We’ll start this blog post out with a disclaimer: I’m just sharing how I prefer to do things! This is in no way meant to communicate that my way is better or worse than anyone else’s. I get asked on a regular basis about how much film I shoot at weddings, and I figured having a blog post to reference might just be the easiest way to answer those :). This is part one of a two-part post, with a follow-up post on Why & When I DO shoot film coming next week!

When do I NOT shoot film? Engagement sessions, weddings (yep! No film at weddings!), studio work, and head shots.

Why [and when] I don't shoot film | Abby Grace Photography

Why? Let’s start with why I choose not to shoot weddings on film.

It’s not for lack of trying- I actually tested out doing weddings on film back in the fall of 2012, and after a few months, I decided it wasn’t for me. As much as I love my Contax 645, I was finding it really hard to continue shooting in the way I was accustomed (fast-paced, impulsive, ready at the spur of the moment) while using film. That’s not to say it can’t be done- Jonathan Canlas is an exceptional example of someone who’s ready for anything all the time. There are some exceptionally talented film wedding photographers out there- I personally couldn’t make it work for me in a way that I felt at peace with.

I also didn’t want introduce a 4-6 week wait time for my clients to receive their images. With shipping + lab processing, there would be at least a two, sometimes three week delay in being able to see what I shot, and then I had to factor in the time it took to tweak my scans AND edit my digitals to match my film (which was excruciating for me, if we’re being honest!). It would have meant a complete overhaul of my post-processing system, and to be honest, I was happy with how my digital images were turning out at the time! I liked my film work, yes, but I was just as happy with my digital photographs.

View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/nick-nicole-engagement

So with the decision not to shoot weddings on film, I then made the choice to abstain from film during engagement sessions. I didn’t want to leave my clients with two completely different sets of photographs from their engagement session and wedding, so if I was going all digital for one, it only made sense to do the same for the other.

Now onto why I don’t shoot film for studio work: because that terrifies me. I’m still a novice when it comes to editorial portraits in studio, and when it comes to how many test shots I take with my digital camera to get my light to a place where I’m pleased with it, it’s just not worth it to do it on film. Maybe one day, though!

And when it comes to head shots, I shoot those digitally as well because it’s the best way I’m able to serve whomever I’m photographing. Doing headshots with my Canon 5dmk3 means I can get the images back to my client faster!

Virginia Coast Guard wedding | Abby Grace Photography

So there you have it! Make sure you tune back in next Friday for Part 2: Why and When I DO Shoot Film!

Photog Friday: Why [and when] I don’t shoot film

February 19, 2016

  1. Jean says:

    It all makes sense to me! Love this last image. That dress is to die for!

  2. […] you missed Part 1 last week (Why [and When] I don’t shoot film), make sure to give that a read first! It’ll put […]

  3. Bubba Jones says:

    Let me be clear, I am not advocating film over digital nor digital over film.
    Your style of shooting suites you and your clients love their images; that is all that matters. Reasons for shooting a wedding on film or digital is a personal choice.

    Your Part 1 reads similar to other wedding photographers expressing why they shoot digitally; sad but the comments come across as excuses. More about the photographer skill and attitude, not the medium. Notice you state “…Now onto why I don’t shoot film for studio work: because that terrifies me….”. What is terrifying about using film, our great grandmothers used film how difficult can it be? Regardless of the photographers style shooting a wedding with digital uses the same skilled as shooting the same wedding with film.

    Sadly many digital wedding blogs come across as though the photographer is more proud of their computer post processing skills, their graphic artists skills, than their photography skills. It is as though today’s digital shooters lack the skills to produce on film the stunning images produced prior to the digital capture age.

    As for turn around time, the photographer sets the clients expectation, explaining the process, what to expect, when, how, and the like. When immediacy is paramount then digital it is; end of story. When immediacy is not important, and they are okay waiting then either digital or film is good. Often it is the photographer hyping up their short turnaround time (they think it makes the appear better), the client is not asking for it. The wedding couple is going on a honeymoon, that time away will provide enough time for the photographer shooting either digital or film to have the client’s images ready when they return.

    Cordially and respectfully submitted.

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