I arrived in Berlin in 2010 with my Minolta x-370 camera and an old one of my grandfather's. I was determined to stay analog and find more time to explore photography. I've always preferred the imperfect nature of analog photography, and, it turns out, this was exactly what I loved about Berlin. I was also a great city for analog photographers with at least a few independent film & camera shops as well as collectives offering dark room use (not to mention 8mm and 16mm developing and editing equipment).
During my first two years in this new city, I began to really find my stride with photography which, up to that point, had been a hobby I only lazily pursued back in New York City. Berlin is a city easy to discover on foot and bike, full of visual curiosities (although more then than now) and I could regularly stop, look, and snap since I spent most of my time getting around on a bike.
I soon added a toy camera into the mix and discovered that what I loved most about analog photography was that odd balance of both ease and challenge. This odd balance mirrored my own odd viewpoint of the city: it was sometimes fun and easy to live there, yet immensely challenging and unexpected.
Some of my favorite photos come from this period—whether I was trying to figure out the weird focus on my grandfather's camera or trying to find my own photo style as I found my footing in this new city and culture.
After leaving Berlin in 2012 and coming back again in 2013, I began to rely more heavily on my new digital camera. However, in the last year or so, craving that inspiration and unknowingness that comes with snapping analog photos, I've begun to get back into using only my analog cameras.
The memories of all those "happy accidents" those first two years in Berlin only helped fuel this inspiration. It was a time when everything was so strange and new and I was spontaneously trying to capture it all yet couldn't instantly connect with or perfect the results...There was and still is something so utterly satisfying about that.
Photos 1 & 5-6: Superheadz toy camera. Photos 2 & 10: my grandfather's Kodak Motormatic 35F. Photos 3-4, 7-9: Minolta X-370 (w/ Sigma 70mm lens).