Why I Shoot Film : Destination Wedding Photographer


One of two things usually happens when I tell people I shoot film. One is they think I mean videos or what is that? I am in the Stone Age when I talk about how I shoot actual old school film. My next question I get is why? Why film when we live in such a digital age. The big reason is that it is timeless. I want my couples most precious memories documented this way. What I mean is I don’t want my couples to look back on their wedding images and think of the trend that happened that year. I want them to relive it and I feel like film helps me get to that point.


Before being in the wedding world, in college back when my life was basketball 24/7, I would scroll through the huge amount of images on Pinterest when I was trying not to study or do my homework. Normal college girl stuff. During this time I would always fall in love with the work of Jose Villa.  I would look at his work and just be in awe of how romantic it was and how it made me feel . Ofcourse I was looking at the top fine art film photographer in the world but at that time I had no idea who he was. I know, I was basically living under a rock but hey I was a basketball player before so the whole wedding photography scene was foreign territory.  After finding out Jose shot film, I automatically knew I wanted to pursue the medium as well. I then purchased my first film camera, a pentax645n, and shot my first few couple of rolls. I got my scans back and was completely in love. It was what I had been wanting in my work for the longest time and I knew I found my style. 

Just a reminder, in shooting film to digital but the preference of the photographer. There are so many amazing photographers who use digital but I have just found that for me and my photography, film has transformed my work and  has made me better. I do shoot digital and am a hybrid photographer. I feel like both film and digital have a place on the wedding day so I utilize both.


Film Pushes me to Slow Down

Digital cameras allows you to click away and get as many photos as you want. With each click of the film camera costing about $2 a shot, this automatically will cause you to slow down. This has caused me to think so much more about my posing, what is happening behind the scene, as well as the reactions of my couple. I shoot with intent instead of shooting off a ton of images that I have to cull through later and hope that I got one that I like.  This makes me wait and be patient for the perfect moment. It’s the smile or the candid glance at each other when I will take it. This allows me to keep the majority of my shots. Once I get my scans back 80-90% I am able to use, that is a HUGE difference than my digital work ,which is closer to 20%.


I Have Less Editing Time

You probably hear a lot of photographers talk about how much they hate editing and I am definitely in that group. I love shooting my heart out for my couples but not so much the sitting behind the computer. Film is similar to outsourcing your work! When you get your film back from the lab majority of the time there are minor edits that are needed. This means less time editing and more time doing the things I love! Like writing this blog or going out with friends instead of being stuck behind the computer editing all week! This helps with the possibility of burning out from shooting because I have more time doing what I love.


Tones and Depth of Field are Unmatched.

Film does have a specific look ,the colors are deep and rich and the dynamic range is unbeatable. I want to make my photography look as true to the day as possibly to have a clean and classic look.  With digital, editing plays a huge roll in what the final product will look like depending on the photographer. Film has made me more aware of my surroundings like the background light and composition because everything is done while you shoot. 


Film Keeps me Inspired

My love for film runs deep in my blood. When I get the scans back from a session from my lab, it is better than Christmas Day! I am passionate about it and during each shoot it makes me be creative and constantly try to get my best images every time. Film helps me achieve this. 


Film Captures Light Beautifully

When there is light, film will always be amazing. Anytime during the day film will make a beautiful image. If its middle of the day or at sunset, each image will be gorgeous. Film has such great dynamic range that it gets so much many more details of a scene.  Since I started shooting film, I have been able to learn so much more about light. On the other side, film doesn’t do well in the dark, or else you need a tripod fast, so that is when I switch to digital. Both Formats are great for different aspects of the day, which is why you’ll see me with both on each hip!


Have any questions about film? I would love to answer them for you!