Featured Photophile, our recurring segment showcasing talented amateur photographers, is back. Today we’re spotlighting a young photophile named Shaq Baker, and while he’s a prolific photo maker, we’re solely focusing on a series of film shots he made during a trip to India.
Shaq has done a pretty wonderful job of capturing some interesting vignettes of a country that few of us will ever get to visit, and his photos have shown me places and people that I know I’ll never see in my lifetime. Check them out here, and see what film, cameras, and the craft of photography look like through a pair of fresh, young eyes.
Hi Shaq – please introduce yourself to our readers.
I’m Shaq Baker, a proud born-and-raised South Londoner. Currently I’m a final year Geography student at Manchester University.
When did you start shooting? What’s your favorite camera? What type of film do you use?
My mum bought me a Canon 100D last Christmas. Luckily a few friends and I had a trip to Amsterdam planned the following month – this proved to be a great opportunity for me to experiment with my camera in a new city. I’ve done a fair share of traveling and I think the architecture in Amsterdam is up there with the best in the world, so I was constantly trying to capture its beauty. From that point on I haven’t put my camera down.
It’s difficult to say what my favorite camera is because I’ve owned several cameras over the last two years, but I’d say my favourite has to be my Pentax MZ-30. I’ve made some of my favourite photos with this camera, and also it was my first film camera.
I usually produce my best photos with Kodak Colour 200, and for day-to-day street photography you can’t really go wrong with it. It’s also pretty accessible.
What are your favorite subjects to shoot?
I love shooting because it’s great to completely capture the vibe of the moment and the emotion of my subject – also, I like being able to control and direct my subject to create the perfect picture. Capturing that snap shot in the moment is a great feeling.
Why do you shoot film? Do you also shoot digital?
For me, nothing is more exciting than developing a great roll of film, and I just love the grain and the authenticity that most of my film images have. I may be wrong but I’m not sure if digital can produce the same results.
But I’d say my use of digital and film varies quite a bit. currently I’m shooting a lot in digital because I’ve been photographing a lot of events. Also a factor, as a student, constantly buying and developing rolls of film can eat away at the bank balance.
Personally I don’t think there should be an argument between film or digital. You can achieve great results with both. However I do understand the argument because people are entitled to their own opinion. I guess it depends on what you’re shooting and what your vision is.
What is unique about your work?
Well I try to shoot to my interests – and I’m sure a lot of my interests aren’t in line with many others, so I guess that in itself gives my work some originality. Also, each image I take is literally through my lens – I shoot what I see from my perspective, so I guess a lot of my images will be hard to replicate. But this is just the start for me, and in time my style and photography skills will develop, helping to give my work more of a unique edge.
Where do you hope your photography goes from here?
I graduate in June, therefore I have to start considering a career path. It would be great if I could use my camera in my job, however I haven’t really set any long term goals. In the short term I just want to get better and better – I want to produce high quality images which are unique and convey emotion, whatever that emotion might be. It would also be cool to do some collaboration with big brands like Adidas.
Do you have any advice for new photographers?
It’s quite a difficult question to answer, as I see myself as a new photographer. This is a bit cliché, but honestly, practice. Earlier this year I bought myself an Olympus MJU2, which is a tiny point-and-shoot camera, and I literally took this camera everywhere with me for about four months (I then lost it on a drunk night out). It allowed me to practice every single day, and greatly improved my technique.
To see more of Shaq Baker’s photography, visit his Instagram.
[All images used with permission]
Many thanks to Shaq for sharing his work here. If you’d like to have your photos featured on Casual Photophile, tag your photos with #featuredphotophile on any social media post, or send a message to Contact@FStopCameras.com.