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Digital Photography Vs Film Photography For Your Wedding

Soooo... you are getting married, congrats! You set the date, your got the venue, and now you need to book your photographer. (Or maybe photographer comes first). Either way, there are a million and one choices out there when it comes to choosing your wedding photographer.


It's 2024, and like all good trends, vintage is back in all areas of our lives. But unlike most trends, vintage is more often than not timeless. And when it comes to weddings and elopements, it's important to have photos you can look back on and cherish them knowing they are timeless. The two biggest things that can date your wedding photos are the outfits (nothing says early 2000's like a color satin bow wrapping around your waist), and editing colors to your photographs.


While booking a photographer that edits in a trendy style may be fun and hip now, when you look back on your photos in 20 years, you want to make sure that you love them as much as you love them today, and not just because you want them to go viral on instagram. Which means timeless colors. There are a few styles that I would say are timeless, one being light and airy, and the other being film emulation (or even better real film). Light and airy is beautiful, but does not fit every venue or location the best because the color scheme also has to be somewhat light and airy, so locations like beaches, summer mountain locations, and neutral toned venues.


Film emulation (or real film) is what is sounds like, editing to match film stocks (or shooting real film). Each film stock, has different colors to it, but what is most important is that film is meant to capture true colors and beautiful skin tones. Some films might be a little more muted, and others more vibrant, but not to the extent that some photographers edit, where skin tones may be very orange, green, or even so dark you can't make out peoples faces. Film is timeless because before digital came along, that's all we had. Your baby pictures (well maybe not you gen-z), your parents pictures, those were film. Those real colors, with beautiful hilights and a touch of grain.


As an elopement photographer myself I have always been drawn to true to color editing style, vibrant pictures, long before I shot film. And then I discovered film emulation editing, and then real film. When we photograph weddings and elopements on film, we also always shoot some digital photos so that we have some sneak peeks for our couples while we wait for the film to be developed, and this is where the film emulation editing comes in handy, because those digital photos MATCH the film photos, sometimes so well you can barely tell them apart.


So I really wanted to be able to share some photos that compared the difference so you can see for yourself the digital photos versus the film scans, and decide which you prefer.


These first few photos are all digital photos. Keep in mind we edit these before we ever get the film scans back, so I am "guessing" what the film will look like based on experience. If I were trying to match the film once I got it back it could probably match almost exact.



And here are the film photos. These are all shot on 35mm film, on a mix of 2-3 different film stocks.



Takeaways with this gallery is that the film scans did come back lighter than the digitals were edited, the skin tones have less reds in them, and the hilights are much softer. I personally think that both the digital and film colors are timeless because they are "true". The other thing that in my opinion makes these photos timeless is the attire, the groom in a tuxedo, which never goes out of style. And the brides elegant dress and long veil is a style that never goes out of style. Things like trendy hairstyles, florals, suit colors, and makeup can date a photo, but not as much as the edit of the photo itself.


So hopefully this example gave you some knowledge into the difference between the look of digital and film, and will help you decide which one is for you! Keep in mind that not all photographers are the same, and that goes for film photographers. We shoot on professional film cameras, with pro lenses, the same that you would use on a pro digital body. We buy top of the line film stocks and use high quality labs for developing and processing. That alone will be a huge difference from someone who shoots film on a point and shoot, and sends it to get developed at a 1 hour photo lab.


XOXO,

Brazen Honey

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