A Wedding Photographed on Film

I spoke at a photography conference this week regarding how I created success within my wedding photography business. Elevate Photography Conference actually gave me the opportunity to look back at my work and remember exactly why I do what I do and why I shoot the way I do. Film has always been a huge part of my work, however how I incorporate it into my package and how clients interpret this work had differed over the years.

I first started shooting film at weddings in 2015/2016. At the time, couples had become so accustomed to digital photography, when they were presented with it, they felt indifferent. I was presenting analogue photography in a way I hadn’t seen before in the wedding industry. The ‘fine art’ light and airy style wasn’t my vibe at all, and I was all about creating nostalgia and mood. Couples were used to seeing film photography being used in da club at 2am and then taking it to Boots Chemist the next day to be developed within the hour.

However I knew there was a place for what I was shooting on 35mm within the wedding industry…I just had to present it to the world and show them how magical it was to have their wedding day captured on these tiny frames only visible when held up to the light.

I finally found a couple who were getting married in December 2019 who could see my vision and who were happy to have their whole wedding day shot on 35mm film. There was also a digital photographer there (phew I hear you say) and a videographer so there was no chance anything was going to be missed.

I was still experimenting with film at the time and back then you used to be able to buy it for £1 from the pound shop! Imagine that today! So I loaded up with stock and drove to Wales for the day…

I wasn’t fully prepared…yet this was a learning curve for me. The client knew this and knew that whatever I managed to get on the day was going to be a beautiful bonus to the rest of her footage.  I probably should have made sure I had the correct film stock. Kodak Gold 200 was, unfortunately, not the right stock for this wedding. However my business wasn’t the success it is today and with funds being low, I took whatever I could get.

The day was incredibly gloomy and being the last supplier booked for this wedding, I was taking my lead from the digital photographer in terms of lighting.

The bridal preparation room was kept dark with only snippets of natural light and we were asked not to use flash photography at certain parts of the day. I was basically shooting blind, not knowing if my images would be exposed correctly. However, when I was able to use my flash, my images come alive. That being said, the dark, deeply grainy images which were underexposed, still created mood and atmospheric moments from the day.

And I have to say I love them all, as did my couple, Sophie and Peter.

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