Why Film: Zairre Wright

Of Fairs & Film

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been a big fan of fairs. Growing up in Pottstown (Pennsylvania), my family and I would always go to the Norco and Manatawny Park Fairs. The large amount of people gathered together, the terribly bad, yet totally satisfying food, the rides, the loud noises and bright lights. A menagerie of neon and sound. It's captivating.

Fast-Forward: I've been living in San Diego for 5 years and have made it a tradition to visit the San Diego County Fair. The fair takes place in Del Mar, a massive venue with one of a kind moments to be captured at every turn. Every year is an experience. This year, however, was unique: I was gifted a film camera by my buddy Bert (IG: @Bertimus_maximus). This simple gift breathed new life into my already growing love for the fair. The second I held the camera in my hands, I immediately wanted to go back out and capture the happiness, sounds, and feels, that are the San Diego County Fair.

My girlfriend and I enjoy going to the fair, hearing the bands play, flying around on rides, seeing the animals, and using the demo massage chairs while pretending we might actually buy one (you know you've done it too). This time, I brought my camera along on our fair visits, just to see what I could create. Interestingly enough, it was on a ride "the swings," where I took one of my favorite pictures. As we swung speedily in circles, neither of us could hide the smile on our faces. This was the moment I wanted to capture. I pulled out my camera, quickly focused, and snapped the frame. The result was special and stunning. Swinging high in the air, she looks perfectly focused with the background lights completely blurred.

As fair season ended, I was more than happy with how I captured the fair from my eyes. This happiness and satisfaction was increased having captured these moments on film, rather than digital. With film, you are in the moment and you think differently. You start to understand lighting, the unique quirks of your camera and you learn how to maximize its potential. After a while, you set your aperture and shutter speed and you just go. You take the shot and are right back into the moment. There is no distraction. There is no need to check an LCD screen after every shot. Because of this, there is nothing missed. Even as the roll comes to an end, the excitement continues. Who doesn't get the jitters when it comes time to develop? You never know what magic you've captured until you've developed. It is a feeling, this excitement, the continuous learning, that pushes me, urges me, to continue shooting film.


Bob Shepherd, photographer

I was born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania but currently reside in San Diego, California. I am a skateboarder, photographer, vegan, bartender. Some might say I do it all. I'm always searching for new vegan cook books and interesting places to visit so if you have any recommendations, hit me up. I never know when something might catch my eye so 98% of the time you'll find a camera on me. As they say, the best camera is the one you have on you.

See more from Zairre on his IG:


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