It’s funny how I am based in Singapore but I have never featured a fellow film shooter from Singapore. Finally, I have Ahmad Lutfi! We’ve been chatting a lot as both of our passions revolved around photography, in particular analogue film. Check him out!
Me: Hello Ahmad! So happy that you let me interview you. Tell us about yourself.
My name is Ahmad Lutfi. I’m 29 and I live in Singapore. Currently working as a lifeguard at Sentosa. People always ask me if I can swim after I tell them I’m a lifeguard. I find it, intriguing.
(So can you swim? Haha! joking)
Me: How long have you been shooting film and how did you come to it?
I have shot film for about 1.5 years. I have been shooting digital for about 5 years before I started trying film. I used VSCO filter for my photos and I was actually clueless what Fuji and Kodak colors actually looked like. Then I shot film and used their films, I was blown away.. the actual film colors are much nicer. I still use VSCO every now and then, but I’m more informed how their color would affect my pictures.
Me: I know you have a few film cameras, which is your favourite?
Hahaha! I think each camera has their purpose and it wouldn’t be fair to the rest if I were to name my favorite right?
Me: Which is the one you use the most frequent?
This is a tough question. If I could, I would use the Pentax 67 all the way if not for the weight. I’d choose my Leica M6 as my most frequent used camera.
Me: You are officially my film wikipedia, so which rare films are the one any film shooters must try and which are the overrated ones?
I’ve shot some films that are sold exclusively from Japan and believe everyone has their favorite films. I feel there’s no overrated films cos each film gives different looks.
Me: As I haven’t been to Japan, can you share with me the film photography scene/vibe in Japan? How does it differ from other places such as SG.
I’ve seen people carrying film cameras around but nothing special. When I went Tokyo February last year, an Instagrammer @tokyocamerastyle were promoting many photo exhibitions by local photographers who shoot film. So I guess you can start there.
Me: Imagine all film factories were to stop producing film, and you have the ability to buy over ONLY one company to reproduce, which one will it be?
Fujifilm. Just because I use Fujifilm films a lot
Ok, enough of imaginative and gear questions, let’s talk about photography.
Me: What genre of photography do you usually do? What type of camera setting do you use for the genre of your preferred photography?
I have photographed many things and people. I have come to like to do portraits. I prefer to just shoot in aperture priority mode because I can focus more on my subject.
Me: Are you currently working on any project? Be it personal or commercial.
It’s all personal
Me: So, what’s your personal goal in photography? How do you hope to achieve that?
I have never actually thought about this.. I want photography to be something I can create for myself. Personally for me, planning how I want the the end result to be makes the job so much easier.
Me: Do you look up to or study the work of any past photography master?
I have never look up to or studied any photography masters. However I was drawn to portrait photographer Sue Bryce when I paid for her 3 days course from CreativeLive. That was when I decided to shoot portraiture. For me, at this time and age, there’s a lot of inspiration I can learn from other form of arts.
Me: What advice will you give yourself if you were to give advice to the younger you when you first started photography?
Shoot everything, anything and have fun. Then you’d figure out what you want to shoot. Once you find what you love to shoot, find out more about the genre and shoot more of that. Keep learning and improving.
Me: Alright, then how about advice to the new people who want to get into film photography?
I’d give them a roll of film and tell them to finish that roll soon. Seeing the results will make them excited. You know what I mean, right?
Me: Of course I know what you meant. Lastly, one reason why people should try film photography!
Shooting film is a different experience than shooting digital. When you go out to shoot film, sending it to a shop to develop and then seeing how it turn out, each process is an experience itself.
Thank you Ahmad! Haha, you are obsessed with flowerclowns. Anyway, check out his Instagram @_ahmadlutfi for his awesome portrait shots! He’s actively shooting during off days so if you would like to shoot with him, contact him. He won’t bite :p