10 Questions with Sandra Rabat

1.Can you please tell us a few words about yourself, where are you from.

My name is Sandra. I am a 24-year-old medical student. I grew up in Northwest Pennsylvania, but I spent the last 6 years on the west coast (5 years in California and 1 year in Arizona). Now, I am back on the east coast to complete my last 3 years of medical school in Northeast Pennsylvania.

2. What is your photography story, how did you start? How did you get where you are now?

I started shooting film almost 2 years ago now and I immediately fell in love with film photography. What I like about shooting film is the nostalgia. I usually shoot several rolls and do not get them developed right away; months later, when I do eventually get the film developed, I get to see the memories coming back to me about those precise moments and what I was feeling and who I was with. Film photos feel timeless. I also love the process and not knowing how the photos will turn out and how careful I need to be with each shot to get it just right.

3. What’s your favourite gear to use (camera, lens, film) ?

My trusty Pentax IQ Zoom 90MC… it was my first 35mm point and shoot and so easy to take with me everywhere I go. When I finish medical school, I would love to invest in a new camera. Someday, I hope to collect cameras like I do watches! I love Ektar 100 film and more recently,Fujifilm Superia Xtra 400.

4. What do you enjoy shooting the most? And Why?

I am inspired by the world around me: the moon, nature, friends, and strangers. I also enjoy finding the beauty in mundane moments.

5. How do you educate yourself to take better photos?

Trial and error and my film friends!

6. Have you ever doubted yourself? And what helped you to overcome that?

Of course. Any extraordinary person doubts themself at some point. I overcame the doubt by believing in myself; no one else can do it for you!

7. What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer for you?

I have always loved taking photos and I think I get it from my dad, which is comforting to me knowing I am doing something he used to like to do as well. The most rewarding part for me is when you get a perfect roll of film, where you love how every photo turned out, which in my opinion is rare. 

8. Among your works, which one is your favourite? Tell us the story behind it (please send that as well)

My favorite film photo is this one of my mom that I took last year over my winter break in December in San Diego. We used to go to Torrey Pines for a hike together occasionally on the weekends. I always loved to follow the beach trail on the way back from the hike. I let her get ahead of me and snapped a shot of this fleeting moment in the late afternoon. This was the last time we went here together.

9. What gives you inspiration?

It really depends. For me, it’s shadows, the time of day, exploring a new place, spending time with people I care about, and music.

10. Exactly what it is you want to say with your photographs?

My film photography is mostly me romanticizing my life. It’s not about what the photograph says, but more so how it makes you feel. And, hopefully, it makes you feel something!

You can follow Sandra on Instagram @filmbyskr

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