PRACTICAL makes films and videos that are the culmination of cameras, research, travel, sketchbooks, sleep, screen time, and running wild. Based out of Traverse City and Grand Rapids Michigan, we love sharing our work and process with those around the world.



Suddenly I’ve been shooting a lot of 35mm still photography. I’m realizing in the past couple months I’ve take more photos on my sturdy Canon EOS 1-N than I have on my iPhone. I’ve been shooting film since I was 18, always slowly and carefully, maybe finishing a roll only every two months because it was expensive compared to digital. But suddenly, maybe the the past 6 months, the amount of film I go through is at an ALL TIME high. Suddenly it’s so worth it. Suddenly the cost of the Kodak Portra and the cost of scanning isn’t a choice as much as a basic necessity. It’s become a value, a principle. It just matters to me more to be able to be able to photograph my work, my life, my friends, places, skies, the way that I want to. I’m not sure what changed, but I feel good about it.



I’m a not a photographer, I’m a filmmaker. And while 35mm still photography is a different medium, it’s very quickly become a part of the same process for me. While I was editing a commercial campaign for the Grand Traverse Resort I was also sorting through some film photography taken on set while we were filming.  It was from the same day and same scene, but the color and tone was so beautiful and perfect compared to the gray looking RAW footage from the production camera. That moment of clear comparison made my challenge very clear— to get “THIS” to look like “THAT.”

Europe Roll1 11.jpg

I love the way the world, every part of it, looks through 35mm film. The more film I shoot the more I’m aware what I want my work, my real work-- my commercials and movies and films-- what I want those to look like, to feel like. It creates both inspiration, direction, as well as archivable reference material — inspiration that doesn’t flee.


One of the other benefits of feeling driven to shoot so much more 35mm film is that my life and everything around me including the work that Practical is doing and the people I work with, are much better documented and documented in a way that is really hard not to want to share with people. It finds its way to Instagram, Twitter, and occasionally Facebook. And as this trend continues, more and more of the Practical website is film imagery. The DSLRs are finding less and less to do on set and around the office. They may unionize.


A good amount of our images go up on the Practical Instagram. Follow us, really it’s a good idea. Our feed is really transforming and I’m so excited the way its evolving. It’s possible this whole blog post is to push you toward our Instagram. I also have to give a shout out to Kodak who is absolutely killing it, and to the Camera Shop in Traverse City -- who I’m pretty sure is delivering some of the highest quality scans available in the entire Great Lakes State and that can’t go underappreciated. Thanks guys.

New photos coming every day,

thanks for reading, thanks for looking,


JohnPaul Morris

Director of Photography, PRACTICAL