Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based Lomographer Megan Swick started out her photography journey back when she was in high school with 35 mm film. However, ever since being gifted an old 110 camera, she has been documenting her everyday life nonstop with the ultra-mini, super portable format.
Flash forward to today, Megan shares her photography across social media and encourages others to try out film photography.
Hi Megan, welcome to Lomography Magazine! Can you start off by telling us a bit about yourself and your work?
Of course! I’m a film photographer for fun, and I work full-time in film and TV in the art department. I started playing around with film in high school and I got to learn my way around a darkroom.
I’ve always been drawn to film because I feel it properly captures how a moment made me feel, instead of how it may have looked.
I take pictures when I see something that makes me feel a certain way – happy, confused, nostalgic. I also prefer using film on trips and when I’m with friends because it does a better job of keeping me in the moment since I can’t look at the photo I just took. It’s probably the closest thing you can get to an actual candid right now.
What made you get into shooting 110 format film as opposed to 35 mm or even medium format?
I was most familiar with 35 mm format, and it’s all I shot with until a friend gave me an old 110 camera he found in his grandma’s attic that was just collecting dust. I really knew nothing about 110 before trying it out.
I ordered some Lomography film online since you’re the only ones still actively making this format and I fell in love with how they came out. The combination of the light leaks, rich colors, grain, and dust from the scanner made the photos feel so familiar, and cozy, even.
What made you decide to start sharing your 110 journey on your social media?
Social media has always been a place for me to share film, so when I got my first 110 roll back I posted it fairly quickly. I never expected it to get so much attention.
People shared my love for how close to the memory this film makes you feel. A lot of comments were asking what camera I used, what film I shot with, and basically how it all works so I started to post more of my 110.
It makes me so happy to see people not only enjoying my work, but also wanting to get into film as well.
What was your first impression of shooting with the Fisheye Baby?
When I opened the box I was very surprised to see how small the camera was. I understand you call it a baby for a reason, but I didn’t expect it to fit in the palm of my hand. This made it easy for me to take it everywhere since I could basically throw it in my pocket whenever I left the house. It let me capture a lot more casual, everyday moments because I always had it on me.
What was your favorite feature of the Fisheye Baby?
Of course I loved that it was small, because it was so convenient to take it with me to events I wouldn’t want to take a full size camera to.
For its size, it’s still pretty sturdy which was also comforting when I was shooting. It’s a great camera to recommend to anyone starting their film journey because it’s very user friendly to work with.
Do you have any tips or tricks for shooting with 110 film?
While I don’t have many technical tips for shooting with 110 film, I do have some advice about film in general that helped me capture more images I am proud of.
First, I had to stop looking for perfect moments, and start finding beautiful scenes in the ordinary everyday sort of stuff. I also had to believe no film photo was ever a waste.
Since exposures are limited, and it takes time and money to process film, in the beginning I was so scared of “wasting” film, which stopped me from taking a lot of pictures I’m sure would’ve turned out lovely.
Every film photo is art! Take photos with reckless abandon!
Do you have an all time favorite photo taken with our 110 film?
It’s hard to pick a favorite, I think every 110 photo turns out so magical. These three photos were all taken in different places on different rolls but they bring out such a nostalgic feeling for me.
There’s not a cohesive story between them, they’re more isolated moments tied together by warm weather and childhood memories. They’re the sort of images that you can just place yourself in. You look at them and you’re like, “I’ve been there, we share this memory”. And that’s the most touching category of photo for me, achieving that familiarity and comfort.
Do you have any upcoming projects or content in the works that you can share with our community?
Right now I’ll just continue shooting film in my free time for fun, and working full time on a TV series filming in Philadelphia!