What to Expect with Film Wedding Photos

unpredictable double exposure

Accidental Double Exposure

Is your interest piqued about a film wedding? I think film is pretty cool. It’s unique and appeals to the artist in me. That said, it is different than digital wedding photos. You may consider some of the elements to be pros or cons. Either way, you need to make an informed decision. In this page I’m going to explain a few things about weddings shot on film.

  1. We still shoot digital. Quite honestly I’ve only shot a few film weddings. I’m not ready to take off my training wheels, so Joy comes along and shoots digital.
  2. You still get your photos as digital files. After the film is developed we scan the negatives into the computer. After very minor editing (mostly to remove dust) we upload them to an online gallery for you to download just like a digital wedding.
  3. It’s slower paced. With digital it’s easy to fire off 15 frames a second. With 35 mm the film literally won’t wind that fast. My 90’s SLR shoots eight frames a second. That was the best film camera ever made. My 1950’s twin lens reflex requires me to wind after each shot. Personally, as a photog, I like the pace. We can breath a little.
  4. You’ll get fewer shots. 1.) Remember the cameras just aren’t as fast. 2) Each shot costs money, so it would be wasteful to mindlessly shoot like I can on digital. With digital we shoot 3000+ and cull it back to +/- 1000. With film we might shoot 500 and not cull. With film we may not get as many, but they are better. Do you really need 5 shots of you with your aunt anyway? Our parents only had a few dozen shots.
  5. The film dictates the edits. My goal is to capture the shot and let the film speak for itself. With digital it is possible to run all kinds of filters and change the colors and saturation. With film that seems like a waste. I select high-end professional films known for their different characteristics: vibrant colors, high contrast, unpredictable nature, low light, etc. Why buy the films and then edit them? Instagram is a wanna-be anyway.
  6. Longer edit time. Film is gorgeous, but, my God, does it take a long time to scan the shots and clean up the dust. I try to hustle, but it just takes longer.
  7. Unpredictable. Remember light falls onto some chemicals to replicate the light and color. With digital the light hits a sensor. So each batch of film may be slightly different than the next depending on age, manufacturing, etc. I buy some film from the 80’s and 90’s just for fun (especially for the dancing shots). But even with fresh film every roll is slightly different. Plus, there’s the occasional double exposure.

Those are the main differences. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about a film wedding.

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