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02-28-2010, 11:56 PM   #1
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Do I want to shoot weddings, in film?

I'm just thinking out loud, and wouldn't mind some input, if anyone cares to give some.

I wasn't really planning on shooting any more weddings, however I'm starting to get requests again.
It doesn't help that my girlfriend has several friends getting married, and she told them that I'm a photographer... not an artist, which is what I prefer being called

Since I could really use the $ I'm actually thinking about it... however I really don't want the workload associated with digital.

So IF i take any on I'm kinda thinking of just shooting film... which I've never used for any professional shoot.

I'm confident with my ability, along with my equipment, although I'd like to add another body (preferably a PZ1P) to my list before I shoot any.
However, like you've probably figured I'm not really sure that I even want to shoot any. I love the artform, not the business.

If I start shooting any, do I charge differently than with Digital?

Another nagging thought is, there's a new DSLR coming to market soon that I'd love to get my hands on. If I shoot Digital it'd give me a good reason to buy it

03-01-2010, 02:19 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
however I really don't want the workload associated with digital.
I would suggest that the workload associated with digital is a fraction of the workload associated with film and darkroom. For something like a wedding, I'd shoot both digital and film...just to be safe.
03-01-2010, 03:29 AM   #3
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Stu, we're creatures of habit and generally feel more comfortable with what we know than to try something different.

Weddings have been captured on film for decades - no problems there, especially when the photog knows the gear being used and what he/she is doing. Digital streamlines some of the photog's processes, and expands on others. From my point of view, only having done a couple of weddings on film and many on digital, the digital process is easily more flexible, with the potential to create stunning works of art with a little effort in post-processing.

As for digital gear on a budget, I have happily done weddings with a *ist D and/or a K10D. You already have good glass, so it'll just be a matter of adding a digital body to the equation - and Pentax hasn't made a dSLR body that couldn't manage a wedding reasonably well IMO...
03-01-2010, 05:06 AM   #4
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For an amateur or art photographer who gets called upon for an occasional gig, some or mostly digital is the only way to go for me. I don't shoot weddings, but I do shoot dance events and receptions several times a year. Digital lets me sleep at night. I know I have the shots. I know the lighting worked.

I know what digital will cost. Shooting any kind of action with color film is much more expensive proposition. Every one of those 4 shot bursts (which I use sparingly) is at least a buck. Over the course of an event that adds up quickly. If you will be shooting film, you need money in advance, even from your friends.

A wedding pro who works primarily in film shoots so many rolls doing the same thing that all of the film checks and double checks and backups and reliable processing and pricing are second nature. That's not true for me or most others who don't shoot events on film on a daily/weekly basis.

I am reintroducing film into my event shooting this year, but as an "artistic" supplement. I'll add some B&W, which I had been doing through conversions or maybe some MF color print for the posed shots. However, I won't go home not knowing whether I have the dance shots that the 150 or so participants want from the events for which I am responsible.


Last edited by GeneV; 03-01-2010 at 05:23 AM.
03-01-2010, 05:16 AM   #5
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As much as I like the film workflow, which is drop film off at lab, pick up pictures later, (post #2 is a red herring) I have to wonder if the world of wedding photography has not moved past film.
If your customers expect the look of digital and you give them film, they might not be too happy.
Make sure that your portfolio contains no digitally captured images at all, and if you get hired, good on ya.
One of the real advantages of film is still image longevity of the capture media. Your negatives will survive many decades longer than any digital media you care to use. This is important if you hand the negatives or a CD off to the client.
03-01-2010, 07:51 AM   #6
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Almost every wedding photographer i know, no longer shoots film for pay.
03-01-2010, 09:47 AM   #7
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Thanks for your responses. I'm still thinking things over.
Working in a lab still gives me an edge over others, while shooting film. Price wise I'm looking at around $15 - 20 for most 36 exposure rolls, and very little time in front of the computer.
Whereas Digital, although cheap has me in front of a computer far longer than I want
The digital camera I'm thinking about getting sounds like it'll be an event machine (compared to what I have now) and I can probably get it at one Sweet price.
If it's as good as they're claiming it will be it actually may eliminate some of my computer time

I guess that I can think about it throughout the day, and talking to the GF might help too.
03-01-2010, 03:19 PM   #8
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Shoot whatever works for you. Shooting good film is usually tempered with experience at it. Shooting both works too. Probably one advantage to shooting film is if you give them the negatives, they are easy to archive and chances of them having those those negatives 50 years from now are good as well as their next generation. Long term storage of digital files requires diligent backup systems and a strong interest in the next generation to maintain that backup system. How many digital files, pictures or not, do you have from, say, only 20 years ago.


