Wedding Trends: Film Photography is Making a Coming Back

I still remember the distinct smell of the chemicals and the sound of my teacher’s voice in my high school dark room as she coached us through the process of developing our first photo from film. To me, the experience of a dark room was magical as I witnessed a blank piece of photo paper being gently agitated in a bath of developer solution begin to slowly reveal an image that was hidden beneath. Needless to say, from the moment I developed my first photo, I was hooked.

Photography was where I started to see my creativity become unleashed and where my ‘eye’ started to develop, which is why I actively work to take more photos. The reason being is that my eye has become pretty valuable to me as the Principal Designer of Exhale as I work with our clients to bring their wedding day visions to life. It should come as no surprise then that I consider the hiring of your wedding photographer to be one of the most crucial decisions in your wedding process. More on that for another post…

Okay so let’s get down to why we’re here. Film photography. I want to bring more awareness to it because we’ve had many couples who didn’t realize that this was still an option and I’m here to share the pro’s and, perhaps a bit reluctantly, the con’s. Alright, let’s dive in.

Fuji 400h film

Fuji 400h film

Fuji 400h film

Fuji 400h film

I think we can all agree that there is a certain nostalgia you feel when looking through your old family photos and holding those tangible prints - pretty sure myself along with other film shooters can go on for hours about how film just “feels different.” So, with all the advances in film processing and then add the skill of a professional photographer - the product? A well framed shot with a unique sense of depth, softness and quality of light that most digital shooters spend a lottttt of time behind the computer trying to replicate. The reason? Because the look is classic and can withstand the test of time.

For many digital photographers, it’s easier to have hundreds of clicks to get the right shot. For film photographers it’s a different story- they have a limited number of frames to work with because when the film is out, it’s out. As a result, it forces the photographer to slow down and be more intentional about what’s in front of them. Plus, they can’t edit it the same way as they could with digital files so it’s important for them to make sure that everything is as close to perfect as possible. Film instills excellence in a photographer because, quite frankly, the stakes are much higher.

Palermo Photography  - Kodak Portra 400 film

Palermo Photography - Kodak Portra 400 film

Palermo Photography - Kodak Portra 400 film

Palermo Photography- Kodak Portra 400 film

Now with the higher stakes comes a bit of a higher price tag. There is no denying that the shutter click of a film camera is more expensive. This is where you could benefit from hiring a hybrid photographer (someone that shoots digital + film) so film can be reserved for the most important moments and then digital can be used to catch everything else in between. Also, film is best with natural light, so if you’re having your wedding in a dark venue or during winter months when often times there is overcast weather, film may not be your best friend.

Our team, along with my inner 17 year old self, is really quite excited about this increased interest in film photography for weddings and want to make more people, and especially our clients, aware of all the potential options out there. At the end of the day, what’s important to us is that more couples walk away from their event with images that they’re ecstatic about and that they can cherish for generations to come, whether it’s digital or film!

xoxo

 
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Katharine Phillips