In your bag No: 1702 – Christopher Lawrence
Chris’s photographic journey has led him back to film as can be seen by this most handsome daily setup
My name’s Chris Lawrence. I am a NYC native who now lives abroad in Stockholm, Sweden. I haven’t been photographing for many years, started in 2014, but in this brief period became enamored with street photography and also had the opportunity to work with Formula 1 through the 2018 and 2019 seasons (shooting solely on a Leica M9; slowest photographer in F1 anyone?).
After my time covering Formula 1, at which point I’d gone from micro four thirds cameras into the Leica M system — to the Leica Q2, then back to the Q, I found myself at a crossroads. Digital photography had lost its luster and I found myself hitting a creative wall, so to speak. It was then that I decided to look into film photography, but knew if I did so that it wouldn’t be cheap.
I began shooting film January of 2020 and right from the start, developed and scanned my own film. The beginning was atrocious! My photographs looked nothing like the lush analog photography I was seeing in my social feed, but I didn’t want to give up. Despite the initial setbacks, I was having fun with a more tangible form of photography that was getting me back out exploring my city streets.
After going from a Pentax MX to a Leica M6, I came across what must have been the only Leica MP for sale in Scandinavia at the time. When I saw it I hopped on an 8 hour round trip train ride to make sure it was mine. Shortly after purchasing my Leica MP, I also learned that it is from the very first batch of Leica MP’s produced back in 2002 (this is excluding the MP-6 which you have!).
I paired my Leica MP with the Summicron V4, which is a gem in my opinion and I really love not only the classic look it renders but its form factor is fantastic. I also picked up my first medium format camera heading into summer: the Hasselblad 500 CM 50th anniversary edition. Together, these two cameras are what I carry in my camera bag. My bag is a leather backpack from Coach that I got for 70% off at an outlet sale back home in the USA; score! Alongside those two cameras, I purchased the Moment lenses for my iPhone, which fill the void in regard to digital / instant gratification photography. I love that I can shoot macro or capture a beautiful moment and edit that in my phone, if I want to, yet still have film as my primary source of passion-led photography. I suppose that’s one of the great things with digital, analog and mobile photography is that we can mix and match to best suit our desires or styles.
That’s about it! A small bag with two incredible cameras that really inspire me to get out in this world, seize that inspiring feeling or momentum and just capture or create. As a final note, I also always carry my journal and Montblanc Meisterstuck fountain pen. The written word and photography go hand-in-hand for me, and there’s nothing better than a day spent roaming the streets taking photographs then journaling my thoughts in a cafe alongside it all.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and big thanks to Japan Camera Hunter for curating and hosting this inspiring content!
/ Chris Lawrence
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