Richmond based film photographer Jennifer Heins shares her photographs and thoughts on the analogue medium - "It started as a simple way to catch beautiful moments with loved ones, then progressed to an anchor which pulled me out of the dregs of depression, and is now an artistic passion that continues to give me hope and purpose".
Impossible Project Polaroid Film. I don't often shoot with polaroid as it's so difficult to predict exactly how it will turn out. However, I do love the immediate nostalgia it brings to a picture. I took this at my brother's wedding knowing that the warped colours would only make a dreamy moment more beautiful.
SFUK: Tell us a little about yourself and your background in photography.
JH:My professional background is rooted in film. I studied cinema in college and went on to freelance in the film industry. I always enjoyed taking pictures but it wasn't until I hit a low point after graduating that I turned to it full force for a positive distraction in my life. I found that there were many similarities in the artistry between photography and filmmaking. The camera felt right in my hands and I haven't put it down since.
35mm A ray of sun on a lonely piano in the church of my grandfather's funeral.
SFUK: Why do you shoot film, have you always shot film & do you switch between digital and film?
JH: I switch between digital and film often. Digital is more convenient especially if I'm going to be taking dozens of pictures. I use 35mm because when I was in college, we shot all our short films on 35mm. It provided a challenge but something about the timelessness of the media resonated with me.
35mm One of my favorite views overlooking the city of Richmond. I took this weeks before I was moving away.
SFUK: Who inspires you, any favourite people or places you frequently go to for inspiration?
JH: My close friends and boyfriend are my muses when it comes to people. I love capturing people doing things they love. The look of concentration and inspiration on their faces always makes an interesting photo. As for places, I love cities. I love the graffiti and cracked pavement, the abandoned buildings that just beg you to explore their broken windows and slanting walls.
Disposable Camera. I was facing a lot of low times in my life and I decided to find a new hobby. I had taken many digital pictures by this time but I wanted to bring back film into my life. I didn't have access to a real 35mm camera at the time so I walked to the nearest drug store and bought myself a disposable camera. Not long after, my walk through the city showed me this very red bike against this very red wall.
SFUK: How would you describe your style of shooting?
JH: My style of shooting is that of a secret observer. When you sit on a park bench and people-watch, you notice little beauties of light and angles here and there. I want to bring those small patches of beauty to the forefront of other's attention.
35mm I climbed to the top of that abandoned warehouse (In the Warehouse) and discovered this wonderful view of the city.
SFUK: If you could have any camera in the world, which would you choose and why?
JH: If I could have any camera it would be my Nikon FM-1. It's what I use to take the majority of my film photographs. It feels comfortable in my hand, the weight is perfectly balanced, and the controls are simple and fluid.
Virginia isn't the most consistent state for getting a vibrant autumn transition. This was a rare moment I'm lucky to have captured.
SFUK: Do you have any plans for your next project?
JH:For my upcoming project I want to portray the continual power of nature over urban development. In every city there are signs of the earth overpowering the pavement that covers it; roots cracking the sidewalk, trees breaking fences. The struggle between the two forces fascinates me.
35mm Old decrepit city buildings have always inspired me. In Richmond, Virginia there is a secret spot for skateboarders known as the Warehouse. It's gutted and graffitied but from the outside you would never know.
Keep up to date with Jennifer's work on Instagram @jennheins
35mm Hiking is one of my favourite pastimes. I took this while exploring off the trail near the James River in Richmond, Virginia. Someone had lain planks for an old railroad track. It looked perfectly like a path into the wilderness.
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