how.
  • curiosity and an open mind
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2 full days of hands-on film photography

Sunday 10th-Monday 11th September 2017

Location: Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

COST: 1450 [50% required on booking]

Lunch and snacks both days, dinner on the night of the 10th, and breakfast on the morning of the 11th, included.

Accommodation in shared rooms in beautiful Sorrento beach house.


Workshop content:

  • 40+ page A4 workshop booklet
  • Indoor and outdoor session practice with real families.
  • 4 rolls of pro film (colour and bw) for your camera.
  • Processing and scanning of supplied film, and 3 fine art 5x7in fine art prints of your work, scanned and printed by Australia's premier film and print lab, Atkins.
  • Written feedback on workshop scans from supplied film.
  • Facebook group for ongoing questions and support.
  • Everything you've wanted to know about film including but not limited to: strengths and weaknesses of film vs digital, film stocks, labs, processing (inc pushing and pulling) a full cost breakdown (including all the costs of a session), scanning, metering, film types (35mm vs 120mm), exposure and latitude, lighting, client perceptions, managing your technical constraints for best results, session workflows, the products which help your work to shine, and much more........

Limited to 6 attendees, to ensure the most personal hands-on experience possible.

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”
— Mary Oliver

I began my film journey 3 years ago, as I prepared for a 3 month trip around the west coast of Australia. We took our children out of school for a term (then aged 3, 5, 8 and 11), flew to Perth, rented a motor home and took off north. As a chronic overshooter in digital SLR format, I started to worry that I was going to bring home thousands of RAW files from this trip, and a big editing headache. I started to dread the enormity of the task even as I looked forward to it.

What I really wanted was just to capture memories such as the ones I had from my own childhood; boxes of lightly dusty, slightly dog-eared photographs which were always imperfectly perfect. Photographs which existed beyond a hard drive, and somehow were a little more real.

So I bought my first film cameras and even with those first clumsy efforts, I was hooked. There is something life-affirming about committing to a moment with the click of the shutter, and then moving on, your creative energy free to continue wherever it will. I know I have grown immeasurably as an artist since switching to full time film photography, releasing me from my own anxious tendencies to perfectionism and comparison with others. As a storyteller, the honesty of the process of film photography, as well as the depth and intensity of the resulting photographs, conspire to celebrate on every shoot what is most precious and unique about those I photograph.

If any of this speaks to you, whether you are interested in shooting film for clients or for personal work, I would love to help you to start your film journey, too. This is the second year of this workshop, after two successful single day workshops in 2016. Going forward my hope is to run it, in this two day format, once a year at around this same time. There are no plans to travel with this workshop, or offer it more than once a year, so do sign up asap if you would like to join us on this adventure.