The all important question– film or digital photographs? Just kidding, we know you’re more concerned with whether to serve chicken or steak. However, when you’re researching photographers, which IS a super important decision, it’s important to understand what they’re offering, and the advantages and disadvantages of everything. That’s why today Romancing Belle Photography is breaking down the differences between film and digital photos, and what you should know if your photographer shoots in one or the other– or both!
In these side by side example images, the digital image is always first, then the film. Both are unedited.
What’s the initial difference between film and digital photos, from a client perspective?
Film is quite a bit more expensive to purchase and post processing is a big cost as well, so this adds to the overall cost of a wedding package to the client. I have found that most clients are okay to pay the difference as they see a huge quality factor in the end result that they love. Film tends to be sharper, a more timeless look overall, and can be very dreamy as well. It transposes colors differently, especially reds, they tend to be a bit more orange in color. Film is also very light hungry and so when the lights go down, usually the digital camera must come out for the evening shots.
Aside for stylistic differences, are there any other reasons that clients should consider film versus digital? How do they decide what’s right for them?
Deciding what is right for the client would totally be a more personal choice on the look. Clients are more educated than ever as to style, captivation, posing, props, for photo shoots these days, and I feel most couples, families, etc. really know the type of look they are going for. Because film is a bit more expensive, this can also be a motivating factor.
A lot of clients have concerns that, since digital photography captures more frames, when a photographer is shooting film, they might miss something. How do you address this concern?
A second shooter using a digital camera alongside you. It is a must for a film shooter to also have a second shooter to assist in capturing moments that he or she may not be able to get, and to also assist in loading film and keeping an extra cartridge handy at all time.
Is there anything else you would tell a client about the differences between film and digital?
One of the most lovely things about shooting film is slowing down the whole entire process and spending more time curating the shot. Curation is something that most digital shooters do not think much about. Because digital cameras are rapid fire, I feel it is so easy to do just that, without giving much thought to how do I want this shot to look, feel, and what do I want it to portray or say? By slowing down the thought and the setup of the image, you are able to think about these thoughts and to make sure this is what you are producing. You really are more able to achieve more of a fine art image. Also lighting is so key in any photographic style. I find that I am able to think more about the lighting and where it is coming from, and how do I want to work with it, concerning most of my film images. Also, I am more able to think about the posing of my subjects, how do they look for these specific portraits, where is their hair falling, where is the light, etc. Once again it lends itself to a Fine Art Image. Both digital and film have their strengths, and both have their weaknesses, it all is a matter of the clients perspective and taste.