Molly Matcham was one of our original UK Film Lab Beta Testers. This means that she has been with us since the very start of our film lab journey, and she has been a constant source of support and inspiration since those early days. It’s difficult to put into words how much support from Molly – and our other, loyal, long-term clients – means to us, but suffice to say we are incredibly proud and grateful.
Choosing images for this spotlight feature was incredibly difficult as Molly creates so many beautiful images every time she shoots. Her work is diverse in subject matter but united by her wonderful use of light, bright yet subtle colours, and overall from the genuine warmth that her images exude. We always feel that this comes from her warm spirit as a person. Her work always feels like it comes from the heart, and makes us want to be in the photograph, breathing in the fresh air.
Why do you take photographs?
When you are in the present you don’t always think about it becoming an era. The still image is like a smell or a song, it has the power to take you back to a time that’s passed and you instantly remember those feelings. I love having the opportunity to record events through my eyes. I look for the beauty in the world, which is also a philosophy I like to live my life by.
I have the chance to document the special times in people’s lives, and the ordinary ones. That is such a privilege that I never tire of or fail to be inspired by.
You seem to draw a lot of your inspiration from family…could you tell us a little about that?
I am very lucky to have two (usually) willing subjects in my daughters. I love photographing children and being able to practice on my own has definitely helped when photographing others. They allow me the chance to be creative and try my ideas out on them. It is also important for me to try and tell their individual stories and their relationship with each other. That inspired me to start a project to photograph them in the same place every month. It has been a great experience as I’ve captured their physical and personal growth, the changing environment around them and my own personal development as a photographer. I just hope they will keep letting me try out daft projects on them for a while yet!
What else inspires you to create images?
I want to tell stories mostly. I want to record where people are in their lives at that moment. Time goes by and nothing stays the same, I want to be able to tell a bit of their history. I am particularly inspired to tell the stories of people close to where I live. I believe that they are part of what makes the area I live in special to me. I am always thinking of who I’d like to photograph next. It’s an ongoing project that I think will last for years to come. I get to meet and talk to people I may not have done otherwise, it makes me feel more connected to where I live.
Why do you shoot film?
I love the way film makes me shoot, taking more time to get the right photo before I press the shutter, focusing on the person in front of the camera as apposed to a screen on the camera. I find it easier; once I have taken my meter reading I can focus on taking photos not technology. All the different films and cameras and lenses you can use, so much variety! Only seconds spent on editing if at all (that’s only when you use a great lab like UK Film Lab though)! The thing that draws me the most obviously is the look; the colours, the depth, the way film reacts to the light, that’s pretty special.
Why do you use UK Film Lab?
I was so thrilled when Christian and Erica started UK Film Lab. They are wonderful photographers themselves so you can trust in what they’re doing.
In Christian and Erica I know my film is in the best hands. They are brilliant to communicate with and they always take the time to make sure the scans are as good as they can be. Their advice is personal to you and they treat you as an individual. They are a big part of the end result and I am so grateful to them both.
Do you have any tips for your fellow film photographers?
It’s a cliché, but simply don’t be too hard on yourself – you learn from your mistakes. I have spent too much time focusing on what I did wrong as a bad thing but I try to look at them as learning. Every shoot is a chance to try new things and if I make a mistake I can still learn something new. Essential kit – light meters – can’t live with out mine! And of course use UK Film Lab!
Most of these beautiful images were shot on Contax 645, Portra 400 and 800, with some on Fuji 400H. All images developed/scanned/edited at UK Film Lab.