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I capture the unspoken — the glances, the silences — drawing from New York's pulse and the richness of global cultures. Every wedding is its own intricate narrative. Rooted in theatre and life's everyday rhythms, I document moments both transient and timeless. 

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Film vs Digital Wedding Photography: Which is Best?

As you are planning you are most likely looking at a ton of different wedding photographers that have all different photography styles, editing styles, and different options for your photos. You’ve probably come across film vs digital wedding photography as well. 

But, what is the difference between the two? Which one is better for your wedding or should you have both of them? Well, as a wedding photographer myself who captures both film and digital images, I can help answer some of these questions. 

So, if you are looking at film vs digital wedding photography, here is everything you need to know! 

What is Film Photography? 

A detailed black-and-white photo focuses on a bride’s foot peeking out from her flowing dress, adorned with a decorative anklet, capturing the elegance and anticipation of the wedding day.

Starting off, let’s talk about what film photography is. In the most basic sense, film photography is any photos taken with a film camera. These are cameras that capture images on a roll of film and then later have to be developed to reveal the final image. 

Most of the time when you think about film cameras, you probably think about vintage style cameras and black and white photos. And, while that is not necessarily wrong, there is so much that you can do with film cameras. 

Now, there are actually a few different types of film cameras that you may come across when you are looking at film wedding photography. The first kind is going to be 35mm film cameras. 

These are the classic film cameras that probably come to mind when you think of film photography. These cameras capture the image on a film roll, and you continue to take images on the same roll until there is no more space. 

Once the roll is full, you can develop the roll to actually see the final images that were taken. This is done in a dark room to preserve the image and take precision to ensure that the film roll is not compromised. 

The other form of film photography is instant film. There are going to be things like your Polaroid Cameras and Instax Cameras. These cameras allow you to take a film photo and print it out on the spot. Over the course of a few minutes, the image will develop on the picture and you will have a film photo. 

When it comes to wedding photography, you may find that wedding photographers will use a mix of both of these or just a single one. Instant film cameras are always a fan favorite at weddings since they create a souvenir that the couple and guests can bring home with them. 

35mm film cameras, on the other hand, can help to create stunning images, but you just have to wait and see how they turn out after the fact. 

What is Digital Photography? 

A joyful bride surrounded by her friends claps and smiles broadly in a candlelit reception area, capturing a moment of excitement and celebration at her wedding.

Digital photography, on the other hand, is what you most likely think of when you think of wedding photography today. These are photos taken by digital cameras that instantly show the image on the screen immediately after taking it. 

With digital cameras, you have control over a lot more and you are able to make any adjustments necessary in the moment to make sure you are capturing the best image possible. 

There are settings that you can adjust on both film and digital cameras, however, with film cameras, you won’t know the outcome of those adjustments until the photos are developed. With digital cameras, however, you are able to immediately see the results and make any further adjustments necessary. 

Digital photos are also stored on an SD card compared to the film roll that film photos are taken on. It is also relatively easy to back up digital images to make sure that nothing happens to them, especially for images as important as wedding photos. 

Digital photos have been the norm for wedding photography for years now and although there has been a resurgence of film photography at weddings in the past few years, digital photography is definitely not going anywhere. 

Which is Better for Your Wedding Day? 

So, now that we know the difference between film vs digital wedding photography, which one should you choose for your wedding? Well, there really is no right or wrong answer when it comes to which option is better. 

Both of them absolutely have a space in wedding photography and create images that are unforgettable for you and your partner. Today, you are likely to find photographers that offer a mix of both film and digital photography for your wedding so you are able to get the best of both worlds. 

However, both options do have their pros and cons to them and their small quirks. For instance, film photography often helps to create images that feel more emotionally charged and nostalgic. Digital photos on the other hand tend to look a bit more crisp and clean while still portraying the emotions of the day. 

Honestly, it really comes down to personal preference and what style of wedding photography you are looking for. Or, you can opt to do what most people do, and actually just have both. 

Having both film and digital photography at your wedding allows you to capture the emotionally driven and incredible film photos while also capturing the rest of the day on a digital camera. 

Not only will this give you more of a variety in your wedding album, but it will also help to guarantee that some of the most important moments of your wedding are captured exactly as you want them to be. 

Depending on your wedding photographer, they may have a specific add-on that you can select for your wedding to have both film and digital photography. I personally mostly use digital, but use film as an add-on to the coverage to enhance it. This way my couples get all of the amazing photos they always dreamed of. 

You’ll also find that pricing for this will vary from photographer to photographer. For example, I don’t charge separately for film photography – I use it throughout the wedding as I choose, when it is going to elevate the image. 

However, you will also find photographers who have separate packages for film photography that may also include things like multiple types of film photos or a film photo album. 

If capturing film photos is important to you, just be sure you communicate that with your photographer beforehand so they can make sure they get all of the amazing photos that you have always dreamed of. After all, your wedding day is one day that you can’t redo! 

Final Thoughts on Film vs Digital Wedding Photography 

So, at the end of the day, there is no winner when it comes to film vs digital wedding photography. Each type of photography absolutely has its place in the wedding space and they each create images that are unique and special in their own way. 

What you want for your wedding ultimately comes down to what you and your partner prefer. However, you can never go wrong with choosing both and it will give you an amazing gallery full of images that you can’t stop looking at. 

If you are looking for just that with your wedding photos and still don’t have the perfect photographer, I would love to chat. You can click here to learn more about my wedding photography packages or you can head over here to get in touch with me and chat about your dream wedding photography package!

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