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Film vs. Digital Wedding Photography: Which One Is Right For You?

One of the most important investments that you can make for your wedding day (other than a planner, of course) is hiring an amazing photographer! After the vows are said and your special day is over you’ll really only have memories, an expensive dress, and your wedding photos! As a wedding planner, I get asked quite often what the differences are between film and digital photography and which is best. We explain the main differences below and go over the things you should consider if you are debating hiring a photographer who primarily shoots film or uses a digital camera.

You can see the differences in the photographs shot on film and digital throughout this blog post. All images on the left side were shot on film, whereas the images on the right side were shot using a digital camera.

We believe film photography has a natural elegance. The beautiful colors and natural skin tones can be seen in the photo on the left which was shot on film. Many digital photographers try to replicate a film look through editing. Although the photographer tried to match the digital images as close as possible, you can see that the look of film photography has simply cannot be reproduced with digital technology.

What Are The Differences Between Film and Digital Photography?

  1. Besides the look, you may receive film images back sooner than those shot on a digital camera. This is simply due to the fact that digital images require more editing than raw film images. The turnaround time will of course also depend on your photographer but you can certainly ask!
  2. There may be more time factors that you (or your planner) will need to consider if your photographer shoots film. Your photographer will need to stop occasionally for a minute or so to refill their film, however, many film photographers bring assistants to help manage this task for them.
  3. Low light is typically not ideal for film photography. If your venue is low-light but you love the look of film photography, you may consider hiring a hybrid photographer who shoots both digital and film that way they can shoot the low light shots on the digital camera and film in shots where more natural light is available.
  4. Film photography is a bit more expensive due to the cost of the film and processing. We believe film photography is well worth the investment. Its romantic look speaks to us and if you are considering trying to get your wedding published, many publications prefer the look of film photography over digital.

For couples who love the look of film photography but are unsure of how the process following the wedding day differs from digital photography, Nicole Flores, a hybrid wedding photographer explained to us that after the film is developed it is digitally scanned by her photo lab. You would receive a link to view the digital gallery online as well as a USB of your images once your photographer has finished editing them just as you would with a digital photographer. You can rest assured knowing your end result would be no different than a photographer who shoots on a digital camera!

Now that you have seen the difference between film and digital photography, which one will you choose for your special day?

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