Darren Ankenman
b. 1970's
Los Angeles, US

Contax 645

Contax T3

Konica Hexar RF

Nikon F5

Ricoh GR1 & GR21

Rolleiflex TLR

Yashica Samurai

Zeiss Ikon

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Darren went to film school and upon graduation, he started shooting documentaries and docu-style music videos. He was living in San Francisco and things were kind of DIY by default.  After a few years in SF, he got hired to shoot several documentaries for various artists including Jewel, the Kids in the Hall, the Black Crowes, and Mick Jagger. He was shooting each of these projects on digital video, while dreaming of shooting 16mm film. Each of these productions would go on for months and months if not years, so shooting 16mm was perhaps not financially practical. To satisfy his “film fantasies”, he started taking photos both on the job, as well as in his personal life. After all of those long form documentary commitments, he began to really love short and sweet singular photo shoots.

My first real manual camera was the Konica Hexar Rangefinder (often considered a poor man’s Leica). I loved shooting this camera in low, available light. During any given editorial shoot,  I would have several cameras loaded and ready, and I would sort of juggle between them. I remember watching videos of Bruce Weber and Nobuyoshi Araki working, and they would shoot various cameras during their jobs. I still love to mix up film formats and stocks within any given shoot. As for film stock, two films that run deep in my work are now both long gone: Neopan 1600 and TriX TXP 320. When shooting color, I tend to use Kodak Portra 400 or 800. And these days, for black and white 35mm, I like both Ilford 400 and Tri X 400.