Film Is Not Dead – a review


What an empty, yet loaded, word.

Photographers ask me all the time who inspires me. I think they secretly want to know which other wedding photographers are my favourites.

I like this Jonas Peterson guy, they think, so whoever he likes must be the key to who I want to be.

Instead of searching within, they look outside to try to find out who they are. Instead of taking a long and hard look in the mirror they try to find “inspiration” elsewhere.

It won’t work.

I look at art, photography, movies, theatre, you name it all the time, but when push comes to shove it all comes down to who I am, what I want to do and how I see things around me.

I’m inspired by people.

And by the things they do.

So when I signed up for my first workshop ever, I did it partly because I wanted to know more about shooting film, but I knew I’d get more out of just hanging out with Jonathan, who was hosting it.

I get a lot of people contacting me about my work. I look through my emails and I feel happy, but also embarrassed. I’m a very simple guy. I love what I do and I want my clients to share my vision. But the level of attention I’m getting still baffles me.

Attending the Film Is Not Dead workshop in Melbourne made me look at what I do in a different light, but it also made me love the man behind the workshop. I learned things about film, exposure and latitude, but more than anything it re-enforced the fact that wedding photography doesn’t have to be about hustling and selling shit to people.

Love people and they will love you back.

Jonathan does.

And for that I will always love him.

If you’re interested in people, film and meeting a man on a mission, I couldn’t recommend Film Is Not Dead more.

It will probably change your life.

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  1. A simple guy? Hmmm… a mighty-fine talented one. Was a delight to meet you Jonas and thanks for making me laugh in the back row. You possess, as well as talent and kindness, a wonderful sense of humour. It was an honour to do this workshop, especially amongst the gifted crew, like yourself. Thanks for everything you shared and brought to the table… em x

  2. Jonathan is brilliant! I was attending to his class at WPPI last year. I didn’t really knew what to expect before I went in to that room, but I was leaving teary eyed. And you Jonas, you always say it so good when it comes to inspiration and what to do when the world is full of copycats./erika

  3. being who you are and looking within …. i couldn’t agree more :-)

    It was great to meet you Jonas at the workshop. It was such a great group of people. And so refreshing to slow down & shoot film again.
    I totally agree with Jonas, Jonathan is a wonderful and very giving man in every possible way. You will learn a lot about film and a whole lot about life from this lovely man. He has so much to share with you all :-)

  4. “Wedding photography doesn’t have to be about hustling and selling shit to people.” I loved your post, loved this comment. It’s so refreshing to hear other photogs speak this rather than tell you how you can get rich quick by x-y-z. :)

  5. I recently signed up for Jonathan’s London workshop in August and reading this has got me even more excited about it! I can’t wait.

  6. These are fantastic shots. I think the black and white picture on the beach is just beautiful and the lighting in the shot of the bride with the sun behind her is superb. Great work!

    (p.s. I hope I haven’t accidentally posted this twice, and apologies if I have)

  7. Nice one Jonas. Couldn’t agree more. Haven’t done any workshops yet myself, don’t know if I will – but If I only do one, then maybe this is the one. Thumbs up.

  8. A great (and timely) post, I just recently blogged about a picture of my mine as the source of seeking better ways to capture great wedding [and life] moments, but named you and an American photographer as ‘inspiration’. I guess I meant I greatly respected your works, because I agree – it is up to us to shine from within.

  9. thanks for the kind words jonas. meeting you and the rest of the melbourne peeps was seriously monumental. and for you to walk away with this kind of response is all i could have asked for. what the hell could i teach THE jonas peterson? “wedding photography doesn’t have to be about hustling and selling shit to people” – EXACTLY. see you in vegas my friend.

  10. “but more than anything it re-enforced the fact that wedding photography doesn’t have to be about hustling and selling shit to people.”

    I love this. Love this. Totally embodies the way I feel about being a wedding photographer. Selling things makes me sick. Sales people make me sick. I only charge for photography because I have to make a living. If I won the lottery or was independently wealthy, I would still photograph weddings,but for free.

  11. What you write is exactly how I imagine I would feel after a FIND workshop. I hope one day I get the chance to find out myself. And so, so true about looking internally for motivation. Great post Jonas.

  12. Great post, Jonas. I’m debating whether to do a workshop at the moment, more for meeting the person doing it (Jesh) and for hanging out with some of the photographers who are attending (SWPBer and a friend of mine David McNeil amongst others)- because it’s about what you get out, but it’s also about what you do with that information, and about renewing your enthusiasm, and about taking time out to remember who you are.

    Hoping Film is Not Dead comes to the UK soon!


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