Wedding Photography on Film

Why I take photos on real film, even at weddings, and yes even at night: 

I (very humbly and with gratitude) consider myself to be an artist and art is subjective to be sure. For me and my taste, I prefer the look of film photos over digital photos.

If you also love the look of film, you already know what I’m talking about. The meaning of the phrase “the look of film” is also subjective. In the wedding industry, this typically means a style of images with a certain aesthetic, often referred to as “fine art,” which was made popular in the early 2000s or so by Jose Villa.

The term “fine art” is going out of style in the wedding photography industry, but the light, pastel, painterly images certain combinations of camera/lens/film can create remain timeless and sought-after.

Photo by Ashley Noelle Edwards | Lavender Marketplace | Edera Jewelry | Sierra Burt | Claudia Pinto Beauty

I predominantly shoot medium format (120) and 35mm film. I have also used a disposable 35mm camera with a flash on it just for fun at the end of a session and still preferred those images to digital images of the same scene. It’s a personal preference and if you know, you know. 

Photo by Ashley Noelle Edwards | Richard Photo Lab

Why I sometimes shoot digital: 

Every once in a while I will see some amazing digital work and think, wow maybe I should give digital another chance. I always end up underwhelmed by and large with my digital work. Digital isn’t the right medium for me as a photographer and that is ok. That said, all my second photographers for weddings shoot digital and I sometimes shoot digital at weddings. Why? Time. Digital is really fast and sometimes you need to shoot quickly at fast-paced live events. My heart melts for the slower, more deliberate moments. And again, that’s ok. I can do both, I just prefer film overall and am really passionate about it.

Why I shoot film at night/in the dark: 

It looks better. When I say better, I mean that for me it looks more emotive, romantic, grainy, beautiful, time-tested, quality. One myth that is far too prevalent in the wedding industry is that it’s not possible to shoot film in dark spaces or that digital is somehow a “better” tool for this. When photographers say they shoot all film except when it gets too dark and digital is the better tool, this just means they don’t know how to light for film or they don’t know how to shoot film in dark places. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I think it’s important for film photographers who DO know how to light for film and shoot in the dark to speak up and be just as visible as photographers who choose to shoot digital at dark wedding receptions so that clients don’t mistakenly believe that digital is the better tool for dark spaces, that’s just simply not accurate. Digital is faster, but it is not the better tool. For my own wedding photos, it’s important to me that my chosen photographer be able to shoot film at my reception. If they want to shoot digital, too that is fine, but film images at receptions are a MUST for me and my clients.

What questions do you have about shooting film or hiring a film photographer?

Drop me an email anytime!

Warmest Winter Wishes,


December 16, 2020