I’ve been asked a few times recently about the possibility of exclusively shooting wedding photography on film and while I love shooting film at weddings I would say my ideal is a film and digital combo. So with this in mind I thought I would revisit an amazing three day wedding I shot over a hot weekend last year. This blog is all film but I will talk about both so if you’d like to see the digital images click HERE. The reason I like to shoot both, even if your preference is for film, is that while film has that special quality–for me, the grainy quality is perhaps closer to the slightly blurry, indistinct way our own memories work when we recall things–digital does allow for much more flexibility. Film is beautiful outdoors in a strong and soft light, while digital offers much more latitude indoors in low light. In very low light film is an absolute bastard. It’s muddy and flat and requires shutter speeds so slow that blur is inevitable, and while that blur can absolutely work as a creative image it works perhaps less than 5% of the time, and when film stock and processing costs as much as it does these days (roughly £40 for a single roll of 35mm to buy and have developed) that tends to create its own problems in terms of freedom to shoot and chance your arm. If you’re after film over digital you perhaps think that digital is overly clean. It has something of a crystalline sharpness that is not quite how we experience the world. But as a photographer, and if you’re a client hiring a photographer for your big day, what digital allows you is the ability to be much more in the moment. Because once you have bought your cards for a digital camera everything is free. It costs nothing to click that shutter, however many times you do it. And that means you can take chances, you can reach for a shot and risk failing but actually come up with something wonderful. So where film maybe inherently possess a magic and wonder, digital affords a license to experiment. This is why whenever I’m approached about the possibility of using film I always strongly recommend using both side by side. All photographers are used to having two or three cameras dangling from them so this really isn’t a problem, and the results are great. Below are a selection of images from Friday to the Sunday of Matthew and Taylor’s amazingly brilliant festival wedding. Take a look at these and then have a look at the digital version on the link mentioned above. See if you agree with me.
Both digital and film images here look great, my preference is for the film versions but you are absolutely right in your advice to shoot both to give both yourself and your clients options. I’ll be honest and say I’d never considered it myself…. I may just do so now.