Inez Quijano

What is your unique obsession to photograph?

I like shooting in ports or on a boat. I like to take photos of ferries, cargo ships, barges, tug boats. Or generally just trying to capture the feeling of sea travel.

Why? What draws you to it? What's the history behind why you find yourself obsessed with it?

When I was a kid, my parents and I traveled a lot by ferry around Visayas and to Northern Mindanao. These trips were usually overnight so I have a lot of childhood memories of being on a ship. Even today, I still prefer a 12-hour ferry to a 45-minute plane ride. There's no rushing from one end of the airport to another or being crammed in a plane with barely any space to move. Travelling on a ship is a lot like film photography. Everything slows down. You watch as it slowly undocks and docks again, like loading or rewinding film. You hear and feel the waves, like the lights and shadows on your would-be photo. You have a chance to stop and think and wait. So maybe it's not the ships; it's being inspired by the nostalgia of being on a ship that I'm obsessed with. Or maybe I'm trying to recreate a childhood feeling in a photo.

Do you show this work to people? How do they generally react?

I've shown these to one or two friends, but since I'm still new to film photography, I guess for now I'm not so concerned about how people react to my photos. Just nailing the perfect shot is enough.

What sort of satisfaction do you get in nailing the perfect shot?

I've shot about 4 rolls on this subject so far. Out of more than a hundred photos, there are several that I really like or I think are at least good enough. But there's only two that turned out exactly how I wanted them to and those are the ones I'm really proud of. Not just the photo, but the whole process of making it. I was 8 or 9 when I first used a digital camera so nailing a shot on film, I feel like a child who only ever draws on an iPad learning to hold a pencil for the first time. It's much more effort and a lot more satisfying.

What advice can you give anyone who finds themselves uninspired in photography?

What's important to you? What do you want to remember? These were questions I asked myself when I started shooting film five months ago. I barely knew how to use my camera, but it made me feel like I needed to take those first photos. I don't think inspiration is something you can force, but if you really need to get inspired, maybe you can start with taking photos of the person or place you love the most, because then you'll want to do it justice. Then you'll want to be a good photographer. And just go from there. 

Follow Inez Quijano on Instagram! @365analog

OBSESSIONS is a new blog series from Film Folk that likes to talk about what subjects people love to shoot. If you want to feature your current obsession, shoot us an e-mail at filmfolk@satchmi.com.

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