The great American road trip in film photos


As many of you know, I’m kind of into film photography. There’s nothing practical about it, and I’ve had my fair share of mishaps which, unfortunately, are expensive lessons to learn. I’m living on a tight budget these days, but I couldn’t wait any longer to get my film photos from the road trip developed. While you’re a lot more hard pressed to find a store dedicated solely to cameras and photo developing in other places, Los Angeles boasts plenty. I figured I’d show you a few of the highlights from the trip (already almost two months ago!), plus some pictures I’ve taken in my new city.

000068950006 000068950019 000068950015

Exploring abandoned houses off of Route 66:

000068950012 000068950010 000068950022 000068960010 000068960009 000068960005 000068950017

Yep, I use up exposures at close to a dollar a pop on things like handmade natural wood fences. Why? Combine the texture of the wood with the graininess of the film, and you’ve got a pretty cool image. Or at least a decent desktop background.

Below, explorations in Malibu, Venice, Runyon Canyon, and my very own neighborhood, Silver Lake:

000068960020 000068960023 000068960016 000068960012 000068960017_cropped 000068960024 000068960022 000068960025

Incredibly enough, I took this last photo just a couple of streets over from my own. I love walking through these hills and checking out all the homes of people much wealthier than I am.

So why do I love film photography if it costs so much—especially if I’m paying for pictures that aren’t guaranteed to come out well? Aside from the anticipation of getting the photos back and finding a gem or two, I love how it forces me to take each shot with care. I love how it makes me consider things like texture, as mentioned above, and color. I even love it when I make a mistake (sometimes). Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised with the results of a mishap, like with this photo I took just before we left home:

double exposure

Though costs may dictate how many film photos I take, and how often, it’s worth it for an image I’ll always be proud of. In the meantime, our walls are still pretty bare in the new place, and I’m contemplating which photos to blow up and frame. If I don’t find a job soon, I might just have to open up an Etsy shop and start selling prints. (You guys will totally buy some, right?)

Get the newsletter

Sign up to get love letters, good reads, writing deadlines & more delivered to your inbox every week!

powered by TinyLetter

And don't forget to follow WTH on Twitter, Facebook & Bloglovin'!


  1. Who’sacutielittlepuppyatafountain!

    Ahem. These are great! I LOVE the canoe and those spooky things in the tree. What are they, pray tell?

    • They were these weird little clay figures that we just happened to stumble across! They look like little alien dudes with big eyes. I thought they were so funky. Wonder who left them there…and how long ago!

  2. Absolutely LOVE the photos, Cass! Hope you’re enjoying the experience – don’t stress, it will all work out!! Someday (soon) someone will pay you to travel, explore, photograph and write about it!! Would have enjoyed exploring the abandoned houses with you…..

  3. I love that you love film photography. Samesies. There’s a soul to it that just can’t be replicated through digital.

    So jealous of your great American road trip! Pictures look awesome. Hope you’re loving LA so far – happy exploring!

  4. You got some beautiful shots here. I would totally buy prints – I love supporting handmade.

    • Thanks, Brianna! I love supporting handmade, too. I’ve gotta break down the costs of this idea and see if it’s worth it. But if I could make any money off my photos, it would totally justify the hobby.

  5. I love film exactly for the reasons you described. I haven’t played with film for years and years but by far my favorite part was wondering what would end up being developed. And I agree, it does force you to be more careful about how you take a shot.

    • You should get one of those cute Holga cameras and start back up! I’ve been eyeing them recently. They’re so darn cute.

  6. Gorgeous photography, lady! My boyfriend is attached at the hip to his vintage Rolliflex and a few other cameras he’s found in his parents’ basement.

    Keep ’em coming 🙂 You have a nice eye.

    • Oohhh that sounds like a great basement for exploring! What a dream to stumble across those.

      And thanks! Glad you like. 🙂

  7. Yayyyy the husky puppay! I love you and your film camera. Someday I shall get one as well. I love the photo of the inside of the dilapidated wooden structure, whatever it is (an old workshop, maybe?). Can’t wait for more photo adventures with you!

    • Photo adventures!! Yeah, that one was a storefront or workshop of some kind, and several others were tiny little homes. Crazy what people leave behind. It always makes you wonder what could’ve happened there.

  8. Got memories of being free…

  9. yeah! i love how film actually makes you shoot differently too.

  10. Gah I love love love film and I’m really behind on getting my rolls developed cos b/w processing just costs too much here! I also need to take a leaf out of your book and post recent film photos instead of having almost an archive of them, from which I pick a random shot for blog posts. I say, screw the “impracticalities” and keep shooting film forever — you definitely think more about each shot, and I know there’s a reason I always like the film ones best!

Speak Your Mind