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Women in Film Photography Series

Welcome to the Women in Film Photography series. Below you will find interviews that I conducted with female film photographers who have inspired me on my journey in film. The ones here were conducted through text, and you can find more incredibly interesting conversations that I had over IGTV in real time on my Instagram account under the IGTV tab @timeilluminated. I offer a platform for females in film photography to share their captive journeys to inspire you to continue on yours.

  • Nibera in Nature
  • Adventuring with April
  • Tory Time
  • Life with Lou Lou

Are you a female film photographer? DM me on Instagram and let’s chat!



Known as @nibera_35mm on Instagram, Bernanda is based in Slovenia and currently focuses her work on landscapes, exposing environmental concerns through film. Anyone who has seen her work on Instagram cannot deny her raw talent and beautiful warm tones in her photographs. Below is the inside scoop into her process, her journey and Bernanda Conic as a woman in film photography.

Introduce yourself. How old are you? Where are you currently based? How did you start your film photography journey?

My birth name is Bernarda but the name I am mostly using now is Nibera. I’m 29 years old, born and raised in Ljubljana, Slovenia where I am still stuck today. I started my film photography journey at the age of 14 when I started attending a high school for design and photography in Ljubljana. I was in a photography program where the first 2 years were dedicated to analog photography. I shot, developed and processed my first film at the age of 14. We spent a lot of time in the darkroom for the first 2 years of highschool. I want to say that it was awesome but I kind of hated it at the time because I was 14 and I just wanted to party. Today I am very grateful for all the knowledge that I received at the time. I think that we were the last generation that were learning about film photography. I know that at this very same school the photography program is now based on digital photography only.
Your work has a certain warm quality to it and it seems you’re inspired by landscapes and the outdoors. Is this true? What is it that you love to photograph the most and why?

I am very much inspired by mother nature and I currently enjoy photographing landscapes the most. I’m using film photography as a tool to capture moments, tell stories and bring awareness. I like to reflect on environmental concerns and address humankind’s relationship with the natural world through my work.My favourite question to ask women in film is what is your favourite film camera to use? What film do you like to play around with the most?

My favourite film camera at the moment is Yashica FX-3. I have quite a big collection of film cameras and my preferences change a lot. I switch my cameras quite often. At this moment I really like to shoot with Kodak Ultramax 400. I also love to shoot with Kodak Gold 200, Pro Image 100 and Portra 400.
What is your opinion on editing/ adding filters to film photographs? Do you edit your film photographs?

When photography is not used as a documentation tool then it’s an art form. Common to all art forms is that the artist is free to express him/herself in any possible way. The same is with film photography. It’s just a medium through which an artist can express. An artist can do whatever he/she wants with his/hers photographs. The photographs are his/hers intellectual property. I do a lot of different things to my photographs. Sometimes I boil the film, sometimes I soak it in strange fluids, sometimes I cut the photographs, sometimes I do a color correction and sometimes I do nothing. It really depends on the photograph. I also scan films at home. And when home-scanning you have to do A LOT of color correction to get to the point where a photograph looks at least something like that scene you photographed. And If I go back in time and remember the darkroom days. When making prints from a negative you have to ‘’play’’ a lot with light settings, contrasts and colors on the enlarger. So back then, photographers were definitely editing their photographs but not in the same way we do today. Editing is present in the photography industry from the very start. It was just a lot harder and the process was a lot slower than it is today.  

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now to shoot film, where would you go?

Vinicunca, Peru.

If you had to send one message to the female film photographers just starting out, what would it be?

This one is hard because there are both pros and cons in film photography. But this is not specific to any gender, it’s just general to film photography. There is only one message I could give. If you love it, do it! But be aware that films, developing and scanning are expensive. The only cheap thing is the camera itself. You can probably get a film camera for free from your grandparents or at a flea market. But the films are quite costly. Try different cameras and maybe start with a compact point and shoot to learn composition first. Shift to the manual camera when ready and learn about the aperture and depth of field, speed and motion, lighting conditions and film sensitivity…

Any cool upcoming projects we should be made aware of?

