After shooting film for about eight months and trying it out for my I Am Project, a studio newborn session and one outdoor session, I wanted to try a family session on film at their home. However, there are so many factors with film that made an at home session seem very risky.
First, film needs a ton of light. In reality, most houses may have only one or two spots that will really work with only natural light. Without going into too many technical details, I can’t make some of the simple changes to my settings that I can with my digital camera to compensate for a low light scenario. I have to be very strategic about where I place my subjects and how I meter for the correct exposure.
The second challenge is that kids move a ton. I know this and welcome it, but my film camera doesn’t keep up with the constant movement as well as my digital camera. Plus, I don’t have as many focus points to toggle around with. I still need a second more to lock focus and make sure my image is composed before I hit the shutter button. Sometimes these two seconds can cost me the shot because the kids have already moved on. And with film, I can’t look at the back of my camera to see if everyone’s eyes were open and if the image looked how I imagined.
Third, what if I got all the images back and there wasn’t anything usable. This terrified me. Literally, I may have had some semi restless nights waking up panicked that I’d get my scans back and nothing would be useable.
Lucky for me, I had a family I thought would be great to test all of this out with. I knew their house has a lot of natural light and that if all went down the drain, they’d extended me grace. Thanks, McCord family for being so great. I reached out to their mom and she said they were in. I was nervous going in, but by the time I left, I was dreaming of my next one!
When I got home, my husband said, “How’d it go?” I said, “I have no idea, but I loved it.” I felt very present and loved the simplicity of capturing a family just being a family at home. Before I even had their scans back, I decided to a model call for more families interested in a session on film at home.
Part of the thing that terrifies me with not knowing the immediate results with film, is also the part that is really exciting. When I got my scans back and I saw that a majority of the images were usable, I felt relieved and happy with the results. I still have a lot to learn, but was proud of my first attempt.
Enjoy these images from my first family session on film at home and check out more family sessions.
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