I’m ripping off the bandaid and transitioning to all film photography for the time being. I don’t want to say permanently, because I’m always re-evaluating, but for now, film it is.
Hybrid film and digital shooting hasn’t worked for me. I find I shoot better if it’s one or the other. So here goes!
Film found me at a time I needed a photography rejuvenation, so I am honoring the growth I’ve had since I started and following a path I never saw coming, but presented itself.
There’s a playfulness and imperfection to film that as I continue to grow as a photographer (while simultaneously experiencing the journey and uncertainty of parenthood) that feels intertwined and right for my work.
Film also requires less culling and editing time after a session, which saves me hours of sitting in front of a computer (and from burning out).
I’ve worked slowly and cautiously towards this decision with model calls and lots of personal work to make sure I understand the fundamentals of film photography and have the experience to make this work.
Waiting for the email that my film scans are ready is a torturous week, but in the end, worth it!
Well, here’s the technical stuff. For client sessions, I’m shooting on 35mm Kodak Portra film stocks, which are clean, fine grain, true to life color films. Th end results look very similar to my digital work.
After the session, I send the film to a professional lab where it’s developed, scanned and emailed back to me as digital images. I then make light edits and from there, it’s uploaded into your gallery and sent to you for viewing and downloading. In the end, they are film photography digital images. Go figure! 🙂
This is just my opinion, but I’d say my film images have a slightly less polished look with a slight grain. I call it “perfectly imperfect!” All the images in the post are film photos, btw!
Film requires lots of light, so for outside sessions, I will start a little before the normal golden hour timeframe.
Inside sessions – if your house doesn’t have windows facing all directions to let the natural light into the main area, we’ll stay closer to the windows. If you don’t have access to great natural light, I might suggest we rent a studio to be safe.
And with film, my pace is slower. Each roll only has 36 frames, so I’m trying to make each shot count. My focus buttons are also a little more finicky on my film cameras, so I’m often adjusting as kids move (a lot!).
Once a roll is finished, I reload. This usually happens right when someone is ready for a break anyways! I typically shoot between 2-3 rolls per session.
It doesn’t. I currently have a two-three week turnaround and always meet that with film as well.
Slightly. Film costs are high, so please know I’m accounting for that, while paying myself for my time and work.
I will still be offering family, maternity, newborn and milestone sessions. For now, I’ll have a set fee for each package. A portion of the total package will be a non-refundable retainer due at the time of booking. The remaining balance is due one week before the session. All the images from the session will be included in the package instead of having to narrow it down. Plus, the packages will still include an heirloom album or fine art print!
If you are interested in seeing what a family sessions on film look like, check out these examples.
And here is one testimony from a family film photography model call session during 2022.
Meredith came to our home to photograph my family of 5, including kids aged 10, 7, and 4. She was a magician – she got the kids to participate, and to do so joyfully. We had a blast during our session, and the photos came out absolutely beautifully. When she sent the photos, I was scrolling, expecting the bad photos to be near the bottom… but the bad photos never came. I truly cannot believe how gorgeous all the photos turned out. We would hire her again in a heartbeat!
If you have any questions or want any further clarification about film, please let me know!