December 19, 2017
I picked up the film camera and held it to my eye. It was heavier in my hands than the trusty digital camera that was nestled in my bag and I liked the weight of it. Official and old-fashioned.
My sister swayed in her white dress right in the middle of the Queen Anne’s Lace and I held my breath as I pressed the shutter for the first time. Right at that moment when the light hit her hair and her gaze fell to the ground. My heart leapt at the beauty of it all and I instinctively glanced at my camera in hopes of seeing the image…but that is the beauty of film. It teaches patience and I would have to wait.
As an artist, it is hard to describe why YOU should adore film as I do. The process of visualizing each image before I press the shutter, like painting a picture with each click. The sweet anticipation I feel as I send the film to the lab and wait, Christmas morning every time it arrives in my inbox. The richness, color, skin tone, and depth that simply cannot be recreated by a digital camera (although I’ve tried). And the romanticism and nostalgia of creating imagery the good, old-fashioned way.
Instead of the camera clicking at 100 photos per minute, film photographers craft individual photographs. One beautiful image at a time. At first glance, this might not seem groundbreaking…but lets dig deeper.
Each roll of film holds 16 images and each roll of film costs money to develop. For me, that means I spend upwards of $200 at an average portrait session just to shoot and develop film for my clients. I won’t take a photograph if the light isn’t hitting you just right. And if a stray hair is out of place? You can bet I’ll fix it. Film instills excellence in a photographer. The stakes are higher and the photographs are limited.
When I use a digital camera, I am like an artist sketching in pencil. When I use a film camera, I am painting with acrylic.