Right now I’m working on a planner/photo book for 2022. It will be like a photo book but with useful calendar pages, day planning pages, travel planner, project planner and more. Every month will have it’s own photograph dedicated to it. The book will not only be beautiful but also useful for any ‘’business’’ woman. I think that film photographs belong in a physical world more than a digital world so a photo book is a great way to materialize film photographs.



Known as @ad.venturing on Instagram, April is currently based out of Los Angeles, California. Working with a blog and an Instagram page (like me!) April challenges herself and her creative process through these multiple mediums. In this interview, April reflects on her film photography journey (particularly post-pandemic) and gives us an intimate understanding into her artistic self-exploration.

Introduce yourself. How old are you? Where are you currently based? How did you start your film photography journey?

Hello! My name is April del Castillo, and I am 30 years old. I currently live in Los Angeles, CA. I’m old enough to remember shooting disposable film cameras until early high school, but unfortunately the appeal of instantaneous digital photos was just too strong. It wasn’t until 2019 when I bought an Olympus OM-1 that I kickstarted my film photography journey. I started because I wanted a challenge, and the camera I bought had a nonfunctioning light meter. The mindset to shooting film is so different from digital, and it’s been great so far learning to gauge light and adjusting to my settings.

I noticed that you pick certain items or scenery to be the focal point of your photographs. Tell us more about how you decide what to frame in your photos.

During the pandemic, I felt trapped because I created @ad.venturing as a play on my initials and the ‘adventures’ to different places I hoped to have. I had to reassess why I take pictures in general because I honestly don’t know what I prefer to shoot. I’ve recently accepted that it’s ok to feel this way – it’s part of my creative process. I tend to shoot with different photography projects I have in mind. They vary from me trying to express or capture a mood I’m feeling that week, to shooting a series of shots I want to have a collection of. Those types of projects generally dictate the subjects for my photos. My focal points change as I explore new mediums and find inspiration in different subjects.

My favourite question to ask women in film is what your favourite film camera is to use? What film do you like to play around with the most?

All my favorite shots have been on Fuji C200 which I’m pretty happy about because it’s one of the least expensive film stocks out there at the moment. I recently bought a half-frame camera – an Olympus Pen FT, and it’s been my favorite as of now. It’s a compact camera with double the exposures, I get twice as many pictures in one roll. The only challenge for me is that now it takes me forever to finish a roll!

Your website is gorgeous and might I add, a beautiful example of self-expression and exploration. Can you tell us how the website started?

My sister, who at that time was the only person I ever shared my pictures with, encouraged me to create the blog. I created my website to track my photography journey with no expectation that anyone would ever see it. It’s essentially a photo journal because I actually don’t print out my photos. In that space, I challenge myself to express a little bit more since I’m reserved and don’t offer much to what I post on Instagram.

I remember writing a post about the Campanile at Berkeley. While I stared at a picture, I could imagine the quietness of the campus and the smell of rain because the memory I associated with it is so engrained in my mind. Someone looking at the same picture might feel something entirely different which I love to hear about. I’ve had people reach out to me to share their thoughts on a specific picture which is a great experience as well.

Having a blog in parallel with shooting film has taught me to be more intentional about my photography – even when shooting digital. There is a memory associated with every shot I take, even the horrible ones. I can express to a ‘ghost’ audience what feelings a picture evokes or what if it doesn’t. The self-exploration aspect means that I can dive into thoughts I can’t always share anywhere else. It’s just a special place for me to explore my art in a way that makes me happy.

If you had to send one message to the female film photographers just starting out, what would it be? 

I’m going to be cliché – go out, shoot, and shoot for yourself. I feel as humans we are drawn to create, express and explore our feelings through art. I truly believe social media algorithms saturate and define what is popular, and that hinders personal creativity. Watch that video on how to load your camera, and go!

In order to discover your ‘voice’ in any art form, you have keep creating. Shoot things you love, things you’re uncomfortable with, or things you’ve never tried before. Then post it somewhere – but not for validation. Track everything that worked, and what didn’t. We forget that there is so much beauty in the process of learning!

