Hey guys! Last summer I started shooting film and since then I've gotten a lot of questions about my transition from photographers. I've decided to answer as many questions as I can here on my blog, so today I'm tackling three more. Look at the "For Photographers" section of my blog to find past posts!

Q: What about film do you love more than digital? The richness, colors, sharpness? All of the above?
A: The short answer: EVERYTHING. haha! I should qualify this with the fact that whenever I refer to "film," what follows is specific to the combination of the camera and lens I am using. There are different types of film, and different cameras and lenses, and you're going to get a different result with each and every one. The look of 35mm film is very different from the look of the medium format film I use. 35mm is decent, but I don't think I'd sacrifice the ease of digital for the look of 35mm film. I would, however, for the results I get with my Contax 645 + Zeiss Planar 80mm f/2.0 Lens + medium format film combo.

It's a bit of a struggle to put into words the things I love about film over digital. It has a look and feel to it that can't be adequately nailed down with words. It has a dreamy, painterly quality with a great deal of richness and depth. The images I get with film look alive to me, whereas my digital images look flat and dull in comparison. The skin tones are probably my favorite though. I tried for years to get creamy pink skin tones, but I could never edit my digital images to approximate the skin tones I was seeing in film images. Film handles color differently and it handles light differently. It is able to capture such a wide spectrum of tones in the shadows while still maintaining detail in the highlights. A sky that will be completely blown out (completely white) when properly exposing for the subject with digital, will be blue and full of color and detail with film.

Q: Has shooting film trained your eye to see a shoot differently? Do you interact with clients differently? Do you see light differently? If so, how so?
A: Yes. I used to be highly reactive in my photography style when shooting digital. I would shoot on the fly and was very photojournalistic in my approach. I've had to change this quite a bit. With digital I would shoot-shoot-shoot, then see something I wanted to change and step in to make an adjustment. Then the very last photo I got would be the keeper. Now, because it costs me nearly $2 every time I push the shutter, I am more intentional in my approach and look everything over to make needed adjustments to the scene or couple before clicking the shutter. I only take 1-2 photos of each set-up before changing something or moving on to the next thing. My interaction with clients and my posing are more involved and intentional. I still want to get the same natural, emotive feel to my poses, but I have to do so in a different way. I need to get them into the pose up front and then talk them into a more natural emotive state. It has taken a lot of effort to change my approach at this point in my career, but I've always been one to welcome a new challenge! It's been fun to not only love my photography more, but to see myself growing in my posing and directing skills because film has forced me to grow.

The way I see light has changed as well. I used to pigeon-hole myself into shooting all of my portraits in one of two lighting scenarios: full shade, or backlighting. I still love both of these options and get great results with them when shooting film, but since film does much better in harsh and full sun than digital does, I've been able to expand my use of different settings that I would have avoided before with digital. Here are a few examples of places I wouldn't have shot with digital that turned out beautifully with film:
Q: Are clients really caring about film or is it just a big photography cool cat trend?
A: haha! This question made me laugh! But it is totally legitimate, so I want to address it here. While I would love to say that all clients do care and appreciate the differences between digital and film photos, it's just not true. But some do. There is a wide spectrum of markets and clients. Just like some people view photography as a service akin to waste management and wonder why different photographers charge more than the next (I had someone actually ask me this early on in my career), there are some people who appreciate film and some who would never see (or be willing to pay for) the difference. The great thing is I don't need everyone to see the difference or be willing to pay me for it. I don't need to be the right photographer for everyone -- just for 10-12 couples per year. Film is appreciated by a niche market of brides, and I'm hoping that niche market grows. But I'm not shooting film as a way to strategically book more clients. I'm doing it for me. I'm doing it because it makes ME love my images and has helped me rekindle my passion for my craft -- allowing me to want to keep doing what I'm doing for another 5-10 years to come.

If you have any questions you'd like to see me answer in future posts, please leave a comment below! I'll do my best to answer them all!
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