Some of my Favourite Film Photographers – Simon King

When I first started shooting film it was as a side project, a hobby and as a way to explore the analog side of photography – around which such mysticism and cult exists. I experimented with different formats and films and decided that I wanted my film images to be very different to my usual work, whether that was my commercial style or street/photojournalism. I write a lot both on my own blog and for other publications, and document my approach and philosophy and gear, but I rarely discuss the artists that inspired me to try certain things out with gear, film stocks, and techniques.

I wanted my film work to emphasise humanity in a way that my distant and isolated work with long lenses on digital cameras was rarely able to capture, and part of this is because that is the theme most evident in my favourite photographers who use film as their main medium for visual storytelling. It is not only their use of film, but also of discreet often compact cameras to work quickly and with precision in many different scenarios.

All of these artists have such a deep understanding  and application of film as a medium and are able to create consistent images in their own distinct style – no two photographers work from this list looks remotely alike, despite sometimes sharing similar chemicals and processing.

I hope that you find these photographers to be as interesting and inspiring as I do; and hopefully I’ll introduce you to artists you hadn’t heard of before!

Neto Macedo: 
Neto produces character-centric portraits with beautiful dynamic range and consistent tones in each image.

These are mostly slide film, black and white landscape art. Although I’m not a landscape photographer I really appreciate the time and effort that’s gone into exposing each of these, resulting in subtle contrast and shadow detail.


Walter is one of my favourite photographers overall, between his emotive fast paced scenes and tranquil, almost sombre, images he is a master of composing everything around a single moment. Also some of the best applications of the Hasselblad XPan I’ve ever seen.

Josh has a very clear style that is beautifully consistent between his film and digital work, making it difficult to tell what was produced with what. There is a sense of timelessness in all of his work.

Ian Howorth:
Ian manufactures beautiful scenes and captures them with a uniquely cinematic aesthetic.

Liam Furneaux & Chloe Orefice: &
These two photographers I met at different fashion events while shooting at London Fashion Week. I’m currently working on a long term project involving the XPan at Fashion Week, so it was great seeing the kind of work other film photographers are producing in the same location. Liam works with medium format but has created some fantastic 3D images with the Nikisha which I really like. Chloe’s images are fantastically clear and crisp with bold colour.

Fred Mortagne:
Fred has an excellent grasp of scale and geometry for documenting his skateboarding lifestyle stories. I’m especially impressed with his use of the XPan in fast paced scenarios – I can’t imagine how many rolls he’s been through!

A lot of Benji’s images have a unique contrast, extreme clarity between black and white without being cartoonish as can often happen. This gives his images a sense of iconography and gravity through distinct division between his subjects and their context.

Joseph is a studio photographer who creates fairly simple but detailed and emotive shapes using models.

Brett Wayne
Although his portraits are not my favourite I really enjoy his ethereal atmospheric images; they really stand out from other work I’ve seen.

Brendon is another photographer who produces beautiful ethereal scenes, with a great application of reduced and selective colour.

Pedro’s medium format portraits are the definition of clarity, with fantastic colour and incredible depth both emotionally and technically. I think he scans using the Hubble Telescope, his images are that sharp.

I love the insight David offers on his blog, to a country and culture I personally love. His images are detailed and often feature fantastically unique characters and stories.

Jeff Bridges:
I adore the panoramic work taken by Jeff Bridges on the sets of his films. He uses a widelux for selfies, but because of his own iconography his work is special, and offers unique insight into his life and industry.

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16 thoughts on “Some of my Favourite Film Photographers – Simon King”

  1. Thanks for posting this Simon, looking at work that inspires other photographers is time so much better spent feeding the G.A.S beast inside all of us. Josh White is one of my favorite photographers btw. I’ve been following him for a few years and am constantly inspired by him to try to make my own photographs more emotional and simple. I hadn’t thought of the timeless quality of his work but that’s a great way to describe what he does. Thanks Again. Love your work! Cheers. Rob

    1. I agree! We can get so caught up with gear, it’s always great to take a look at what its actually all for – incredible photographs! Hopefully one day I’ll have the self esteem to include my own work in one of these lists!

  2. Thank you, Simon! I’m going to bookmark this and, in the quiet of evening, will drink and eat these great works over the next several weeks. Appreciate your posts.

  3. Matthew Dodwell

    This is a great post, thank you for sharing.

    @Hamish – This should become a feature on 35mmc.

    I’m bored of searching ‘film photography’ and getting nearly all pastel looking wedding photographers come up in the results. It would be great to find and share the film shooters of the world that inspire us.

  4. Matthew Dodwell

    I like this guys work –

    I also love his quote on photo’s “There’s a lot of **** talked about photography, but you go out, take a photo of something you like, if you enjoy that image then it’s a good photo. It’s really that simple”

  5. A friend of mine sent me this article! I’m glad that you like my work, Hamish! Very honoured to see myself among the names of these other photographers which so good works ????❤️

  6. Pingback: Some more of my favourite film photographers - by Simon King | EMULSIVE

  7. Pingback: Trying Not to Get Too Attached to a Dead Film: FujiFilm Neopan 400 - by Simon King - 35mmc

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