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It's a Hasselblad

3 ladies in 1800s style 4 | wide image

   I always hesitate to take my medium format camera with me, it's heavy and not suitable for street photography, but this time, I decided to develop all the rolls I have in my backlog.

I wore my Fujifilm X100V around my neck and put the medium format camera on my bag, previously loaded with a Kodak Ektar 100 roll, with 3 frames left.

When it comes to film, I'm plodding, I take a shot only when a scene strikes me in the heart, moreover, I'm a bit frugal to shoot random photos on film, it's expensive

After walking some miles shooting random scenes, I reached the Louvre museum pyramid in Paris and noticed three people wearing outfits from the 1800s I can say.

As a street photographer, I took the following photographs unnoticed, like I do often, and tried to cover multiple sides, and different scenes, but none of them satisfied me esthetically.
3 ladies in 1800s style | full image
RAW Photo 1

3 ladies in 1800s style 2 | wide image
RAW Photo 2

3 ladies in 1800s style 3 | wide image
RAW Photo 3

So, I decided to take them a portrait and asked the lady in yellow. 

- Hey, Excuse me ma'am.

 - Do you mind if I take a quick photo, please?

She interrupted my question waving with her hand saying no, we are good, then she noticed I'm holding two cameras, a small digital rangefinder and a medium format camera.

She changed her mind quickly saying to her friends.

- Ohh, it's a Hasseblad, it's a Hasselblad.

They aligned right in the position where they were, I could not ask them anything more like to move in front of the light, or change their pose...I stepped some feet back and I was stressing not to take their time, pointed the lens towards them, looked through the viewfinder, turned the focus ring, made sure that I have the aperture wide open to get the maximum of bokeh and isolate them from the background full of people wearing modern clothes..

Some seconds of focus and struck the shutter, and that was the result after developing and scanning the Kodak Ektar 100 roll.

3 ladies in 1800s style 4 | wide image
3 ladies in 1800s style 4

Through this little experience shooting unknown figures, they don't know if you are a photographer, and how they would know? Show them your Instagram account? I don't find it professional or even standing out, we are all photographers in Instagram.

Holding a film medium camera was different, many photographers using a mirrorless or a reflex camera around their neck.

I'm sure the lady doesn't know well about photography or cameras since I wasn't using a Hasselblad camera, but a Mamiya M645, still she knows what professional photographers used to such old gear.

In the end, to be realist, if we put the tones and contrast aside, this photograph could be taken even using your phone, or your cheapest DSLR camera, however for some clients, an exotic big camera makes them more comfortable to be shot.

A visual story of this blog on my youtube channel.


  1. What a great post to end the year! Made me laugh, think and admire your work…and exactly the tones and contrast bring magic to it only a “Hasselblad” can make 😉 Anja

  2. I wish I had a Hasselblad and Hasseblad optics, but Mamiyas can do the job too :D
    Thanks a lot Anja for this feedback.

  3. Loved reading the blog entry. Loved the visual story and most importantly loved the last photo of the three characters, Abdo. I agree with you that even though people can take really great photos with the their cellphones, walking around with a "real" camera gives people the notion that the person is a professional photographer. There is something about "the big boxes' be it Hasselblad, Nikon, Cannon...... that just creates the illusion of profesionalism 😉

    1. Thanks a lot Camelia,
      Indeed, there are people who thinks a professional photographer is the one who has fancy gear, but it's not the case, we can look back in the history, masterpieces were made using a simple 35mm film camera

  4. Great story and well done for persevering, it paid off in the end. It's a great photo.


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