S2E5: Why Mixing Digital & Film Is The Future Of Photography w/ Kirk Mastin


Kirk Mastin

A big believer in bridging the gap between digital and film photography, Kirk Mastin is a legend in the photography world. Now working with his company, Mastin Labs, to provide presets for photographers to help bless their digital images with the unique quality of film, Kirk is here to provide some insight into everything from singularity to the juxtaposition between the future and the past. 

Interview Host: Sachin Khona // June 2019
Listening time: 54 mins

Portraits of Kirk by: Sachin Khona

If you appreciate the analog version of photography but need some guidance in which camera, film, and settings you should be experimenting with, you are in for a treat. Kirk guides us through the relationship between the contrast and softness to film that exists nowhere else, why film photography increases your hyper-awareness, and what exactly goes into making a successful portrait. 

Kirk uses his camera as a way to understand more about an individuals relationship to the world, and has created a hybrid photography style like no other. Film has a bad reputation for being complicated, which couldn’t be further from the truth. If you are looking to experience something outside of the attention that digital photography demands, this episode is for you.

Have you dipped your toes into the world of film photography? Share what you enjoy most about the look of film, and what development studio you use, in the comments below.

In This Episode

  • Quick tips for those looking to start dabbling in film or edit their digitals differently
  • The importance of building a ‘Batman and Robin’ relationship with your development lab
  • Why you should be treating your career like a bonsai tree 
  • How to sell without selling and maximize your print and digital sales
  • Why Kirk believes that shooting film makes you a better photographer


“We are living in the future, we are living in a time that I couldn’t even comprehend as a child.” (8:36)

“I can use the camera to understand the world, understand other cultures, and understand what it is to be human through a camera. And that has never changed. It has changed what kind of work I do, but the underlying principle of understanding the human condition has not changed.” (13:38)

“You’re gonna let like $14 tops stand between you and discovering an entirely new way of doing photography? That’s absurd.” (24:17)

“Once you are in the flow, you are in the flow and you know where to be, its like a dance. You have just enough time to get to every position that you need to be because you are so in touch with what is happening.” (40:04)

“The theatre of the imagination is so powerful. If you show someone a weak photo, you have ruined that, you have ruined your legendary status by showing someone something that is mediocre, so just don’t do it.” (50:01)


Mastin Labs Website

Photoism Magazine by Mastin Labs

Kirk Allen Mastin Website

Follow Kirk on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

The Find Lab Utah

Richard Photo Lab

Canadian Film Lab

Indie Film Lab

Edward Weston Website

In The American West by Richard Avedon and Laura Wilson

Experience ARC


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