EP. 9 - Women in Film Photography: Tory Time

Known as @filmbytory on Instagram, Tory is currently based in Denver, Colorado and loves to spend time outside photographing colour in nature. Did I mention she's also a co-curator of the Y35 Magazine? Below is the inside scoop into her process, her journey and Tory Pourian as a woman in film photography. This is EPISODE 9 of the 'Women in Film Photography' series.

Mountain scape image by Tory Pourian

Introduce yourself. How old are you? Where are you currently based? How did you start your film photography journey? 

I’m Tory and I just turned 26! I’m currently based in Denver, Colorado and am originally from Northern California. I always had an interest in photography and had been shooting disposable cameras for a little while. I really enjoyed the process and started falling in love with film photography. In October 2020, I had moved home to the very rural mountain town I grew up in after living in San Francisco for over six years. I figured it was the perfect time to dive in, so I purchased a Minolta X-700 and have been obsessed ever since. Since then I’ve added my first medium format camera, a Mamiya 645, to my collection which has been such a fun shooting experience

Water and mountain film photography image by Tory

Your work excites me as you have so many photos of nature and the great outdoors, which I love so very much. What inspires you when you get outside? Anything in particular you are trying to capture? 

Light, textures, tones. I’m absolutely obsessed with the outdoors and am always so inspired by the beauty of it. I try to capture the composition of whatever catches my eye when I’m spending time outside. I’m very passionate about hiking, backpacking, riding my bike, surfing, camping - literally anything that gets me outside. That’s why so much of my photography is of nature, because my camera is always along with me on those adventures. 

What is your favourite film camera to use? What film stock do you like to play around with the most? 

My Minolta X-700. It’s my first and only 35mm camera and almost all of my photography has been shot on it. It’s been such a trusty camera and has been with me everywhere! As for film stocks, Portra 400 & 800 are my go-tos. They just always have consistent results for me, and I love the images they produce. I’ve been trying out night photography and have used Cinestill 800T for that, which has been fantastic. Other stocks I like playing around with are Kodak Gold, Ektar 100, and ColorPlus

Water and serene peaceful landscape film photography image 

What is your opinion on editing/ adding filters to film photographs? Do you edit your film photographs? 

I believe that anyone can do whatever they want or don’t want to do to their images to create their shot. I personally do edit my film photos when needed. Sometimes the scans will turn out completely perfect, and I don’t hve to do any edits to it. It really just depends!

If you had to send one message to the female film photographers just starting out, what would it be? 

From my personal experience, don’t be intimidated! I remember when I got my first camera, I had no idea how to use it and was a little overwhelmed. Practice, read, learn, and eventually it will click! Go out and shoot, figure out what excites you - what makes you want to get out and shoot film.

Mountains and trees captured with 35mm film camera by Tory

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now to shoot film, where would you go? 

Canada or Alaska. I’ve been dying to go to both places. The mountains in both of those places look absolutely phenomenal and I would love to explore and photograph them! Hoping to visit both soon. 

Any cool upcoming projects/collaborations? 

I’m going to be featured in an upcoming issue of Y35 Magazine for a curator spotlight! I became part of the team a few months ago and have been doing curation on their Instagram page, which has been so cool. I also recently purchased my own scanner and at home film processing kit. It’s a goal of mine to eventually own the film process from end to end, so hopefully you will begin to see some self-scanned, self-developed photography soon.

 Calming water film photography image by Tory

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