You might think film wedding photography in a digital world is a rarity these days. Film photography has been around since the late 1800's and shortly after digital cameras were invented, it was put on the shelf by many. But I'm so happy to say that it's officially making a comeback! I have dozens of wedding photographer friends who also include the service with all of their packages. And if you are here on this post, you might be looking for a photographer who can capture your wedding day on film as well as digitally. I'm going to hit all the high points on why you might consider having film wedding photography!
What is a Hybrid Wedding Photographer?
If you've heard the term hybrid wedding photographer, it's likely referring to someone who uses both film as well as shooting digitally. This essentially just means that throughout the wedding day, they will use both digital cameras as well as film cameras for a mix of photos from both. For myself, I use a double harness for my mirrorless Canon R6 cameras, and then neck straps for my two 35mm film cameras. I alternate during the events, and my second shooter focuses strictly on digital images so nothing is ever missed.
And yes, it may seem like an overwhelming amount of cameras- because it is! We offer a hybrid package as well as a fully film package for those couples who want us to strictly focus on film only.
Tip: Hybrid Wedding Photographer can also be used to describe someone who photographs weddings as well as does videography or cinematography for them as well. Be sure to clarify this during your search.
The Difference Between Manual and Automatic Film Cameras
I have both manual as well as automatic film cameras in my arsenal. Automatic cameras are quick on their feet and used for more movement shots, such as walking down the aisle, your entrance into the reception, or the two of you running into the sunset! This is because the lenses are autofocus and the settings are auto as well. Meaning I won't have to stop and change them during a quick event.
Manual cameras, however, are more intentional and purposeful. I have to manually focus my lenses as well as control the exact settings based on the lighting at hand. Both are incredible in their own ways, which is why I use them together. But I find that my manual film shots can be more precise and "perfect" so to say. They usually come out exactly how I envisioned them because I'm able to hone the settings just right. I use this method when shooting couples portraits, bridal portraits, and details- subjects that are mostly motionless!
Tip: There is also quite a learning curve that comes with shooting manual film that not just any photographer can offer you. When inquiring, be sure to ask if they shoot manual/automatic and reflect on how that might affect your booking decision (if it does at all!).
Why is film photography special?
Essentially, you are choosing film wedding photography for high-end nostalgia. Being able to say your wedding photos were shot on film is an absolute brag. It's rare, it's unique, and the photos are incredible while still bringing vintage to the table. Not only that, but film is expensive in this day in age. Going for around a base price of $60+ a roll (including very basic turnaround), it's something to recognize as special. That price doesn't include the photographer's gear, insurance, education, experience, post-editing, shipping, etc. Outside of the U.S., one roll of film can cost hundreds of dollars.
I consider film a luxury and I believe that most photographers and brides are moving in that direction as well. This is just another reason why I am so excited to be able to offer it to my clients!