Hashem McAdam - an extremely talented photographer from Australia - believes that film photography is kind of a magical procedure that can be compared to a cooking process. Recently tested our Berlin Kino 35mm film, he was also generous enough to share his thoughts about photography and our new film.
Hey Hashem! Welcome to Lomography! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and introduce yourself to our readers?
Thank you! I am a freelance photographer from Melbourne, Australia, with a passion for film photography. I mostly shoot events for work and have also started teaching photography classes recently. Making photos just for fun (especially on film) keeps me excited about being a photographer.
We know that you are an extremely talented wedding and family/portrait photography. Do you prefer shooting analogue or digital?
Thanks so much! I still have a long way to go in that department. Digital and film photography are both amazing in their own way, each with unique advantages; which is why I think we're so lucky to have access to both! But from an enjoyment perspective, I would give the edge to film.
What does analogue photography mean to you?
Analogue photography makes the science (or magic if you want to call it that) of the process visible to me, and not just an unseen thing handled by a computer. It makes me an active participant in the process, like cooking a meal from scratch. In the same way as this, I get more gratification enjoying and sharing that meal which took more foresight, care, and work.
How would you describe your photography style in 3 words?
Dualities, conflict, life.
We gave you the Berlin Kino film for testing and received some truly amazing pictures! Which feelings did you try to capture with it? What was your idea behind the shooting?
Oh man, I really enjoyed trying this new film! I tried to be a little more technical than usual to make sure I didn't waste too many shots. So, I shot a variety of things with it. Black and white for me is largely about mood or emotion. With portraits, I think I try to show the subject's real self including any sense of vulnerability. For other documentary shots on this film, I tended to portray some peaceful isolation, like the moment you feel when you're out by yourself and just stop and take in what you see in the environment around you. The heavy texture of high-speed black and white film lends itself well to this because, for me, memories and old emotions are hardly sharp and vivid in my mind.
What do you value the most in a photo?
The ability to make me or others feel something, even if it's subtle.
Sometimes we are just feeling stuck with no interesting ideas coming to mind. What do you usually do in this kind of situation? Where do you draw inspiration from?
I'm lucky in that I'm surrounded by quite a few like-minded creative people, especially my amazing partner Sarah who you see in the portraits on the Berlin film. This definitely helps me stay inspired, just being around other creatives and sharing thoughts and making good memories. Ideas are mostly born from experience. Otherwise, I'm a still a sucker for ingesting inspiration from those whom I don't know; be it photo books, exhibitions, the work of other photographers I see online... also movies are another big one for me! A good movie allows you to momentarily put yourself in another reality, or some experience far from your own.
You are not only a professional photographer but also a YouTuber. Tell us a little bit about how your YouTube channel is related to analogue photography.
The YouTube channel was born from a passion for talking about film photography with my friend, and us wanting to share it with others. We'd both admired the same overseas based film (and digital) photography related YouTubers, and at the time there was nobody doing anything similar locally, so we thought why not! So in this was the way it really started as, and remains to be all about film photography. I always want it to be varied and not just be about one thing or another, so from the beginning, we tried to have interviews, informative videos, reviews, and even vlogs.
What is your motto?
Haha, I've never come up with one, but if I do I suppose it would say something about never forgetting to just have fun.
The last one: What's coming up next for you?
I have quite a few things I want to do! As you know, I want to take the next step in bringing more of the film photography community together by organizing Pushing Film workshops here. Eventually, there will collaborations for these workshops with other creatives who are strong in some certain skill. I want to keep growing as a photographer and teacher while continuing to try and refine my style. I want to do more printing and eventually put out a body of work in a physical format of some kind. I also want to get back into filmmaking ever since doing that at university, and maybe experiment with something like Super-8mm film!