Riding the Bus | Film Mamas August

This post is part of a monthly blog circle of FILM photographers otherwise known as the Film Mamas -- out to prove that film just ain't dead. Once you're done looking here, please continue on to Phyllis Meredith's film post for this month! 

In 2009, I enrolled in a film photography class at BCC. It wasn't so much a whim as it was a need to get back into the amber-tinted darkness. The peaceful sounds of water splashing and squeaky rubber tongs. When the words "changing bag", "stop bath" and "agitate" get you all hot and bothered, you are a lost cause. 

I met a husband-and-wife team in the class who shared the same love of street photography and photojournalism as I did. Lucky for me, they were much more outgoing, and my once-longing for roaming the streets taking pictures of strangers became a reality. 

We traveled by municipal bus, armed with our TLRs (me a Yashica Mat 124G, them a Rollei). I was absolutely terrified to approach people to take their photos, but with their help, I finally took the leap. And to my surprise, we always heard a "yes". We were invited to the back of donut shops and laundry cleaners. Sounds silly, but I love small-town stuff like that. Maybe it was our cameras that helped to break the ice, I don't know. But it was such a wonderful experience, and although my eye could have used a little more help back then, I still treasure those photos more than anything. 

I'm starting off with this image. It might be one of my favorite pictures ever taken. It's pretty well under-exposed, but I don't mind. I think the woman in the center was their grandmother. We had just left the dry cleaners and were headed to the donut shop (the building behind them). I remember how incredibly proud she was of them when we stopped to take their photo. I think you can see that in her face. I love that she is the only one not looking at the camera. Another thing my classmates and I didn't notice at the time was that both children still had the tags on their clothes. I'm not sure of their situation, where they lived or who they were, but it was just one more part of their story.