Last edited by tuco; 03-01-2010 at 03:26 PM.
03-01-2010, 04:49 PM   #9
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My general plan for weddings is to simply swap in digital for where I used to shoot 35mm (The fun and spontaneous stuff, mostly) and do much of the rest in medium format. For something that can be kept regardless of what computer-makers do.


Personally, I'm just not intending to do mainstream weddings anymore, anyway, except by special request or as a gift, Half the job of a wedding photog is to absorb about at least about half of your employers' stress, and I ran out of sympathy for a lot of it ten years ago. ) )


Anyway, what this means is, if you're doing this cause of requests, they're requesting *you.* You shoot as much or as little film as you see fit. If they went to a for-profit business, they'd pay out the nose for a single frame of film. If they could have it at all.

You know what I mean? If they're asking for *you,* give them *you.*

The 'wedding industry' is kind of based on cynicism and playing on a lot of expectations. (People will spend twenty grand to have a *really bad time* and then, toss a coin: the odds of it coming up tails is the odds of them expecting you to turn it all magical for the ages after nickel-and-dimeing the couple hundred you might clear if nothing goes wrong for you: they don't know what they want, they just spent fifteen hundred bucks on table centerpieces, and you're the last one to be paid. )

If your clients come to you, you can do it *your* way, or at least in a way you're willing to accommodate... Do your best work, however your best work is done, do it with heart, ask a price that's fair for all concerned.

That's the only way to love it, and thus the only way to do it at your best.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 03-01-2010 at 10:06 PM.
03-01-2010, 07:57 PM   #10
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Jose Villa | Fine Art Weddings

http://www.insideanalogphoto.com/inside-analog-photo-radio-jose-villa/114
http://www.insideanalogphoto.com/inside-analog-photo-radio-jose-villa-2/327

Riccis Valladares Photography Blog | Latest work from Riccis Valladares | Fine Art Wedding Photography | Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Miami

http://www.insideanalogphoto.com/inside-analog-photo-radio-riccis-valladares/161

maybe i've been brainwashed by listening to all of these podcasts about film photographers, (please listen they are truly excellent Inside Analog Photo). but if you like the look of film, your clients like the look of film and you're wasting hours in photoshop making your pictures look like film, then just shoot film. time isn't free.

Last edited by k100d; 03-01-2010 at 08:05 PM.
03-03-2010, 12:56 AM   #11
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If you do decide to shoot digital, shoot the event on multiple memory cards. Sometimes developing film goes bad, but sometimes memory cards go bad too.
03-03-2010, 10:20 AM   #12
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As per a thread on another part of the forum, there are a lot of photographers shooting weddings in digital that aren't spending much time on editing or pp. However, from talking to the eight 20-somethings whose weddings I attended last summer, it seems to me that the young people getting married think film is nothing but an anachronism. I have actually never had a professional photographer offer me the negatives for any shots I purchased, but I think you are more likely to have the bride and goom ask for scans of the negatives, than the negatives.
03-03-2010, 10:54 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I have actually never had a professional photographer offer me the negatives for any shots I purchased, but I think you are more likely to have the bride and goom ask for scans of the negatives, than the negatives.
They won't offer them up. You negotiate that prior to the wedding. My sister and some cousins now have their wedding negatives (not all just the formal ones and some years ago) so they can make new prints in the event they may need to after I told them to make sure you get them. To me, the picture is the negative and what I have archived for them. A print is a second generation copy.
03-03-2010, 11:48 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
They won't offer them up. You negotiate that prior to the wedding. My sister and some cousins now have their wedding negatives (not all just the formal ones and some years ago) so they can make new prints in the event they may need to after I told them to make sure you get them. To me, the picture is the negative and what I have archived for them. A print is a second generation copy.
I don't think that is available everywhere. The photographer who took portraits of my wife and I last year would not even sell the digital files. Many photographers are wedded (pardon the pun) to the "per print" basis of compensation. I would rather pay a larger fee for the shoot and be able to print the files/negs as needed.

In any case, I think most of the couples I talk to these days hardly know what to do with a negative--makes me a little sad, actually.
03-03-2010, 12:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I don't think that is available everywhere.
That's for sure. In my sister's case, I had to do the talking and he charged extra for the negatives because they make their money on per print thing. But he understood when I told him I needed them for archiving family records.
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