The spread of film photography to the masses began in 1888. It wasn’t until the very first “point-and-shoot” and SLR film cameras appeared. At first, pictures were taken on special plates. With the passage of time and scientific and technological progress, the technology became more sophisticated, but photography itself became easier, gradually transforming into the cameras that we already know and use.
Think back to your parents’ wedding photos on film. It always evokes a kind of warm nostalgia. In addition to family photos, film captured images for fashion magazines, exhibitions. E.g. Richard Avedon (photographer for Vogue from 1966 to 1990), Lillian Bassman (on the staff of Harper’s Bazaar since 1940), Annie Leibovitz (Vanity Fair contributor since 1983), Sheila Matzner (the first woman photographer to have a permanent association with Vogue). Their photographs are inspiring and captivating, and make you look at every detail.
There’s a special magic in film photography that digital images don’t have.
In the wedding industry, film has long been associated with fine art (Jose Villa, Yulia Kaptelova, etc.). This trend has gradually taken the lead among all areas of wedding photography.
Film is associated with airy shots, special “tasty” colour of skin and greenery, highlighted pictures. Fine art has long established its claim to film photography.
Along with fashion trends in wedding images, film photography is gaining popularity in 2023, which now extends into many areas of wedding photography beyond fine art.
Along with the new demand from brides for naturalness in processing, atmospheric muted tones in photography, there is an emerging fashion for “flash to forehead” shots, including film cameras, adding a touch of fashion to wedding images. Film photography is becoming more accessible because it does not require high quality images, staged artistic shots and expensive professional equipment.
Along with the fashion for naturalness, spontaneity and “life” in the frame, comes film as a way of capturing that very moment. A romanticisation of film photography is taking place. Brides are attracted by unique retro style shots and film magic. Because we know exactly what you’ll get with a digital photo. We can re-shoot/delete/edit. You can’t do that with film.
According to my brides who are also reverent about the film, “there’s a slight, pleasant feeling of excitement, curiosity and anticipation while waiting for the result. Film makes us think about which shot we’ll take next.
The limitation in the number of frames doesn’t give you the right to shoot everything in burst mode. Film makes us think on the spot and “hunt” for that one shot.
The most popular colour films at the moment are Kodak Gold 200, Kodak Ultramax 400 and Kodak Color Plus. My favorite black and white film is called Kentmere Pan 400. Fine art photographers would definitely add Fuji 400H Pro and Kodak Portra 400 to that list. In my opinion, these films have the most “tasty” skin tone and beautiful shadows.
Wedding film photography is on its way out. Now it’s something unusual and new, giving photographers an edge over the rest. And for the most adventurous brides, the opportunity to get even more atmospheric shots of their wedding.
There’s no doubt that in 2023, film photography will cover an even bigger part of the industry.