Female Film Photographers You Should Know: Sarah Proctor
Sarah is a self taught film photographer born in Neenah, Wisconsin but currently living in Atlanta, Georgia.
Her work is focused on finding love and magic in everyday life as well as capturing the people who matter most to her. She loves to contemplate the warm morning light coming through the windows of her house, nature walks and glowing neon nights. Everything around her becomes Sarah’s source of inspiration.
♦ How would you introduce yourself to someone who just met you?
My name is Sarah. I live in Atlanta and spend my free time shooting film, reading or making cocktails with my husband.
♦ What is the memory that you most fondly remember from your childhood?
Probably exploring in nature with my three sisters. We spent a lot of our childhood outside and had vivid imaginations.
♦ Who were the most influential people during your teens and how did they influence you?
I had an English teacher in High School that instilled a solid work ethic in me and helped me believe in myself. Even now I can still hear him say, “Finish Strong” when I am working on something difficult.
♦ How did you get in the world of analogue photography?
Back around 2015 I was shooting weddings (digital) and was getting burnt out pretty quickly. My grandfather had recently passed and I inherited many of his old film cameras. Soon after, I became frustrated with the wedding industry and just wanted photography to be something I enjoyed again. I sold all my digital gear and taught myself how to use my grandfather’s old cameras and was hooked. I liked that I didn’t have to spend a long time editing, and loved the grainy, imperfect “feel” my images had.
♦How would you describe the photography you do? What is your work focused on?
I would say my work is focused on capturing what’s around me. Places I’ve gone, people I care about.
♦ Are you working on any photographic project at the moment?
For now, I am just trying to shoot more— at least one roll per month. I have also started to experiment with double exposures on Instant Film and am really enjoying the results. It’s nice to have something creative to hold me over while I wait on images back from the lab.
♦ Is there any photographic project that you would like to do but have not done yet?
So many! One thing I want to shoot more of is portraits. It has been hard this past year because of the pandemic but I’m starting to shoot friends that live close and work my way into it.
♦ Which camera and which film do you use the most in your photography and why?
My Nikon F4 with Kodak Gold 200. The Nikon F4 was my first autofocus film camera and it has been a lot easier to grab shots on the go especially when I don’t have my glasses, haha. I love the warm tones of Kodak Gold and love to push it a stop or two to get some grain depending on what I’m going for.
♦ Who are your biggest influences?
Nikki van de Poel, I love the way she captures light and the feeling she brings to her images.
♦ What’s the best advice you would give yourself when you started in the world of film photography?
Slow down and don’t waste film on shooting the same photo 2-3 times! When I shot digital, I had a bad habit of shooting doubles of the same shot (slightly different composition etc.) but film is more expensive —now I try to take my time on getting “the shot” the first time.
Find more about Sarah’s Work?