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now to shoot film, where would you go? 

Italy. My sister and I have been dreaming of traveling together, gorge on pasta and gelato all day. I’m actually hoarding all my remaining Fujifilm 400h for our trip in 2022.

Any cool upcoming projects we should be made aware of?

With my half-frame camera, I’ve been trying to shoot diptychs (check out @halfframeclub on IG for examples). Paired shots that hopefully tell a story. I’ve also dipped my toes in medium format, and I’m hoping to take more night exposure shots once I find my tripod!



Known as @filmbytory on Instagram, Tory is currently based in Denver, Colorado and loves to spend time outside photographing colour in nature. Did I mention she’s also a co-curator of the Y35 Magazine? Below is the inside scoop into her process, her journey and Tory Pourian as a woman in film photography.

Introduce yourself. How old are you? Where are you currently based? How did you start your film photography journey? 

I’m Tory and I just turned 26! I’m currently based in Denver, Colorado and am originally from Northern California. I always had an interest in photography and had been shooting disposable cameras for a little while. I really enjoyed the process and started falling in love with film photography. In October 2020, I had moved home to the very rural mountain town I grew up in after living in San Francisco for over six years. I figured it was the perfect time to dive in, so I purchased a Minolta X-700 and have been obsessed ever since. Since then I’ve added my first medium format camera, a Mamiya 645, to my collection which has been such a fun shooting experience

Your work excites me as you have so many photos of nature and the great outdoors, which I love so very much. What inspires you when you get outside? Anything in particular you are trying to capture? 

Light, textures, tones. I’m absolutely obsessed with the outdoors and am always so inspired by the beauty of it. I try to capture the composition of whatever catches my eye when I’m spending time outside. I’m very passionate about hiking, backpacking, riding my bike, surfing, camping – literally anything that gets me outside. That’s why so much of my photography is of nature, because my camera is always along with me on those adventures. 

What is your favourite film camera to use? What film stock do you like to play around with the most? 

My Minolta X-700. It’s my first and only 35mm camera and almost all of my photography has been shot on it. It’s been such a trusty camera and has been with me everywhere! As for film stocks, Portra 400 & 800 are my go-tos. They just always have consistent results for me, and I love the images they produce. I’ve been trying out night photography and have used Cinestill 800T for that, which has been fantastic. Other stocks I like playing around with are Kodak Gold, Ektar 100, and ColorPlus

What is your opinion on editing/ adding filters to film photographs? Do you edit your film photographs? 

I believe that anyone can do whatever they want or don’t want to do to their images to create their shot. I personally do edit my film photos when needed. Sometimes the scans will turn out completely perfect, and I don’t hve to do any edits to it. It really just depends!

If you had to send one message to the female film photographers just starting out, what would it be? 

From my personal experience, don’t be intimidated! I remember when I got my first camera, I had no idea how to use it and was a little overwhelmed. Practice, read, learn, and eventually it will click! Go out and shoot, figure out what excites you – what makes you want to get out and shoot film.

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now to shoot film, where would you go? 

Canada or Alaska. I’ve been dying to go to both places. The mountains in both of those places look absolutely phenomenal and I would love to explore and photograph them! Hoping to visit both soon. 

Any cool upcoming projects/collaborations? 

I’m going to be featured in an upcoming issue of Y35 Magazine for a curator spotlight! I became part of the team a few months ago and have been doing curation on their Instagram page, which has been so cool. I also recently purchased my own scanner and at home film processing kit. It’s a goal of mine to eventually own the film process from end to end, so hopefully you will begin to see some self-scanned, self-developed photography soon.



Known as @filmbyloulou on Instagram, Loulou is currently based in Amsterdam, Netherlands and her film photography career stems back to when she was 14 years old, playing with a variety of different cameras. Growing up on an island, she was always attached to the sea and the outdoors… Am I the only one wishing I grew up on an island?! Below is a look into her process, her journey and Loulou Roskam as a woman in film photography.

