A Mothers Journey in 35mm Film

When Nikki approached us with this vision she’d had an executed for documenting her family over the course of three years, we loved it as a feature for this V6 issue because it resonated so strongly with our concept of ‘Real, Real Life’ that this chronicle explores. The ability to document authentically, to have something tangible to hold and pass on to generations instead of being lost in a digital dark age, is something very real that is worth having a serious conversation over.

This feature is part of the White Wren Volume 6 Print Magazine. To purchase your copy, click here.

from Nikki:

“Three years ago, I began a journey for myself and my family that would come to yield and heirloom collection of imagery like I didn’t think could be possible prior. I wanted to document this season of life, of motherhood, in a medium that is raw and unpredictable (much like this season of life itself). To make magic for my children with intentionality in a time where so much was uncertain. I committed to only using a 35mm camera to document my family. This meant putting away my iphone and digital cameras, investing in 35mm film stock, dusting off the Minolta on my shelf that was older than myself, and establishing a rhythm of documentation with intentionality and authenticity.

I learned so much in this process that I’ve also started educating other moms in how to use the medium to escape the “more” mentality that smartphones can perpetuate to create simple and beautiful photos of their families that represent childhood for their kids.

“Did you know that according to Apple, 1.43 trillion iPhone photos were taken in 2020. If you printed every one of those photos as a 4×6 and filled a standard sized wooden palette, you would have yourself nearly THREE FOOTBALL FIELDS of photo palettes.

However, a very small majority of us are actually printing our photos anymore. Despite that staggering number, Google vice president, Vint Cerf, warns users that we could be living in a second “Dark Ages” era. The technology is changing so fast that our current digital imagery could soon become obsolete. He says, “future generations would struggle to understand our society because technology is advancing so quickly that old files will be inaccessible.”

This means detrimental things to our ability to educate our children about the times they lived in during their earliest days. Without proper planning, we won’t be able to show them the nuances of our communities and society during the historic season in which we’re raising them. But, beyond that, they won’t be able to see the joy and the love within the haven of the homes we’re creating for them.

Tangible documentation is essential for their sense of belonging, and for their self-concept.”

Photographer: Nikki Santerre
Lab: Photovision

Publisher at The White Wren

Publisher at The White Wren and Bajan Wed, Award Winning Photography + Videographer at Live View Studios, Dad, 80s music lover, crunchy health advocate

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