Taking pictures in squares is fairly common these days, especially for the social media generation—it's the ideal aspect ratio for comfortable viewing on mobile phones. However, it's not a novel idea. For analogue photographers, it means taking pictures using a medium format camera on 120 film, which offers limited but high-quality shots. While on mobile you can shoot squares as often as you like, that is not the case with medium format cameras because you only have 12 chances to take the perfect shot!
With this in mind, it will be helpful to plan ahead when shooting analogue squares, most especially if it's your first time.
Keeping a Square Mindset
On social media, some people take a shortcut and crop their landscape images into a square before posting on their feed. You do not have this option when you're shooting on film. This is a good thing though because it conditions you into visualizing your images in a square. Instead of sweeping landscapes that take in all the view, you are more likely to zoom in on small details that you often overlook in wide-angled perspectives.
Showcasing Your Subject
With all sides equal, a square photo leads your eye to look at the image in a circle. This makes the square format the classic favorite among portrait and fashion photographers, because it draws the eye to the center.
Framing a Street Scene
We often touted the wide-angle perspective for street photography, so you won't miss out on all the action. But this doesn't mean disregarding the square format. With so many things going on in an urban environment, singling out a particular scene and framing it in a square is just as compelling.
All of the photos featured in this article were taken with the Lomo LC-A 120.