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Why I Prefer to use Film for my Street Photography – By Armando Caballero

Photo Logo Kit

Street photography is what I love to do the most. If I could, I would go out there every single day of my life and take pictures of the world around me. But there is still one thing that I love even more than Street Photography, to do it using my analogue camera and some film stock. There are several reasons for this, let me share them with you.

Enjoyment of the process

Shooting with film makes me enjoy my photographic process much more. Everything from start to finish is fully manual and I need to be fully involved and mindful to get the results I want. If I have to be more mindful, it means that I have to be more present in the moment and the quality of my photos will increase. Mindfulness and being present are key parts of Street Photography. Another thing I love about using analogue is the joy that comes from using a fully mechanical machine designed to capture images. I normally use a Pentax MX, which is a fully mechanical SLR. The sound and feeling of the shutter every time I take a photo has no comparison, it is like heaven to me. Every time I take a photo, I think to myself…”I was born to do this”.

Pentax MX

My beautiful fully mechanical machine. The Pentax MX

Limited amount of photos

The second reason is that having only 36 photos available per roll makes a whole difference for me. When you have a limited number of pictures, it means that you will really look for a moment, a scene, or a person that really drags your attention and triggers some sort of emotion in you. This makes it more likely for me to get a storytelling image than just a random snap of the streets. I normally go to London for a day for my street photography. On average, I will come back home we just one fully exposed roll. Only on a “good day” I will come back with one and a half. I will very rarely manage to expose two full rolls. My 36 images normally turn out to be much better than the 100+ that I would have probably taken if I used my digital camera.

Ilford Film Stock Box

We only get 36 exposures per roll. So we need to make them count.


36 frames

The 36 photos coming from the same roll. This is normally what I will shoot on a day’s photo walk in London

My legacy

I also prefer film because of my legacy. Sounds like a movie, right? But let me explain. One of the reasons I love to do Street Photography is that it makes me feel that I am adding something to the world. I am making my contribution to society, and I am leaving behind something that I love. This feeling is even bigger when I use film and I produce a negative. In contrast to digital photos and files, that probably nobody will look at when I’m gone and the digital files become obsolete, the negatives will always be around. This gives me a lot of satisfaction and happiness, knowing that something more tangible than a digital file will remain that will help to tell future generations how I used to see the world through my lens.


My pride and joy….My negatives album


That classic analogue look cannot be reproduced digitally

That film look

Last but not least, using analogue photography gives that unique film look to my photos. It does not matter what filters you use, film simulation recipes (for Fujifilm digital cameras), or presets, you will never achieve the film look on your photos by doing digital manipulations. To me, the artistic beauty of a film photo is just incomparable to a digital one. I am a sucker for grain, so I always start drooling when I see a photo full of that gorgeous analogue grain.
There are many other reasons that I could list why I prefer to use film for my street photography but I do not want to bore you to death. We can continue the conversation in the comments section, or you can get in touch with me by visiting my website or my Instagram profile from the links below.

Till next time,

Armando Caballero – Street Photographer. Visit is website here 

Armando’s Instagram profile

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