Film Wedding Photographer » Film Wedding Photos

Being a film wedding photographer I’m definitely a little biased towards film. Film has its own aesthetic, and inherent nostalgic to it. Using film for weddings helps to create unique wedding imagery that is unique to your experiences. Wedding photography these days tends to be fairly contrived, and template—that’s never something I want clients to feel when looking at their wedding imagery.

Wedding photos should be an honest, collaborative effort. By focusing on learning about the clients, and getting to know clients in a deeper way, that biases my work as a film wedding photographer tailoring your wedding images to share your story, and weave parts of your story into your wedding photos.

Unique Imagery Through Film

My goal through using film is that at times, the natural quirkiness of film will help create more unique wedding imagery. There are quirks that can’t be helped — light leaks, focusing irregularities, and more. When you use cameras like Holga 120 cameras, and cheap reusable 35mm cameras you’ll find more quirky results. I use a collection of cameras each wedding day. Working with clients and the vendor team, I tailor which ones I use during any environment or wedding day.

Each camera has it’s own unique character that can compliment the intended aesthetic of the clients and planner. Often for formal portraits, I’m a fan of my high end medium format camera. I do still take portraits on more fun and quirky cameras and film stocks. Some of my favorite quirky films are Psych Blues, and expired film stocks.

Developing and Scanning as a Film Wedding Photographer

Owning a lab comes with it’s own benefits — I can develop and scan my own film. Wedding film requires knowing when to push, pull, sometimes I soup film, and more. It’s not just the camera, or film stock that can alter the look and aesthetic of film. The development, and scan process can greatly impact whether film looks more light, contrasty, and more.

Souping film is one of my favorite ways to push out creative, unique film wedding photography. Souping film is done when you first soak film in another substance — dish soap, salt water, clam chowder, and more. From there you develop as you normally would. For beach weddings, one of my favorite things to do is develop a roll of 35mm film from their portraits or details in salt water collected from the beach where they got married. For other weddings, I might use a beer from the brewery, or a special wine from the vineyard, or food like soups, sauces from the wedding reception. The affects are completely unpredictable, and unique—and just super fun for certain parts of the wedding day.

Choosing Stocks to Match Your Wedding Aesthetic

Most film wedding photographers used Fuji Pro 400H for a long time until the film was discontinued, now most use Kodak Portra 400. I gravitate from Cinestil 800T, 400D, and Portra 400, and 800 depending on the aesthetic and desired outcomes. I tend to mix in a few fun film stocks like Psych Blues, and expired films that I’ve found while traveling.

Psych Blues create unique light leak light effects from a pre-treatment of the film. The film is pre-treated by exposing it to different colored lights in a dark space. The outcome creates really creative images that are unique, and fun.

One of my favorite black and white films is an expired black and white bulk roll from 1972. The film has a very soft, muted look and has a grain that is really lovely. The film is one I cannot replace, as I found just one roll of it, so I tend to be very thoughtful when I use it. I usually save it for clients that are really hopeful for soft, romantic, black, and white portraits.

Complimenting Film Wedding Photos with Super 8 Wedding Videography

Super 8 is one of my favorite video formats. A film that was developed for the home consumer, Super 8 has a natural nostalgia to it. Most commonly you’ll see Super 8 used from home movies from the 1960;s to 1980’s. The historical context creates a natural nostalgia that comes out in your wedding videos.

Like film photography, Super 8 really only works well with very candid, natural movement and posing. It’s not a highly cinematic video medium, and that allows natural, candid based work to push forward. Super 8 can be silly, fun, and quirky — often has light leaks, and grain.

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