Why We Still Shoot Film
Film photography, not videography, but old school photography that existed before digital was a thing. That’s the kind of film we are chatting about today. And the burning question as to why we are film photographers keeps coming. So I thought I would give you our top 7 reasons for why we still shoot film as our primary medium.
The Craft of the imagery
There is just nothing quite like film. While there are many tools out there to match digitals to the look of film, nothing matches perfectly. The grain, the color, the tones, all come together to craft an image that is truly unlike any other. Which is why shooting film takes the art of photography back to its craft. Let me get geeky for a second…if you know anything about cameras you know that digital cameras make up images in pixels. Pixels are made up of tiny squares that make digital images look sharp. But film grain is the chemical in the film when processed to make a random optical texture. This grain is circular instead of square like digital pixels. Which gives the film its softness and painterly feel.
Film does not mean you’re missing out
Most people remember film when you took it to your local pharmacy to be developed. For your labor, you received a stack of prints (does anyone remember getting those doubles?). We know you still want to be able to share your images digitally with your nearest and dearest. And post your favorites on Instagram and Facebook for the world to see. You can! Even though we shoot film our images are sent to a photographic lab where the negatives are developed and digitally scanned and delivered to our clients via an online gallery. Now we don’t want you to leave those images trapped in a digital world…print them and hang them on your wall!
How we shoot film, is very flattering to the skin, it helps skin look soft and luminous. It’s true to tone and the softness I talked about in the previous point makes all the difference in the world to minimize and soften the harshness you’d see in digital. No one cares to see their face in ultra HD. Shooting film dismisses the post-processing step from our workflow. I very rarely have to edit the white balance or touch up blemishes when shooting on film. Which leads me to my next point.
As a mom and wife, one of my most valuable resources is time! There is a lot of post-process editing that goes into photographing our clients on a digital medium. We have gotten our editing time down to a science, but nothing beats sending your film to your lab and getting it back pretty much perfect, with almost no edits to make. A huge time saver when it comes to post-production. And not to mention film scan day is like Christmas morning every time its so exciting to get those scans back to see what we have created. And a huge boost to keeping enthusiastic in our craft.
Highlights and shadows
To this day it is surprising to see how well film does when shooting in harsh or backlit conditions. Every time it saves the day compared to digital. There will always be information in both the shadows and highlights. Where digital thrives in less harsh situations because it just cannot do both.
Arguably a better photographer
Shooting film no doubt has made me a better photographer. It has helped me to trust myself as an artist. And learning how to be present in crafting each image instead of just pushing a button. It also has helped to bring focus and calm to my work, where it takes patience to craft the perfect image. It takes time to manually focus in a frame, the slowness of the shutter and how long it takes to change a roll of film. In our world, the instant gratification of a digital image can be nice. But the intentionality of each image grows with leaps and bounds when you have to make sure you have it right the first time. Film takes trust! We are hybrid photographers and also shoot digital to back up our film work. However, our most loved work 10 times out of 10 comes from the film images we take where faith and instinct had to play in.
It sets us apart from the crowd
In a world where most people have a pretty powerful camera in their back pocket at any time. Anyone can take good photos. Photographing our clients on a medium that is not common to everyone is a way we have separated ourselves from most photographers in our industry. Technology will continue to grow and is ever-changing. Where film photography is a skill and craft that will remain a beautiful way to craft images for years and years to come!
If you are looking for a film wedding photographer to capture your magical day! We would love to chat with you all about your plans.