We often look at the photos of some the of the best commercial photographers and think, if only I had the equipment they had… But the truth is that the photography is more in the photographer than in the camera. Take, for instance, this video of professional photograhper Douglas Sonders who uses a broken Holga film camera for the first time since he was in college. Despite its lo-fi nature (and lack of a viewfinder) he’s still able to create some wonderful images:
Douglas Sonders has worked for Apple, Ford, ESPN, National Geographic, and Honda, just to name a few. He specializes in on-location shoots and travels the globe to photograph his subjects. And while Sonders prefers to use his bulky Phase One digital camera, in Digital Rev’s latest challenge he’s presented with an Holga film camera, and not just any Holga, but one without a viewfinder. Sonders admits that he hasn’t even touched a film camera in 5-10 years, and it takes him a while just to figure out how to load it.
What’s amazing is Sonders photographic skills, his attitude, and his determination. During the video you can see that Sonders doesn’t complain about using the Holga. He points out the things he doesn’t understand or wishes he had, but he goes about it with a positive attitude, making jokes along the way. Though he can’t even see through the broken viewfinder of the Holga, he starts shooting right away and in only a few hours captures some decent photos.
These images aren’t breathtaking by any means. But given only the few hours, the two rolls of film, and the broken lo-fi plastic camera he’s given, he does a pretty good job. Also note that it’s not just his eye for interesting subjects and ability to properly frame them, but his determination as well. This is a guy who probably makes hundreds of thousands a year and buys really nice suits, but he doesn’t hesitate to lay down on a dirty street to capture a photo. Douglas Sonders is definitely a photographer we can all learn something from.
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