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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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Is Film Wedding Photography Making a Comeback?

When it comes to wedding photography, it may be some of the most important photos you have. After all, your wedding only happens once. But, what’s the best way to capture this special day? Is it with digital photos or maybe film wedding photography? 

Well, as a wedding photographer myself who uses both film and digital cameras, each one has their own unique qualities and place in wedding photography. Both play an important role in capturing the emotion and sentimentality of the day. But, film photography is definitely not an outdated medium. 

So, if you want to learn more about film wedding photography and figure out if it is right for your wedding, check out everything you need to know below! 

What is Film Photography 

A film wedding photo of people dancing at a wedding reception.

First of all, let’s talk about what film photography is. Film photos are any photos that are taken on an actual roll of film. In comparison, digital cameras take digital photos that are instantly visible and stored on SD cards. 

With film photography, there are a few different types of cameras that you will see (especially in the wedding world). First is a 35mm camera. This is most likely the camera you think of when you think film photography. 

These cameras still have various settings that you can adjust and take photos on a single roll of film. Once that roll is filled, you then have to take it out and develop it to see how the photos turned out. 

The other form of film photography you’ll most likely see associated with weddings is instant film. For these, think about your Polaroid or Instax cameras that instantly print out a picture. 

Both of these cameras use a roll of film to actually develop the image, the main difference is that instant film cameras don’t need to be manually developed while 35mm cameras do! 

Is it Coming Back? 

A film wedding photo of champagne glasses on a tray

Now, that is all great, but isn’t film photography a thing of the past? I mean why else would we have digital cameras? 

While it is a valid point, we do have digital cameras, film is starting to make a comeback. There is something special when it comes to film photography. It is actually where I got my start and it carries with it a sense of nostalgia that digital photos just don’t. 

Think about when you were sitting with your grandparents looking over their wedding photos while they talked about how amazing their wedding was. Even though their photos were old and maybe not even fully colored, there was something special about them. 

It felt like they were somehow more emotional even though the photo itself felt like it was fuzzy or didn’t capture all of the small details. 

Well that nostalgic feeling and that sentimentality is what is making a comeback in the wedding industry today. Vintage will never go out of style and while there are so many different trends in the wedding world year in and year out, nothing is going to change the fact that film photos are heavily ingrained in the heart of wedding photos. 

Flash forward to today, almost every wedding photographer you see will be using a digital camera, maybe even a few. But, the addition of film and even Super 8 video to wedding photography packages is becoming more common. 

This is because people are craving that nostalgia and that emotion in their wedding photos. They don’t want something that is just a photo. They want something that they can look back on and remember each and every moment of that day. 

They want those photos that their grandparents had that they cherished so deeply. 

So, yes, digital photography is not going anywhere, but neither is film. It is definitely still a big part of wedding photography and is starting to become even more popular again. 

Digital and Film Wedding Photography Together 

A film wedding photo of two grooms holding hands with a city skyline in the distance

So, if film wedding photography is becoming more popular, are we going to stop seeing digital photography at weddings? The short answer is no. Digital photography is still a very important piece of capturing a wedding day and there are some things that digital photos can do that film photos just can’t. 

For instance, when it comes to film photos, you take the photo and you have no idea how it turned out. Yes, you can adjust settings on things like 35mm cameras, but there is no guarantee that the image that is taken is the perfect image. 

When it comes to a day like your wedding day (where there are no do overs) you want to make sure that you are getting the best images right away. If there are any adjustments that need to be made, you want to make sure that they are made. 

Digital photography allows for this. Your photographer, for example, can take a photo, immediately look at it and decide if their settings are correct for the type of light that is in that room, and adjust them to capture the photos in the best way possible. 

These are the types of things that you want for your wedding photos and on your wedding day. 

You also have to think about the scale of modern weddings. When we are looking at the photos that are going to be taken, you have getting ready photos, couples portraits, wedding party and family photos, ceremony pictures, cocktail hour, and reception photos. That is a lot of photos over the course of a single day. 

With film cameras, most rolls of film can hold anywhere from 24 to 36 images. Your photographer is taking hundreds or even thousands of photos throughout the day and swapping out film every 36 pictures just isn’t realistic. 

Instead, what you can do is have a combination of film and digital photography at your wedding. This allows you to have the best of both worlds. You will still be able to capture the whole scale of your wedding and your photographer will be able to make any adjustments necessary on the spot. 

But, you’ll also get those really sentimental and nostalgic moments on film. Oftentimes, you’ll see that a lot of the wedding will be captured by a digital camera, but your couples portraits will be taken with film. 

This only helps to elevate the emotional feelings in those intimate moments and makes them even more memorable for you and your partner. 

So, when it comes to your wedding, having a combination of both digital and film is really a no brainer! You’ll get those dreamy couples photos on film and the rest of the wedding captured on digital to see all of those incredible moments throughout the day!  

Final Thoughts on Film Photography for Weddings 

So, hopefully this helps you get a clearer picture of what film wedding photography is and why it may be a great option for your own wedding. While digital photography is absolutely here to stay, film is still a vital part of the photography landscape and offers something that digital photos just can’t. 

If you think that the combination of digital and film wedding photography is what you and your partner want for your own wedding, I’d love to chat. Capturing weddings and moments on both film and digital cameras is part of my process and I love being able to capture these moments for my couples in both mediums. 

You can learn more about my wedding photography services here to see if it is the right fit for you and your partner. You can also head over here to get in touch and chat through your vision for your wedding and how we can help bring that to life! 

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