My passion is documenting the daily life of my family and no other camera has been more enjoyable to use than the Leica M Monochrom. In 2004, my wife surprised me with the original Canon Digital Rebel. The next twelve years would see me use all different sorts of DSLR cameras and lenses. As an obsessive researcher, I learned of Leica cameras and immediately became intrigued. First by their beautiful aesthetic, then by the company’s rich history, then by innovation as they produced digital M’s, and finally in operation when I purchased a Leica M6 in 2008. I absolutely loved the camera, but I learned that I did not enjoy shooting film.
I followed every digital Leica M release and was most interested in the M Monochrom. I patiently waited until I could afford one and finally, in July of 2015, I found myself in a position to purchase the Leica M Monochrom. I have had a tremendous amount of fun in the past year shooting the digital M. I find myself carrying the camera with me more frequently than other cameras I have owned. As a result, I am taking more photographs of my family. And unlike any other camera, I enjoy it the more I use it.
I have fielded the question on several occasions, “Why would you own a digital camera that only shoots in black and white?” I am finding the lack of choices when operating the M Monochrom very liberating. I can truly focus on the essence of photography: composition and timing…everything else gets out of the way. I do not have to be concerned with any other choices except ‘what do you want in the frame and when do you want to capture it.’ Ideally, I will frame a scene that I like or that I know will contain action. The viewfinder of the M has really allowed me to be patient and commit to my compositions. The rest becomes a matter of choosing when to press the shutter.
Currently, I am using the Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron ASPH and the Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron v5. Both lenses are mechanically perfect in operation while delivering stellar results. One of the most gratifying practices for me is watching images roll off the printer. The M Monochrom and 35mm/50mm Summicrons have never left me wanting for more in a print.
I am blessed beyond measure to have an amazing wife and three happy, healthy sons. They have taught me so much about being a husband and father, but perhaps the most important lesson they have taught me is just how fast time ticks. The passage of time has always driven me to actively capture moments as my family grows and the M Monochrom has been the perfect companion. I look forward to many more days with the M and my family.
Chuck Anerino is a proud husband and father to three sons. He is a full time Dean of Students in a Philadelphia public high school and photographs weddings on a part time basis at www.merklephotography.com. At school, Chuck has created a high school photography program and has taught the subject to seniors for the past nine years. One of Chuck’s biggest strengths is his ability to balance life. And the same holds true in his photography; he’s able to effortlessly balance a scene, each piece of the image perfectly placed, patiently waiting for him to click the shutter. You can see his personal work at www.growingupanerino.tumblr.com and follow him on Instagram at www.instagram.com/anerinoc