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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIU chapter.

Film photography is an art form that can make for unique vintage-style pictures, and when I bought my 1992 point-and-shoot camera last year, I fell in love with it. Just like with any imperfect relationship, sometimes, it has also me want to pull my hair out and cry. Before you go into film photography doe-eyed, there are definitely some things to consider. The time commitment, the costs, and the inconvenience of a film camera are major issues that are sure to come up. Film photography requires a lot of patience, trust, and thought.

To be clear – I’m not talking about Polaroids or drug-store disposable cameras, which have both gained popularity and continued being produced for their simplicity and effectiveness, I’m talking specifically about the old 35mm point-and-shoot cameras that require manual adjustment and film rolls. Film cameras are a complete back peddle to the beginnings of photography, and speaking from personal experience, it is a lot more difficult and frustrating than a modern-day camera.

First off, getting film rolls and developing them can be very pricey. Pieces for just one film roll which takes either 24 or 36 exposures (pictures) can cost anywhere from $13-$30. On top of that, the cost of developing each film roll you finish using can cost $10-$20 per roll. Therefore, taking 36 film photos is gonna cost you $26 at the lowest and $50 at the highest. On the bright side, 35mm film cameras themselves do not have to be expensive. You can find many refurbished old film cameras on websites such as eBay for less than $45. 

Unfortunately as well, you’re likely to have problems with your film rolls at some point. Film rolls are sensitive to light, cannot go through x-ray machines such as the ones at the airport, expire over time, and are very delicate. There were several times I took a bunch of special photos on a film roll, only to develop nothing but black images because I had accidentally exposed the film to light. Making a mistake and losing the photos you captured can be one most frustrating and heartbreaking parts of being a film photographer.

Film cameras themselves are also pretty sensitive and can become broken if debris ends up in the lens.

Sofia is a senior studying Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communications at FIU. Sofia loves all things writing and art. She was born and raised in New Jersey but currently resides in Miami. Sofia has a passion for seeing new places, trying new things, and delving into the world of different media.