Through the film lens of a UTEP alumni


Jasmin Campoya

Chris Carzoli photographs film on his Nikon AF 35mm point and shoot camera.

Jasmin Campoya

Jasmin Campoya, Photographer

Editor’s Note: This is the second part in a three-part series. 

Digital photography has been around for about 50 years. Despite this, we have seen analog photography remain popular throughout the constant growth and evolution of this form of media, especially within the UTEP community.  

UTEP alumni, Christopher Carzoli graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in communications. He photographs on a Nikon AF 35mm point and shoot camera and has been shooting film for about nine years.  

“My dad gave me an old Canon F1,” Carzoli said. “He said, ‘Hey go try this out,’ since I was already shooting on digital, and well, twenty cameras later.” 

Chris Carzoli photographs on film because his dad pushed him to and it became a form of therapy for him. (Jasmin Campoya)

With one of Carzoli’s main motivators being his dad, shooting on film has remained one of his hobbies throughout  his life.

“Digital is great, you can get it perfect, and with older film cameras you have to pay attention to your light meter if it has one,” Carzoli said. “So, it is imperfect, you get natural grain, you don’t have to add it in, so I like analog better.” 

Carzoli photographs on both film and digital. Despite this, photographing on film becomes one of his pastimes as it brings him nostalgia of his high school days.  

“I always have one film camera and one digital on me,” Carzoli said. “A Panasonic LUMIX, and my Nikon point and shoot.” 

Besides Carzoli being a photographer, music is another one of his passions. As a drummer, through his music he is able to express his love for film by recording it on tapes.  

“When I was playing drums or recording at studios, we used to record a tape, and it’s a ton more expensive, but you get crackles and pops,” Carzoli said. “I just love the analog feel of everything.” 

While Carzoli continues to shoot digital as one of his hobbies, film has remained one of the passions he continues to develop.  

“It’s like a form of therapy,” Carzoli said. “You take some photos, you put your headphones in, and you just walk.” 

Despite never studying photography in college, Carzoli describes shooting on film as a feeling unlike any other. While film results in grainy and imperfect photos, this often becomes the much-loved result.  

“I think it’s worth it because it’s not perfect,” Carzoli said. “I think we’re so used to having perfect on our phones in front of us that it’s nice to see something that’s different.” 

Film photography seems like a novelty reserved for grandparents and hipsters of the community, but it still holds a ground to many creatives around the border, especially within the UTEP alumni.  

Jasmin Campoya is a staff photographer and can be reached at [email protected]