Why am I a Film Wedding Photographer in London? Well, its definitely not cheap. In fact it’s super expensive to shoot on film with old film cameras as opposed to using digital cameras. But there is an art to it. A look and a feel that is magical….
The cost of being a film wedding photographer
For starters, the rolls of film are £33 for a pack of 5 which have just 16 photographs on. Yes, I can click 16 times and the roll is finished….Then, it costs upwards of £20 to mail the rolls of film to LA for processing….This costs on average £200 for 10 rolls. I then have Fedex of £45 to post the negatives back to me. So for 10 rolls of film its costing a minimum of £330….or £3 each time I press the shutter. This is all before I have spent time going through each and every one, tweaking, converting into high resolution in Photoshop (a 5 stage process).
Then there are the cameras….I have two Contax645 medium format film cameras (that are no longer made). This means that parts and maintenance is expensive…Late last year I took one of my Contax645’s in for repair and a clean which cost £700 (the equivalent on digital would have been about £100). The cost of the cameras and lenses themselves are also high – and they keep getting more expensive. I have two Contax 645, a 80mm 2.0 Zeis, a 140mm 2.8 Zeis, a Canon EOS 3, a Nikon Ti35mm 2.8 and an old Landcamera Polaroid. Lets just say its expensive but amazing kit!
The art of being a film wedding photographer
Photographing a wedding on film however is an art form, and sings to my creative spirit as well as producing (what I believe, in the best lighting conditions) superior quality photographs. The way a negative captures light is different to the way a digital camera captures light. The negative has a wider range to absorb more colour and at a wider spectrum. It also doesnt ‘burn’ the bright light or make ‘black’ the darker shadows in sunlight.
That said, I also appreciate and love digital cameras and lenses for when the light is not great – ie when its too low (speeches, evening dancing) or too artificial (ceremonies that are inside and lit with yellow lights rather than natural light).
So I shoot on both – and give my couples and clients the best of both worlds….Something I would have dearly loved as a bride as well as a wedding photographer myself.
I will leave you with a few film photographs to enjoy. Taken on Contax 645 with a range of film types (fujifilm Pro400H, Ilford3200, Kodak Portra 400).