DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FILM AND DIGITAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
Choosing your wedding photographer to capture your wedding can be an intimidating task. Your wedding photos last a lifetime, a reminder of one of the most important days of your life, long after the wedding day is over. Getting your choice of wedding photography style, whether it is artistic or photo-journalistic, digital or film, is quite possibly the most important decision you will make when it comes to your wedding.
Below I would like to explain what the difference between film and digital wedding photography.
The advantage of film wedding photography is how film cameras record light, shadows and colors. Film just has “that look.” Film photos look buttery and soft, the colors are just beautiful, and there’s just something qualitatively different about the look of film. It’s softer, it’s dreamier, and the color palette is a little more defined. Skin tones look great. Honestly, I favor the color tones and skin tones that comes straight from my film.
When I’m shooting film, I slow down and shoot every frame with purpose. I feel more present with the couple. With film you need many years of photography experience. It is much harder to get every photo perfect because film forces photographers to understand light and know exactly where the subject should be positioned to get the best images possible.
The disadvantages are that film wedding photography is expensive. Because of the cost if film and developing and scanning, brides will receive less images compared to digital photography. Digital cameras don’t have these added expenses so can take an endless amount of photos. Practically, you can shoot all day as long as you have memory cards and batteries. Thousands of images can be saved on a memory card the size of dime.
Film photos are generally less sharp. I don’t think it is necessarily and disadvantage because it adds to the dreaminess of film photography. In overall, digital is generally sharper than film and allow you to get a very crisp final product if that’s what you are looking for.
When it gets dark, I need to use my digital cameras more because colors and shadows disappear around and after sunset. You can keep shooting digital cameras at night with minimum or almost no light. Digital camera makers, Canon, Sony Nikon, are continually increasing their digital cameras low light capabilities and now far exceed film in that that respect. I shoot with my digital cameras during wedding receptions and after it gets dark. Honestly, I must admit that I do still find digital can be a more effective tool in certain circumstances. This photo I took with my digital camera below. It would have not been possible with a film camera, unfortunately.
In general, film has more grain than digital. In some cases it can be a disadvantage but in my view it adds to the beauty of film photography.
Film photography requires more time during weddings. Film needed to be loaded after film runs out after 36 or 12 photos. It does take time to load the cameras and I need to do it a few times during longer wedding ceremonies. Loading film can take 10-20 seconds and requires stopping the sessions occasionally. Also, after loading a roll of film, I am tied to that particular film speed for the rest of your roll. You cannot change ISO on the run. Digital cameras are designed to adjust to shifting light conditions all the time and they are continuously improved as you read this.