Introduce yourself. How old are you? Where are you currently based? How did you start your film photography journey?

Hi! I’m Loulou. I’m 26 years old and currently living between Amsterdam where I was born, and Ibiza where I grew up. 

My film photography journey started around the age of 14 when I got my first Polaroid camera that I fell in love with and was attached to for months. On a trip to Barcelona I then stumbled across a Lomography store and became obsessed with all their funky looking cameras with all their different lenses, a real teenage dream haha. At some point I think I had around 8 different ones, ones where you’d pull a cord and the camera would spin and take a 360* picture, fisheye cameras, mini cameras that would take 4 vertical pictures in 1 frame. Any size or color, I was obsessed with it all. I then found my first “real” camera at a secondhand market in London for £50 when I was 15, which was a Pentax p30, and that’s where it all really kicked off for me.

I noticed that you like to photograph people as well as nature. What inspires you when you get outside? Do you prefer to shoot with a focus or spontaneously seek inspiration? 

I’m definitely more of a nature photographer and feel most inspired when I’m near the sea. I grew up on an island so I’m very lucky with beautiful warm sunlight and nothing excites me more than sunsets on the coast. I truly never shoot with a focus but have my camera with me everywhere I go, and as soon as something catches my eye I’ll take it out. Regarding people, I only shoot my friends in spontaneous moments. Luckily they’ve grown to love it over the years because I always try to be subtle and natural and really dislike posed pictures, so it’s never uncomfortable for them. Luckily we have a very free and spontaneous lifestyle on the island which has allowed for some beautiful portraits. 

What is your favourite film camera to use? What film stock do you like to play around with the most?

At the moment it’s definitely my Contax T2 which I waited years to buy and finally found it for an amazing price. I love the lens on it and how practical it is. My first camera was a Pentax p30 that I found at a market in London and used for years without knowing any better (I’ll still always love it), but it definitely makes me appreciate my Contax a lot more now. I mostly use Kodak Portra these days which I really love, but I also used Fuji X-Tra for many years and will grab that if I’m shooting a city for instance for the slightly colder feel.

What is your opinion on editing/ adding filters to film photographs? Do you edit your film photographs?

I personally have never edited my film photographs. I think the beauty of analog is all in the camera and the film you use and that shouldn’t be touched. Of course it’s important to find a good film lab that adjusts your color the way you like because that’s definitely gone wrong in the past, but I love the raw oldschool idea of film too much to use technology to tweak it. 

Have you ever used tinted/color film (i.e, Lomography)? How did the pictures turn out?

Back in the day yes! I used to only know about lomography so I tried all of their rolls; sepia, purple, monochrome, etc. At the time I thought it was fun but I’d never use it anymore. I by accident used a sepia roll a few years ago and didn’t realize until it was developed and was very confused about what had happened until the lab told me it was a lomography roll! I hated it so much that I asked them to rescan it and tweak the color as much as possible so it was more normal and then it turned out okay, but definitely never again haha!

If you had to send one message to the female film photographers just starting out, what would it be? 

Don’t worry too much about what other people are doing or what the best camera is around, just have fun and experiment. Start with a cheap camera and play around until you find what you like shooting! It’s a big learning process so don’t give up if you don’t like your first few rolls. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now to shoot film, where would you go?

Hawaii or Cape Town are at the top of my list to shoot. I’m just a sucker for the mountain – sea – sun combination and from what I’ve seen, those two places are just mindblowing. I’ve been wanting to plan a trip there for years so hopefully once the covid rules relax even more I’ll have a chance to visit.  

Any cool upcoming projects/collaborations we should be made aware of?

I’m starting my first few collaborations with brands this week which I won’t mention just yet but I’m really excited that that’s starting! I’ve been growing my Instagram for two years now after stepping away from Tumblr so it’s great to see that people are getting interested in working together and to see my page grow so much. I’m also flying to the Swiss Alps next week so I hope to get some beautiful shots of the mountains there too.