Film and PASSION.

October 7, 2009

"Tonight capped off my 3 workshop with Johnathan Canlas. The workshop was Film Is Not Dead put on in Park City. We had lectures every morning and the shooting time after lunch with models. It was me, 11 other photographers, Jon and his wife.

The workshop rocked my soul! Although he taught and I learned SO much about technique, film, posing, business, etc, the will help me immensely from here on out, that is not the reason why I left the workshop tonight in tears.

Jon is an amazing person. Her loves his wife, and kids, and work, his life... he has PASSION for it all. He is also incredibly giving, seems to always be donating his time, efforts, work, and knowledge towards something or someone that is deserving... or not. All of his love, passion, and generosity are so apparent in his work. Along with all of that, topped with his fine words of wisdom, sense of humor, wife, incredible food, and the other amazing 11 photographers have impacted significantly over the past 3 days.

One of the main things Jon emphasized finding your "vision" and although he was referring to photography for the most part, to me, it applied to life, art, and why I get up everyday and do what I do, whatever that might be. "Whatever that might be"... what i have been contemplating and searching for, forever now, but more so in the last 3 days.

I am scared to live with guts, passion, and purpose, and to full on all-0ver-unguarded LOVE. Mostly, I'm scared of the failure in trying and because of that, I don't even try, not really try. I'm better than I have been in the past but that past keeps following me and I allow it to define who I am. I have known this for some time but have yet to come to a solution and have just kept marching on.

Positively, I also have realized for some time that I have PASSION. It's this deep pressure in my chest that lights up and is released with art. Good meaningful, passionate, inspired art, be it music, theatre, movies, literature etc. I just haven't figured out what to do with it all. It's there, it needs to be shared and understood, but I am just so scared to jump off the edge of sharing myself and doing that.

But that IS MY VISION, my point, and that is what hit me today as I sat on the floor during our lecture in that condo talking, watching video clips and discussing purpose. Somehow, through art, I NEED to share this passion. With the purpose of helping others discover it within themselves and to realize it in others, because everyone has it. I really honestly believe that EVERYONE has it... and if EVERYONE knew we all had it... we would all think we were amazing. We would treat each other like we are supposed to be treated, we would treat each other like... like gods. THAT is my job, THAT is the whole point of be being here.

It was through Jons person and this amazing workshop that I was able to finally come to this realization. Because when he shoots, and when he talks about his work, and his family, I see more than just that, I hear more than just that. I see why and how he loves, and he does seem to see it in everyone. His life and world are love and happiness... and I want that.

To say the very least the workshop was incredible. I am very grateful for folks like Jon and his wife for and for my incredible husband who is incredibly supportive of me in ALL of my craziness. He loves me, even if he doesn't always understand me.

Today was a good day."

How I met Jon and heard of Film Is Not Dead is actually quite amazing in itself and I really think was more than coincidence. I was in college and had just gotten fired from my first photography gig, working for a snobby company as a back up shooter. I wasn't devastated, just really really mad and left the company thinking wedding and portrait photography was for a bunch of hacks that couldn't make it as "real" artists. I decided to take a 101 photography class from uvsc and Jon was my teacher. He actually wasn't even a teacher though. One of the professors had a leave of absence and Jon was filling in. I was blown away by his work and realized, you can make portrait and wedding photography art.

After taking his workshop and cleansing myself of digital I have come to love, embrace, and believe in Film. Film has made me a better photographer, like a WAY better photographer. I have to know my stuff when shooting. There is no guessing, no checking the screen to see if the light is right, my exposure is correct or the composition is down. I also have to be incredibly aware of my surroundings, the mood, the emotion and be ready to click the second I see what I am waiting for, because I can't put my finger on the shutter and fire away. One of my favorite aspects of film? I spend time behind the camera instead of the computer. I shoot, send my stuff off to the lab, they develop and scan (so I then have a digital file), I SOMETIMES do some quick color or contrast adjustments and then off to the client. I don't have to be a photoshop wiz, and I don't want to be. To me, film catches that emotion and those memories far better than digital.
I just connect with film, I FEEL it, something digital never did for me.
Film is real and tangible. Film has soul, depth, passion, saturation, contrast, and my favorite, that lovely lovely grain. l.

That is why I love and shoot film.
This is why I recommend shooting film to everyone.
FIND Guide
Jon has just put together a stunning 96 page digital workbook with all the info you need to know on starting to shoot film. He sent me a copy to review and I'm telling you folks, it is a work of art in itself. It is visually stunning, and the information and insight that he offers is priceless. I'm telling you this, not because he gave me a copy, or because I get a few dollars when you purchase a workbook from my site, or even because Jon is my friend, I am telling you about this workbook because you will fall in love with it. Because it will change the way you shoot, and that will most definitely change the way you see the world.

Photography and Film is my passion. I love sharing it, please take a piece.
What is your passion?
Find it. Share it.


  1. I first heard of him when I saw an ad for a FIND workshop in Hawaii and I was wishing I was a photographer. He really is awesome, and so are you! He shot my sister-in-law's sisters wedding and I was sold, way back then. He's amazing.

  2. OH. And that same sister-in-law has a little sister who is just graduating from BYU in photography and she had an internship in NYC this summer. Some of her shots were on the front page of Urban Outfitters site this summer. I looove talent, and wish I had some. I have a passion for food. Eating it and making it. But mostly eating.

  3. Where can I get a copy of his workbook? And, do you know when he might have other classes?

  4. See that "learn to shoot film" box on the left side? Click that, it will send you to where you can get a copy. And check out www.filmisnotdead.blogspot.com for upcoming workshops. He has a ton in some crazy amazing places coming up this next year, book fast.. they go FAST.


Thoughts? Questions? Comments?