Daisy Taylor On Shooting Film
Daisy Taylor’s course included a workshop on pinhole photography. “My initial reaction was that this was so crap”, she recalls. As the day went on I found that I really enjoyed the sense of mystery and quickly became fixated”.
By Christopher Osborne.
Dasiy Taylor at a recent exhibition of her work
Twenty-year-old photographer Daisy Tailor is studying photography at North Kent College in Dartford (southeast of London). She started the course when she was seventeen and was making images in the digital environment.
I saw Daisy had asked questions about film development of a Facebook group, and I was keen to understand what had motivated Daisy to move her practice towards analogue photography.
Her course included a workshop on pinhole photography. “My initial reaction was that this was so crap”, recalls Daisy. “We did not know the f-stop of our pinholes, so we had to develop the film and print it to work out how to change the exposure. As the day went on I found that I really enjoyed the sense of mystery and quickly became fixated”.
Daisy describes her practice as capturing youth culture. She acknowledges that there is a similarity to the intimate moments captured by Nan Golden in the images that she is creating. The images of Chris Killip and Larry Clark have also influenced her. “Initially, this started as an excuse to go out and get drunk with my friends”, Daisy explains. “We are all very close as a group. I am interested in capturing the connections and relationships. I discovered that I was recording intimate moments, emotions and the vulnerability that goes along with increasing independence. I like the chaotic feel within my images. I use flash which is very harsh, and this balances the complexity within the images. The results are more profound than I could have expected”.
Daisy has three months to complete her final major project, and she is exploring her family history. “I have been scanning old photographs and negatives. I am fascinated by the 1980s, and this reinforced my desire to shoot on film”, says Daisy.
“My enthusiasm for shooting on film has started a trend and other students have joined in”. Daisy laughs. “The college was not expecting so many of us to be shooting film, and they have had to start rationing the film that we are given”.
I use flash which is very harsh, and this balances the complexity within the images.
Daisy started having film developed in a commercial lab, but the continually increasing prices nudged her towards developing her own film. The college provided tutorials in film development together with a darkroom. During the summer recess, Daisy started developing black and white film at home with equipment purchased from eBay. “I find myself getting attached to a subject and I want to know everything about it. I am going through this phase with film development”.
She works in both black and white and in colour. She has just started developing colour-negative film at home and is using leftover chemistry from college. In addition to attending college, Daisy works one day a week and is understandably conscious of the cost of everything that she does. She has managed the temperature by manually adjusting the temperature of the water bath, and the results look stunning.
Daisy and I talked about her experience on the course, and we talked about the parts of the course that resonated with her. She recalled feedback from one tutor on a series of images that Daisy was not happy with. The tutor had praised some images that were not technically perfect, but where the imperfections added to the narrative. “I’m a chaotic person”, claims Daisy. “I’m starting to understand my style. I’d like to steer my photography along a more experimental path”.
Images © Daisy Taylor 2023.
You might also be interested in the work that Chris Smith is doing with children in the UK. see https://silvergrainclassics.com/en/2023/02/chris-smith-and-photography-in-the-community/