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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KCL chapter.

I’m a lover of all things Instagram: snapping stories and composing the perfect collage of ten images that sum up my previous few weeks. I adore capturing special moments and looking back on them when they pop up in my memories a year later. So recently I was bored and went searching for a new hobby to fill up my spare time, and I found film photography!

Now, it goes without saying that film photography takes practise: it’s a lot more work than just pressing the camera button on your iPhone! However, I’ve been trying out different cameras and types of film for just over a month now and I wanted to share my experience with any prospective beginners like me!

First off: Your film camera. If you’re anything like me and flit from fixation to fixation, you will have a long list of abandoned hobbies tucked away in your room; which is a warning signal to not break the bank on something you may get bored of, so I’ve got two low budget cameras perfect for a starter! Both of these are branded as ‘reusable disposable’, so if disposable cameras over the summer appeal to you, these are perfect (and more environmentally friendly) as you can reuse the same model and just replace the film when need be!

My opinion on the KODAK M35 (RRP £22 / Amazon): This was my first camera, and at only £20 I can’t really complain. Yes, the camera itself feels quite plastic and fragile; but as long as you don’t start smashing it up, it will do exactly what you want it to. It’s easy to fathom and dainty enough to carry around in your shoulder bag on a night out. What’s more, it comes in all sorts of beautiful colours, ranging from pastel pink to khaki green. This is the perfect starter film camera as it is a step up from a disposable but won’t leave you feeling confused about how to use it!

However, my ultimate recommendation for your starter camera is a bit pricier – Ilford Sprite 35-II (RRP £39.99 / Amazon). It may be double the price but it feels a lot stronger to hold, and in my opinion, is completely worth the money. If possible, I’d bypass the cheaper KODAK and go straight for the Ilford Sprite. It’s less prone to breakage and will last a lot longer saving you money in the long term! I prefer it a lot more and would definitely recommend it as the perfect film camera for a casual aspiring film photographer! I never have it out of my bag and it is so easy to get the hang of!

Secondly: FILM! Film is an incredibly daunting thing when you begin your film journey: you’re terrified of inserting it wrong or exposing it to light. However, after one or two successful tries you’ll become an absolute expert! With both of these film cameras, 35mm film is needed, and you can get this from any camera shop and by any brand. My personal favourite is KODAK Gold 200 (35mm) which gives 24/36 exposures (shots) in colour! Winding the film up is a lovely blast from the past and the rigmarole of sending it off for development is so exciting! I personally use ‘Take it Easy Film Lab’ which develop it really quickly and at an affordable price!

Thirdly: Photo Inspo! I personally love using my film camera to document nights out and parties (e.g. Halloween and Taylor Swift club nights) as well as gigs (I took some lush shots at Mitski and Baby Queen last April!). I also enjoy doing my and a friend’s makeup, hair, and outfit in an unconventional way and going for photo shoots on tower bridge or simply on the Bakerloo Line (not at rush hour though ;)). Whether you snap pictures of your dog, cat, or the beautiful Maughan library, you just know they will turn out great (as long as you use the flash indoors or at night!), and the anticipation of waiting to get the photos back is just too good to resist!

Grab yourself a film camera and some film, load up a Youtube tutorial on loading the camera and enjoy! Your Instagram feed will look TOO cool.

Hi i’m Holly, i’m 19 and a sapphic pisces. I love writing, reading, theatre, dogs and taking photos on my camera! I study English at Kings College London and am fond of writing my own poetry. I hope to be a playwright/screenwriter when i’m older: I take huge inspiration from Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer.