I fell in love with photography when I was 12 years old.
I hate telling this story because it is as cliche as possible. But it is true.
My dad gave me his vintage Nikon 35mm camera, and I was addicted. I would burn through rolls of film like it was my job. I remember one family vacation, I shot 25 rolls of film!!!
Photography was film.
But as technology developed, we moved towards digital images. And trust me, I love being able to see my photos in an instant. But the charm and appeal of film was still calling me. So I added it back into my workflow.
The medium of film is expensive. Film photographers are more expensive. There is no way around it. Every time I click the shutter on my medium format film camera it costs me $3 (feeling pressured not to blink now? … j/k).
So why even shoot it?
Here are six reasons I love film photography, and why it is worth it (to me) to shoot film.
1. They are the best images
When I shoot film, I have to slow down. I make sure the composition, the light, your hair, and your smile is perfect. I take fewer photos but they are THE best ones. The ones that you love the most, frame in your home and cherish for years to come. You will still get lots of photos from your wedding day + session, and those photos you get will be of the *most* perfect moments.
2. Soft images and creamy, skin tones
I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t love watching tv in HD. As digital cameras have become even more advanced, they pick up every.little.pore. and wrinkle. The softness and the grain in film images are always flattering. The skin is creamy, soft oh-so-beautiful. So you won’t have to see yourself in HD.
3. Film is amazing in bright light + midday sun
Film retains detail in the highlights (the brightest parts of an image) much better than digital cameras do.
Ok, so what exactly does this mean? When I am photographing a bride in white lace dress on a bright, sunny day, I won’t be worried about losing the gorgeous lace detail that she loves so much if I am shooting film because film keeps this detail much better. If I am shooting digital, there is more of a chance that my camera will not keep the lace detail. For wedding photographers, shooting film can be a lifesaver when the schedule for outdoor photos is midday and in bright sun.
4. It makes me a better photographer and forces me to get it right
With film, you do not get a do-over. I can’t check the back of my camera and make sure I have the shot. I am not able to take 5 test shots to make sure my light is perfect. I need to slow down, think through what I want and what I need to do to get it … and then go for it. Because of this, it makes me a stronger photographer who is more confident in any situation because I am relying on my expertise and skill vs the back of my digital camera.
5. Film is timeless
Worried that your wedding photos will feel so 2020 in 10 years? Do you look at photos from a few years ago and cringe at the filter you used on social? One of my favorite things about film is that it is timeless. Your images won’t have some trendy filter applied to them. Film images are soft, true-to-life color images filled with beautiful pastel color palette. Your photos will feel and look timeless.
6. My clients can still share their film images
When I say I use film, brides automatically assume that they will only get these images as prints. But that’s not the case. Film is developed in a lab and then electronically scanned so that the film scans become digital images. (Crazy, right?) All of the photos in this post are scanned film images. I can use these images on my blog, website, social media, etc just like any digital image — however, with these images, we get all the perks of why film is so freakin’ amazing. And you can still order prints of these images and put them in your albums. Your film images will be just like any digital images, but better. :)
>> Looking for more wedding planning advice? Check out Does a first look make sense for your wedding day and how to find the perfect wedding photographer for your wedding day. <<<