All Images © Caroline Aro. All rights reserved.
My name is Caroline and I live just outside of Washington DC. I only recently picked up a camera but instantly fell in love. I started out with my dad's old Minolta XG-M back at the end of summer 2017.
It can be pretty difficult to find a good film developing service that is convenient and affordable, so I decided that I would teach myself. Since November, I have been developing film at home for myself and for my friends.
I've been been collecting point & shoots and SLRs from thrift stores all across the country during some travels. I have been slowly teaching myself how to fix them up. There is a lot to learn but I eventually want to know a little bit about every aspect of film photography; from the way the camera is built, to the processing of film.
There's something about film that I just love. The entire process, the look and the feel. The anticipation to see your work after finishing a roll of film. I love that I can be involved in every step of the way.
Right now I've stuck with my dad's Minolta XG-M and the lenses he gave me with it; a Vivitar 28-50mm and a 50mm prime lens.
It's been a great reliable camera for me and I love that it came from my dad. He used it in a lot of his travels back in the 80s and I look forward to using it in all of my travels (and everyday life) as well.
I love finding and testing all of the cameras I've come across. Maybe because it's what I started with, but I've noticed I'm a bit partial towards Minoltas!
Two of the photos that I'm in obviously weren't taken by me; my boyfriend used my camera. However, I developed all of these photos myself. They were all taken with my Minolta XG-M
This January, I went on a trip to Iceland with my parents and my boyfriend. We stayed in a hotel in Reykjavik with this great spiral staircase. Definitely had to snap these first to shots.
This was a gas station literally in the middle of nowhere in Iceland. It had just been so windy and snowy all day. I don't know what it is but I love the way gas stations look at night. Maybe it's the lighting contrasts or something. We learned a fun fact though; this gas station was on the left side of the road, which didn't entirely make sense since we drove on the right. It turns out that up until the 60s or 70s, people in Iceland drove on the left side of the road until they all of a sudden changed it! Apparently it was just "Okay on such and such day, this is when the law goes into effect and we're switching how we drive. Have fun!" We heard it took a bit of getting used to.
This is a low-key popular spot near where I live to get some cool pictures. This stretch of road is lined by these big old trees and is surrounded by fields. It was a crazy windy day and I caught this shot of my boyfriend and the pup running back to the car. It didn't turn out very crisp or clear - someone actually commented it looks like a painting in a way. I really like that it's not "perfect", you know? It's a cool look to me.
I surprised my boyfriend with a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras this year. I'm not into partying or going too crazy, but I was just so excited for the atmosphere and the people-watching. I awkwardly made my way on top of this wobbly trash can to get the next photo. In the meantime, my boyfriend caught this one of me! The energy was so high and everyone was having such a good time. It was so incredible to get it from a higher perspective and I'm glad I got this shot of the crowd from there.
The next photo is from our last day in New Orleans. We went to the sculpture garden in the morning. This piece is called Karma and it's by Do Ho Suh. It must have been at least 20 feet tall. It was a seemingly endless chain of figures with their hands over the eyes of the figure before him. Even though the colors got a bit weird when I developed this picture, I still really like how it turned out, and this is definitely my favorite sculpture from the gardens!