The 110 film format was introduced by Kodak in 1972 and gained immense popularity owing to its compact size, low cost and easy usability. While many still shoot in 35 mm and 120 film formats today, the small 16 mm cartridge film format has become a lot less common in the film community. Lomography, though, revived the format in 2011 and savvy film photographers looking for a pocket-sized method of shooting film keep the format alive and kicking.
We met Anna Shotadze (@annashotadze), through this Dear Young Shutterbugs submission on her experience with 110 film cameras. In the ever-changing world of photography it’s interesting to listen to a younger film photographers’ journey into the craft. Hearing Anna’s thoughts on her new-found enthusiasm for 110 film is nothing short of infectious. Let’s get into this special edition of Dear Young Shutterbugs!
Here’s the first rule of Lomography: “Take your camera everywhere you go”. Yay, right? No. Here’s a thing, what if, I am a young shutterbug, I just discovered my love for film photography, but I don’t want to think about the settings of every shot that I take, I don’t want to think about my film getting exposed if a friend of mine suddenly opens the back of my camera, and I certainly don’t want to carry a huge brick with me everywhere I go? Now what?
Here’s what: 110 FILM CAMERAS! Young shutterbugs, trust me, a 110 film camera is one of the most entertaining, fun-to-use and original things you can buy for the cheapest price and Lomography will help you with that.
I’m Anna, 24 years old, from Tbilisi, Georgia. I've loved taking photos of my favorite people and places ever since I can remember. I mostly took photos with my phone and digital camera, which I carried with me everywhere, but I was always interested in film photography. For some reason, however, I always assumed that film photography was something hard to learn and very expensive.
One day, I remembered a simple point-and-shoot camera (Wizen SM111) that my mom bought for my brother when he was little, because my grandma wanted him to discover photography. Years later, when digital photography became simpler and more accessible and my family members didn’t use film cameras anymore, I thought that experimenting with the old point-and-shoot could be fun. So I gave my Wizen camera a new life, started experimenting with different inexpensive film rolls and then it became part of my life.
I started learning more about photography. I discovered Lomography and hundreds of people experimenting with different colors of film and cameras. All of that helped me realize that film photography can be accessible to everyone who’s interested.
Not only that, but I started learning film developing. I found out that my grandfather used to develop photos in a darkroom, so it was a big inspiration for me to learn it myself.
I have a Kodak Pocket Instamatic 10, and when I bought it, I didn’t think a camera so tiny would be able to shoot anything at all, and I was surprised with the results. I really do think that the best photos come from the moments of spontaneity, and tiny 110 film cameras can help you with that.
No matter where you go, it can always be in your bag or pocket, and one of the best things when you own a camera that looks so cool, is when people around you look surprised - “How did she just manage to take a photo with that?”
I freaking love it when I do something that’s challenging and different. This is why I always search for cameras that are not as popular, the ones that can challenge me to experiment, the ones that make me want to share them with the people I love.
That’s why I fell in love with my 110 film camera (Kodak Pocket Instamatic 10). Currently, I still have my old Wizen camera, an Instax Mini, and my favorite Kodak Pocket Instamatic. But I cannot wait to expand my camera collection.
I’d say every single shot that I took with 110 film is my favorite, but to choose one, I’d say this is my favorite photo.
I love spontaneous adventures, and this photo represents one for me. It was a sunny day. I wasn’t even planning to see my friends but at the end we all gathered together. I took it in my friend’s car while good music was playing; we were eating snacks and waiting for friends to show up.
And the best thing about that photo is that I didn’t even know that it would turn out great. It was my first roll of 110 tiger, and I will always remember how excited I was when I realized that my camera actually worked and took photos that I will always keep with me.
I have never been so excited about owning a camera before, that’s why I am writing this letter at 00:27 at night, for Shutterbugs who are not afraid to try new things. Lomography really helped me with my new obsession with 110 film photography, in the store you can find different films.
My absolute favorite is Color Tiger, there’s also Black and White Orca, Lobster Redscale, Peacock Slide, and LomoChrome Metropolis which I can not wait to try out. Long story short, dear young shutterbugs, once again, here’s the first rule of Lomography: “Take your camera everywhere you go.”
Yay, right? Yes! I own a 110 film camera and you should try it too!
Do you have fond memories of 110 films? Share them with us below!