8 Photographers Share Their Love of Medium Format Photography (NSFW)

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Medium format film photography remains highly popular in the modern era. Analog enthusiasts and pros swoon over medium format film cameras, lusting for the images they produce. We’ve published many photographers over the past 11 years that use a range of cameras in this niche. All of them create fantastic work. In this piece, we reflect on some of our favorites, sharing their excellent medium format film photography with you.

Medium Format Film Photography / Kalin Kostov

Bulgarian photographer Kalin Kostov uses the Mamiya RZ67 to create his classy nude portraits. When we spoke to him back in 2016, he professed his love for photographing people. His images offer a gentle, subtle connection between the photographer and the subject. In images he creates, his model looks settled and comfortable to be in front of his lens. That’s a testament to good people skills and the ability to help subjects let themselves go in front of the camera.

Medium Format Film Photography / Mariangela Serrano

Born in Venezuela, a nation accustomed to adversity, Mariangela Serrano turned to medium format film photography for one simple reason: to build a better life. Moving to New York City, Serrano began to mentally and creatively change and evolve. Amongst all her work, it’s her self-portraits that we found most impactful. She turned to photography when she hit her lowest point, and it was the craft that helped build her back up and become stronger than ever before.

Medium Format Film Photography / Cameron McClarty

“I came to the conclusion that I would just shoot film instead of trying to force the film,” says Cameron McClarty. He was referring to being tired of emulating classic film looks with digital cameras. That’s why he turned to the Mamiya RB67 to make his hipster-inspired portraits. McClarty has as strong eye for a compelling subject, and his work was some of the most impressive we published during 2020.

Landscape Photography / Babette de Jong

Moving away from portraiture, we invite you to look at the work of Babette de Jong. Her niche of medium format film photography focuses on beautiful landscapes. While there’s nothing out of the ordinary in her exposures, the emotional impact on the viewer is powerful. Sit with her photographs, and soon they should instill a feeling of peace and tranquility.

Ajda Schmidt

What is it about abandoned buildings that are so visually captivating? Maybe it’s the idea of being somewhere we shouldn’t. Or perhaps it’s the eerie feeling that makes us feel slightly uncomfortable, but not enough to look away? Whatever it is, photographer Ajda Schmidt knew how to tap into the appeal. When she sent us her photographs of an abandoned hotel in Yugoslavia, we were immediately captivated. They’re deep, dark, and, although void of people, full of character. Add the fact they were shot with Kodak Portra 400 and you soon realize how aesthetically pleasing these photographs are.

Honorable Mentions

Although the above five photographers really stood out, we still have plenty of other features that highlight strong medium format film photography. In 2018, Sadie Catt documented what motherhood looks like for female photographers. In 2017 we shared the thoughts of Mike Ioannidis as he explained how photography was his greatest form of self-expression. And way back 2013, Dan Zvereff brought us images that he shot on Kodak Areochrome. We encourage you to check out these three photographers.

There’s Plenty of Life Left in Medium Format

The fact that photographers working in 2020 are still turning to medium format is evidence of our claim that it remains as popular today as it was in its prime. The cameras and the images they produce are difficult to emulate, and they bring with them ergonomics that excite photographers. So medium format film photography is here to stay, and we’re incredibly pleased about that.

All images used with direct/creative commons permission.

Lead image by Kalin Kostov

Dan Ginn

Dan Ginn is a content writer and journalist. He brings with him five years' experience writing in the photographic niche. During that time he has worked with a range of leading brands, as well as a host professional photographers within the industry.