Tanja Lippert and Richard Israel On "Keeping Film Alive"
May 20, 2009
By: eddye

I'm SO excited. We have an absolutely STUNNING Charleston wedding from Little Black Book photographer Richard Israel and Melissa Barton of A Charleston Bride for you this afternoon. But ... we're running a little late with that, so check back a little later. Believe me, it's totally worth the wait!

Richard Israel Photographer

Until then, we want to share some very interesting information with you. Tanja Lippert,  the fabulous LBB photographer of last Wednesday's popular post {Ashley & Christian's Texas Wedding} has started a new website dedicated to photographers (and everyone else!) who loves film photography!!

From Tanja's first post on Keep Film Alive ...

Welcome to Keep Film Alive! My name is Tanja Lippert. I am 100% film shooter dedicated. I love film. I love it so much, it almost hurts. I believe film is the #1 reason that my business as a photographer has thrived. I wanted to create this blog as a resource to photographers all over the world who love film like me. I wanted to create a place where photographers who love film and would like to see it STAY ALIVE forever could come and gain useful information relating to film and all the lovely things it offers. I also wanted to create an online resource that would INSPIRE and encourage photographers who have forgotten about film or only use it sparingly ... might be inspired to run out and buy a few rolls. Who knows, maybe one day put down their shiny new digital cameras, dust off their Rollei and get back to work!!! :0)

Richard Israel is one of Tanja's many, many, many fellow-film-lovers. He shoots fashion, beauty and weddings throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S. Richard's goal? "To capture the mood, the moments and the beauty of his subjects in a sensitive, artful way."

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Richard discussing his and Tanja's mutual obsession with film ...


Q. Richard, Where are you from and where is your studio based, what do you shoot?

A. I’m from London, England and have been living in Charlotte, NC for 20 years, working mainly in the southeast and lots in Charleston, SC. I have a studio in my home. I shoot wedding, portraits and some commercial work. I’ve also started an Etsy.com store for my art photography. I shot fashion and beauty for a good part of my career. I love movement, mood and texture.

Richard Israel Photographer

Q. What is your main equipment set up? What are your favorite films?

A. I shoot Nikon F100’s with the 85 1.4 and 35 2.0 lenses, for medium format I use a Mamiya 645 AFD, with 80mm 1.9, and 150mm lens and a Rolleiflex. I love to experiment with lots of different films but my mainstays are, Fujicolor 400H, Fujicolor 800Z. For black and white, Kodak 400CNBW, Tri-X, and Ilford Delta 3200.

Richard Israel Photographer

Q. Tell us what made you decide to switch back to film from digital; what motivated you to make the switch back?

A. I was browsing through some of my old darkroom fiber based prints and saw the light. The depth, tonality, texture and the pure organic rawness of film is what initially turned me on in my photography and in my opinion can never be replicated by digital imaging ever. I have always been totally passionate about my work, but now it’s off the chart.

Q. How did making the choice to switch back to film change your workflow? How did it change your lifestyle?

A. My workflow has been reduced to approximately 1 ½ hours for weddings and 30 minutes for portraits. I’ve got my life back. I spend more time with my family and spend time growing my business instead of spending 80% of my life in front of the computer.

Richard Israel Photographer

Q. What advice would you give to digital photographers who are thinking of trying or switching to film?

A. Take it slow, test shoot, get comfortable with shooting without chimping, take time to discover the different characteristics of the many different films available. At each wedding shoot a couple of rolls and build up to shooting more as your comfort level grows. Check out keh.com for amazing deals on Canon and Nikon 35mm cameras as well as killer medium format gear.

Richard Israel Photographer

Q. What have the advantages been that have resulted from your switch back?

A. A renewed passion for my work, I feel like I’ve come out of the (digital) wilderness. I’m now an anomaly in my market and separated from the pack, I am a niche.

Q. What have the disadvantages been for you?

A. The only challenge has been the extra expense of film and processing. As of now I’ve raised my prices to cover the extra cost involved so next year all will be good! I would suggest using the best lab possible, I’ve used local labs and would highly recommend a true pro lab such as Richard Labs in LA. unless you want to trade all the saved post processing time for hours of dust spotting in Photoshop. Yikes!!!

Q. Where can we see more of your beautiful work and find out more about you?

A. Website, Blog, I Love Film blog

Richard Israel Photographer

Wow!!!! Just beautiful, Richard!!!

Thanks SO much to Tanja Lippert for allowing us to re-post the interview first published on her Keep Film Alive Blog. She has teamed up with some pretty amazing photographers to share the obsession and the wealth of information that film-shooters are so passionate about. You can see more of her fabulous photography on her website & blog.

Tanja Lippert Photography

this photo courtesy of Tanja Lippert

Stay tuned for that gorgeous wedding we have for you from Richard and Melissa in a bit!