Meet your lab tech!

Hey everyone! I’m Robert!

Want to learn a bit more about who handles your film? Keep reading to see my answers to a few community questions!

Who am I?

As the owner of Brooktree Studios and Brooktree Film Lab, I am a full-time wedding photographer with a passion for film.

I founded the lab a few years ago with the goal of providing high quality film development and scans to the photographic community with fast turnaround times and excellent customer service. If you have ever contacted Brooktree on Reddit, Instagram, or by email, you have likely spoken with me directly.

I am always here to help and answer any questions you may have!

How did you get started with film photography?

Transitioning to a professional photographer was a challenge for me. I wanted to maintain my love for photography while also making a living from it, but it was difficult to balance the two.

That’s where film photography came in. A friend introduced me to it years ago, and I fell in love with the process. Developing film in my basement with him was a great way to continue enjoying photography without feeling burnt out.

As I acquired more equipment, scanners, and processing machines, the film lab expanded and evolved into what it is today. I enjoy receiving and working with film from photographers all over the United States, and helping them improve their skills by offering advice and tips!

What is your favorite film stock?

This is a really hard questions to answer because it is so situational! Overall my favorite film was Fujifilm Pro 400h (may it rest in peace). But for black and white HP5+ can be hard to beat.

If you’re talking about 35mm then VISION3 film stocks are a great option, 250D and 500T have become two of my favorite films to have in my bag while 50D is perfect for portrait work.

Do you have a favorite camera?

I have been fortunate enough to pick up a few iconic cameras, and I absolutely love them like they were my children! I have a Fuji TX-1 (xPan), a Contax 645, and a Nikon F3T that I adore. I also have a 4×5, a waterproof point and shoot, and a few half-frame cameras that are a ton of fun!

The TX-1 and the Contax are my main shooters though, you can just do so much with them and the internal metering and bright viewfinders are amazing!

What advice do you have for new film photographers?

This is a great question, and one that I get quite a bit. Film photography is meant to be enjoyed, and for people that can mean different things.

Some people enjoy shooting a whole roll in a day, forcing themselves to turn everyday situations into interesting shots to fill a roll. While others like to slow down, and ensure that each and every exposure is perfect before clicking the shutter. There really is no right or wrong answer here.

My advice though is to figure out what film photography means to you, and roll with it. Do you like to shoot on the weekend with friends? Do you prefer to go off-road and take photos of things that most of us walk right past? Or would you rather focus on street-photos and explore an urban environment showing beauty in the every day?

While shooting make sure to meter, don’t get upset if your shot isn’t 100% perfect the first time around, and don’t be afraid to make yourself try something new!