Welcome to "Meet the Film Shooter"! A new series where we aim to connect and reconnect with all the wonderful people from our community (virtually, of course) during this strange time and get personal with the film shooter behind the lens! Today we are absolutely delighted to bring on our first guest for this series, Jackie Yacoub - the founder of Photographer's Anonymous Sydney, a Graphic Designer and a passionate film shooter since 2014. Read on below!
Who is Jackie Yacoub?
I'm a graphic designer, originally from Melbourne, who moved to Sydney for my career as a designer. I love pineapple on pizza, enjoy grabbing a brew or three from local pubs with friends and most of all, enjoy educating people about creative design.
Portrait of Self - Minolta SRT 101 / Expired Kodak Gold
How did you get started in film photography and what do you enjoy most about shooting film?
I came across a free Polaroid camera back in 2014 and decided to give it a go. I searched online for where to buy the film from and stumbled upon FilmNeverDie. I bought a few packets, travelled to the US for a few months, and captured some really cool stuff. I loved the fact that the images were tangible, so I ran out of film quite quickly.
Go - Nikon FE / Fuji Superia 400
Tell us the story behind Photographers Anonymous Sydney! How and why did it all get started and what motivates you to continue?
I was a part of FilmNeverDie's free monthly photo walks and as soon as I moved to Sydney in 2017, I felt that there was no film community whatsoever! I took it upon myself to start PA Sydney to 1. Make few friends in a new city, 2. Get to know the new city I was going to live in, 3. Was so used to being around a great film community back in Melbourne, and I missed it so much that I wanted to introduce that to people in NSW.
It's a group to motivate people to shoot on film or digital, to make new friends (as photography is usually a solo experience), and help out so many people struggling with mental illness. It's almost therapeutic. I've taken on this project as a design adventure for me, to create the logo, merchandise, social media posts and so on, so it adds to my folio experience. My work can be seen here: www.jackieyacoub.com and www.jackieyacoubphoto.com.
For those that have never joined a photo walk before, what can people expect when joining one of your events?
I set up the walk at a convenient meeting point for public transport and allow 30 mins for people to arrive. We make our way in a certain direction if we are going on a big walk, or we roam around the particular area, shooting and chatting away. I get a group photo of everyone, say thanks and thats pretty much it. I encourage those who attend, to post their favourite 3 photos from the walk (it helps give me some content to post on Instagram) and also, its really nice to see peoples perspectives of the day.
Photowalk to the Coal Loader, November 2019
You are hosting a photo walk on a deserted island for a day, what film and camera combo do you bring with you?
Yashica 635 with expired Portra 160 NC!
What's been a favourite and proud moment of yours since founding PA and within your own personal work?
There are way too many favourite/silly moments since founding the group, but my greatest accomplishments have been hosting a gallery at Rewind Photo Lab, creating two zines to celebrate everyones work, and now, working on a side project with one of my OG's Alan Ma @thefilmsweats called @thecovidsweats where we got people to document their isolation life. We are currently in the design process for the "quaranzine" and hope to launch it before the end of the year!
I'm also an active artist on the website @cream.town, where I'm selling my photography work. This initiative was started for those who had been affected by the coronavirus (I was let go from my job) to give them some monetary assistance as well all try to cope with whats happening around us. Please, buy my work!
Lisboa Views - Canon Sure Shot Zoom / Agfa Vista 200
You are originally from Melbourne and have been living in Sydney since 2017. We have to ask the great debate question — Sydney or Melbourne, which do you prefer?
Coffee is better in Melbourne, I cannot stress this enough!
Each city has its own perks: Melbourne is like the playground of Australia, whereas Sydney is the career hub for a lot of us. Sydney is closer to good beaches, whereas Melbourne has an organised road and public transport system! I have become quite a beer connoisseur since moving here, and I'm blessed to have this gift.
I've only just started to feel like Sydney is home, to build up the connections I have in both the design and photography communities. I'm not ready to leave just yet!
State Library of Victoria - Yashica 635 / Rollei Crossbird 200
Any words of advice to someone new to shooting film?
Don't be so hard on yourself if the first few rolls you shoot aren't great. It takes time to learn how to shoot using something different and it's all about making mistakes so you can learn for the next time. Have a look at the Photographer's Anonymous Sydney account for inspiration in the style you may like to shoot with, as having your own thing helps you improve on your skills, and refine them over time. And spend as little or as much as you want on a camera! It doesn't matter at the end of the day what camera or film you are using, as long as you are having fun!
Colours of Cascais - Ricohflex Dia / Lomography 800
Lastly, let's end on something positive and fun! Can you share with us a favourite photo taken from the last roll you shot on and the story behind it?
Went on a mini photo walk with my friends Horst @mc680x0 and Jess @viva_la_film around Blackwattle Bay and a Dalmatian dog was prancing about in the water. His owner got him to pose for us on the ledge, and this is just one of those photos that worked out!
The Dalmatian Dog With Anzac Bridge - Minolta SRT 101 / Fuji Surveillance 400
Connect with Photographer's Anonymous!
PA is a monthly photo walk group run by Jackie. This group encourages monthly photo walks in and around Sydney, giving participants a reason to explore what NSW has to offer, make new friends with similar interests, and promote a healthy and thriving community for those who want to shoot! They currently have a 20 people capacity for walks due to COVID.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pasydney
Connect with Jackie!