I have used a film camera for as long as I can remember. My happiest memories growing up are all documented on film, from the big moments like family holidays, birthdays, and weddings to the small memories that make up the story of my childhood. There is something so special about the interactions between loved ones captured on film that transports you back to a moment in time.
Whether shooting in analogue or digital, my work draws on inspiration from fashion and film to create an editorial aesthetic with a touch of nostalgia. Even before I introduced analogue to my wedding photography, people used to think I shot on film because of the way I edited photos – the focus on details, richness of colour, and grainy finish.
So, if I can edit digital photographs to create the same look, why do I continue to use analogue? Well, here’s the thing: they’re not exactly the same. In fact, there are some key differences that will make you never look at analogue and digital in the same way again – and I’m going to tell you why.
So, what is analogue film photography?
Analogue film photography uses a chemical process to capture an image on film that digital photography simply can’t replicate. The film itself is a transparent plastic strip coated on one side with light-sensitive silver halide crystals. This film is rolled up and manually loaded into the back of the camera, ready to be used. A roll of film usually takes either 24 or 36 photos. This comes with a price – and so does sending it off to get developed.
And what about digital?
Digital actually uses all the same processes as film, except instead of registering the light on film, it uses light-sensitive sensors. Digital cameras are quicker and can take photographs until the memory card is full. You can download these images to a hard drive, edit them, and use the memory card again.
You can’t do that with film.
That’s why I use my digital camera to document everything, from the hero shots to the portraits, and use my analogue camera to create artistry in the in-between moments. Whether it’s a half-eaten slice of cake, the smoke from a blown-out candle, or Manolo Blahnik shoe worn by a bride obsessed with Sex and The City...
If analogue film is so good, why doesn’t everyone use it?
In short, analogue film is expensive, hard to use, and temperamental.
I must have tested at least 15 different film stocks (the transparent plastic strip inside the camera), light conditions, and different cameras before feeling confident enough to use film at a wedding. I now use at least two different analogue cameras (usually my trusted Olympuses) with the finest film stock for the best colour and quality finish.
Trust me: When you find someone who has shot analogue film for a long time, it means there is a real love for it.
What is the difference between analogue and digital photography?
The main difference is analogue photography is more intentional than digital. It forces you to really slow down and appreciate the beauty of the moment. That’s why I love to shoot analogue throughout the day and when I see moments that move me or details that are extra beautiful. Unlike digital photography, where the results are instant, the analogue process takes weeks before you can see the images. It requires a level of confidence in your approach that takes experience to achieve.
Digital cameras are so advanced that I can edit the photos to replicate the style of my analogue film camera. But I can never replicate the crazy light leaks, burnt rolls, and quirks that make analogue so unique. That’s because digital cameras are designed to be perfect. But analogue film cameras are built to be different. It feels very human to embrace these imperfections to develop stories within my photography. For me, nothing compares to the intricacies of film.
Why should couples consider analogue on their wedding day?
Choosing to have analogue film on your wedding day is one of the best decisions you could make. Not just because of the artistry, details, grain and colour – but because analogue film adds an extra layer of nostalgia to your gallery.
Every time you look at a photograph shot on film, you will notice different things you love. That’s the magic of film. It captures never-to-be-repeated moments in one-of-a-kind photos – and there is something so special about that.
Can you shoot digital and analogue?
Yes! But for full day weddings I only shoot analogue film if I have a second shooter. Analogue takes so much time, so I can’t shoot film and digital without compromising on either one.
How much do you charge for analogue?
Analogue film is an add-on to my wedding photography package. My current rates are included in the brochure, which you will receive when you get in touch.
How are analogue photos delivered?
Film photos are delivered in a separate folder in their gallery. It will give you a really lovely overview of the day caught on film.