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Local Exposure

BHAM FILM WALK celebrates one year of developing film and friendships

The origin story dates back to when my wife Rachel and I were dating. We would spend many date nights walking around downtown Birmingham, taking photos of random things. Fast forward to November 2022, my wife and I were in Chicago, IL, with our friends Rachel and Blake Calhoun. As we walked the streets during our stay that weekend, we took photos of all the fantastic architecture and interesting people we came across. One night, the conversation began—why didn't we do more street-style shooting in Birmingham? This led to us talking about the film photography community in Birmingham as a whole. We believed people were shooting with film in Birmingham, but no entity was bringing folks together. And just like that, the idea was born for the BHAM FILM WALK.

We spent the rest of November and December 2022 hashing out the details and game plan for a January 2023 launch. We knew we wanted to keep it simple and create a tight-knit community. We decided to include a social element to encourage natural conversation among participants. We also wanted to incorporate local haunts into our monthly walks. We launched in January 2023 as planned, and a whopping six people showed up (four of whom were Blake, myself, and our two wives). It was about 13 degrees and drizzly all day, but we showed up anyway and made the best of it. From the beginning, it was never about the numbers, and we knew it was something that we wanted to do regardless. One month later, in February, the forecast was substantially better. We showed up to Paramount: to our surprise, about 40 people stood out front with cameras. To this day, every single walk includes familiar faces and new ones.  This community has been about relationships; photography is simply the vehicle for the conversations and interactions that have been so special to us. We celebrate one year in January 2024 and truly believe this is just the beginning of the BHAM FILM WALK community and its impact on the city we love!
-Noah Echols

The BHAM FILM WALK community will welcome you with open arms, despite your skill level or time spent using film. We are a diverse group with one commonality: a love of film. From current and retired professionals sharing their experiences as working photographers to novices learning how to load film correctly, this group is all about being present with one another. Something about film keeps most of us shooting it, with a few of us shooting it exclusively. In a world filled with screens, slowing down and enjoying the moment can often feel impossible. Shooting with film perfectly encapsulates this. This community is something that embodies this through and through.

Something I love about this group is that I have made friends with people from different walks of life that I probably would have never met in my normal circumstances. Our immersive walks have taken place downtown and in Avondale, Highland Park, Southside, and Pepper Place, with stops at local breweries and restaurants along the way. But what I find even more enjoyable than photographing these beautiful places is building relationships with this community of creatives. Noah and I say it all the time, but our community's wealth of knowledge, expertise, and creativity is priceless. So, if you enjoy film photography, photography in general, or have any interest, we would love to have you.
-Blake Calhoun

In a world filled with screens, slowing down and enjoying the moment can often feel impossible. 

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