Teen Photographer Shoots Portraits of Her Friends on a 100-Year-Old Camera

A teen photographer shot a series of stunning portraits of her friends on a 100-year-old camera.

19-year-old photographer and student Aila Cason, who is based in Atlanta, Georgia, usually uses a Nikon D7500 to shoot professionally.

However, in a viral TikTok video, Cason revealed how she used a Kodak Folding Autographic Brownie No.2 — manufactured between 1915 and 1926 — to take photos of her friends.

“The type of camera I typically use varies,” Cason, who has the username @fairyonfilm on TikTok, tells PetaPixel.

“For professional shoots, I usually use my DSLR, which is a Nikon D7500, but I am a huge fan of analog photography and like to use an assortment of older cameras for those types of photography.

“Digital photography has made taking photographs easier and more accessible, but I think that film and historical photographic processes are under-appreciated.

“I collect old cameras and love historical photographic processes, so that’s what inspired me to use the 100-year-old camera. ”

Cason shot the beautiful black-and-white portraits of her friends with a Kodak Folding Autographic Brownie No. 2 camera that was acquired from a flea market. She used an expired Arista EDU Ultra 100 ISO 120 size film for the photos.

‘Historical Photography is Somewhat of a Forgotten Art’

Cason says that the Kodak Folding Autographic Brownie No. 2 was relatively easy to use — considering that the device was a century-old.

“I’ve been shooting film since I was 15, so I’ve learned to navigate older cameras pretty well, and using the brownie camera was pretty easy in my opinion,” Cason explains.

“I love how film and older photographic processes capture nostalgia and the essence of their subjects, thought it would be cool to capture my lovely friends with this medium.

“I set up the camera on a tripod outside in the street in front of my best friend’s house and took their portraits. This only took around 20 minutes.

“Then I developed and scanned the film myself at home, which usually takes me around two hours.”

Cason explains that she shot the portraits on the century-old camera as a test exercise to see if the device actually worked. But the photographer was pleasantly surprised by how popular her images were on social media.

“The shoot was really just to test to see if the camera even worked, I wasn’t expecting so many people to love the images!” Cason says.

“Even though film photography has had a recent resurgence, historical photography is somewhat of a forgotten art, and it makes me happy to see so many people appreciating it.”

More of Cason’s work can be seen on Instagram and TikTok.

Image credits: All photos by TikTok/Aila Cason/@fairybyfilm.