Film Wedding Photography
4 years ago I shot film for the very first time under the tutorage of world renowned Jose Villa in Mexico.
Since then I have been steadily been falling more and more in love with film and wanted to share this love with you all.
There are pros and cons to all photography mediums and currently I’m using mostly film with a bit of digital in order to get the best of both worlds. This means using film when I can and using digital when I feel it’s too dark to get the effect I want with film.
Many are fearful of film wedding photography because they think it is less ‘safe’ than shooting on digital formats. The reality is that memory cards can and sometimes do get corrupted which means you can risk losing huge portions of the day (some memory cards are 64GBs in size meaning most of your wedding can shot on that one card and could be lost).
Now in reality the chances of you losing all of the images on that card is low but it can happen. I mitigate this risk by backing up the images in camera by shooting on one large CF and duplicating with smaller versions on an SD card.
Whereas with rolls of film it’s actually quite hard to really ruin a roll of film if you know what you’re doing and if the worst case scenario does happen and you lose it you’re only losing 16 shots (on 120 film) versus a couple of thousand on the digital memory card!
The main reason I have started shooting Film is that it produces the kind of images I’ve always wanted to create but had never quite been able to achieve fully on digital mediums.
The images which film produces are extremely flattering to skin tones but also the general look of a photo, for me medium format film has the exact right amount of authentic ‘grain’ or texture which I feel looks dated and fake when tried to replicated in digital photography via presets. The grain on film photos feels so authentic to me whereas the grain you get from digital presets or cranking up your ISO feel so lumpy, affects the colour of the image and to me appears to be an impersonator to the real thing.
In my opinion Digital has become almost too perfect, with all the mega pixels you can see all manner of detail in the image, every single little pixel! Film wedding photography on the other hand has the ability to smooth out things out meaning any unflattering blemishes, leaving you with a decidedly dreamy and elegant finish.
Another reason I love film is how well it handles light…where digital struggles to figure out whether to expose for the lights or the darks, film manages to handle both seamlessly by making sure the highlights aren’t too blown out and the darks are too muddy.
I adore the whole process of film, shooting purposefully, more slowly and with more intention. Digital cameras are so fast that if you’re not careful you can overshoot and create so much more work for yourself after the wedding.
On medium format 120 film, you only have 16 shots per roll of film, meaning I’m not going to waste them taking the same shot twice, it makes me slow down and curate the image before pushing the shutter.
Because there is a much higher cost implication of shooting film I find myself taking more time to get the perfect shot as apposed to the spatter gun affect that can easily happen when you shoot digitally.
I often find that people love the effect of film without knowing that it is film, they don’t know why they like it but always do!
Finally I love the idea that even in the 21st Century brides and grooms today can receive wedding images in the same manner as their grandparents. There is a romantic artisanship attached to shooting film especially in such a fast paced digital world.
If you’d like to talk more about your film wedding photography get in touch HERE
I’d love to hear from you!
Hair & Makeup: Alison Jenner
Styling: Emma Joy Wedding Planner
Calligraphy: By Moon & Tide
Model – Andrea