After shooting digital for many years, yet simultaneously collecting 35mm cameras in that time, I finally gave in to the itch to shoot film again. I used to shoot and develop all of my black and white 35mm work, but have since lost the time and access to a good dark room to do so.
There's something particularly rewarding about shooting film. It's on trend now, of course, but in the early days of our parents and grandparents shooting, it was all they had. It's a skill no doubt, and an art that I think is slowly coming back with more demand.
When people ask me if I have advice on how to be a "better photographer," or if I can give them any tips, I usually recommend learning to shoot analog first. Digital is easy, to a degree. It is forgiving, you have endless frames (or at least as much room as your memory cards will hold), and there's almost a sense of mindfulness that gets lost when you get so used to shooting digital.
I've missed the patience and the focus that film requires. With my analogs, I have to stop and think just a bit longer than I would with my DSLRs. I need to really make sure I've got the composition that I want. I hold extra still to make sure the manual focus stays in its place. It's all a beautiful process that I really do enjoy.
That said, I ran a few test rolls through two of my Canon AE-1s over the last few months (AE-1 and AE-1 Program) and recently got some scans back. They're not terribly creative or interesting since I wasn't sure of the condition of each camera, so I didn't want to exert too much effort only to be devastated if they had any defects that would prevent my film from turning out. I only ever pulled out the camera if I had a spare second around the house or on a shoot or drive. Take a few shots here and there, and move on. The AE-1 Program seems to have a pretty moderate light leak, which has its pros and cons. Regardless, here is what I shot here and there from the start of the year until recently. These are unedited scans, a combination of Fuji Superia X-TRA 400, Fuji PRO 400H, and some Ektar 400. So far, I don't think I'm quite the biggest fan of Ektar, but we'll see with more shoot time. Hopefully I'll have more serious film work done soon!