Project OneRollFifty2: Shoot One Roll of Film Each Week for a Year


For a long time, photographer Travis Lawton had been toying with two ideas: shooting film for the first time since he was 6 years old, and doing a 365 project where he shot something every day for a year. Instead of choosing one, he decided to mix the two desires into a project he felt he could realistically keep up with for an entire year; that’s how he came up with Project OneRollFifty2.

The idea was to shoot one roll of film per week for 52 weeks. Of course, that was easier said than done; by the end of the project he had used 6 different cameras, shot over 1,500 frames and spent over $1,000 between equipment, film and processing.

Here’s Lawton’s wrap-up video for the project:

And here are a few of the photos he took over the course of the year:






As a wedding and portrait photographer who shoots digital, Lawton wasn’t sure how the project would affect him. But after shooting film every week for a year, he suggests it to anybody who wants to get into film, do a more manageable 365 project, or both.

The experience of shooting film consistently has made him a better photographer, and now that the project is over, he doubts he’ll ever go back to shooting exclusively digital again.

To read more about Project OneRollFifty2 or follow it retroactively, head over to Lawton’s blog and check out all 52 weeks worth of film.

Image credits: Photographs by Travis Lawton and used with permission.

  • KH

    He got a lot of great images in the video. I prob would have fixed the dust on the negatives though.

  • branden rio

    Why does his film have all those scratches and blemishes all over it? I shoot tons of film, and those marks are rare in my experience

  • Jake

    Some call it a “project;” others just call it being a photographer. I know plenty of guys who have always and still do go through about a roll a week just as a matter of hobby, habit, or profession.

  • Ralph Hightower

    Last year, I had two projects, Equinox/Solstice Sunrise, and Full Moons (which finished in January 2013 because I got the idea in February 2012).
    This was not a project 2012, but a New Years Resolution for 2012, to photograph the year exclusively using B&W film. Last year, I shot 62 rolls of film with one camera, my 30+ year old Canon A-1. I shot as much as 6 rolls in 1 day at an air show and 3 rolls at a baseball game.

  • DamianM

    They have forgotten the delicacy of what film is.
    or it just makes it look arty and filmy if you leave the dust on there.

  • Swade

    He probably shot at least a rolls worth on his digital camera a week as his profession. Not every photographer has the time or the extra cash to pay for a roll a week. Believe it or not, not everyone who likes to take pictures is a photographer. You also may not realize, some people are strapped for cash. You could be more of an ass though.

  • Jake

    Of course I could be more of an ass and so could you, but I see no reason to be. I’m not trying to say that every photographer should be doing this, or can afford to. I’m just saying that it’s less of a unique or special thing that he’s doing than this article implies. It’s like writing an article about a man who decides to learn to drive a tractor for fun, when you have tons of people around the world who drive tractors all the time, even though most people don’t.

  • Oskar

    Image is a new kind of garbage. Who said that? Never mind.

  • Justin Sheely

    I got news for you: even full-time photographers do projects. The point of the story was how this 365 project using film helped make him a better photographer. Anyone can start a project–few actually complete it or learn from it. Also, remember that he did this on top of being a portrait photographer. It can be hard to do photography for your own personal enjoyment when photography is your job. I applaud this person’s success in his project.