Which medium should a wedding photographer use when it comes to digital vs film photography for weddings?
It’s an argument that’s fading, gasping its last breath as the use of camera film dies a slow, quiet death.
It’s something I’m asked about less frequently these days but for some brides and their photographers, it’s still a valid debate. For old-school photographers, Kodak or Fujifilm is still a viable option to offer couples searching for that “certain look” that emulsion can have. But for the newbies in the photographic industry, digital is the only way to go. Films aren’t their speciality even if they’re trained in it at all.
What really matters is that a couple like their photographer’s style, not what format they used to capture the images. And, when you get right down to it, the differences between the two mediums aren’t really visible to the untrained eye. That’s right, you heard me — if the lighting is right, there is no debate between the two. It looks the same.
When the lighting conditions start to deteriorate, that’s when the an images’ texture and pattern can look ‘grainier’, which, occasionally, is the evocative look a bride wants. Both can offer these characteristics but with the advent of high quality digitized cameras with wider ISO settings, this aspect it is easier to control. With both media, post production editing makes it possible to achieve virtually any effect you desire.
If that’s the case, then why consider roll-film photography at all? There are a few reasons a photographer might offer film as an option to a couple.
- Some photographers truly believe that it gives a higher quality print.
- At the end of an event, the photographer is done. The photo lab takes care of color balance adjustments and retouching; the photographer doesn’t have to worry about correcting computer files.
- Technically speaking, film has a wider dynamic range than digital for high-contrast scenes.
- Film photography is a creative and funny entertainment for couple and their guests.
But for every positive argument for film, the micro-chip comes roaring back with its own strong suit.
- Many photographers consider themselves artists, and with that, they don’t want the photo lab to be in control of the final product.
- Shooting digitally, a photographer is able to shoot many more frames, meaning the couple probably will have a more complete coverage of their event.
- There’s less risk for poor quality photos because the photographer can immediately review and correct an image that didn’t quite turn out the way it was planned.
Despite the advantages for each medium, they’re all moot points if the bride or groom doesn’t like the photographer’s portfolio in the first place!
As with anything else, there’s going to be good photographers and not-so-good photographers, and it doesn’t really make much of a difference which medium the not-so-good photographers shoot in.
Select a photographer who will give you the best images you could hope for, and the media argument doesn’t really matter.
If you want my advice – choose today’s technology – you’ll get a wider coverage of your day!