5 Reasons to Do Wedding Photography on Film

Wedding photography on film is becoming more popular these days, and for good reason. While it may seem like a new trend, film is the foundation to photography as we know it. There’s a timeless, honest quality about film that centers unscripted human connection and celebrates your wedding day exactly as it is.

A bride leans on a groom's arm in their wedding photography on film. They smile at each other.

5 Reasons to Do Wedding Photography on Film

There are a million reasons to love wedding photography on film. These are my top five.

1. Film is intentional.

With wedding photography on film, every photo is intentional. For me as the wedding photographer, the intentionality starts with purchasing and storing film. On the day of your wedding, I have to wait for the right moment, steady the camera, and shoot before the moment passes. The post-production process of film development is cumbersome, but it’s a continuation of the artistic process. 

Each film photo that you receive was prepared for, shot, and developed with care and intention. This means that we also get to be more intentional on your wedding day. Because you’re not posing all day, you can focus on your loved ones and the community you’re celebrating.

A groom waits under a tree as the bride crosses the street to the ceremony site in wedding photography on film.

2. Film is emotional.

Wedding photography on film has a unique power to capture the emotional connection at the heart of your wedding day. It’s full of beautiful imperfections, and those are precisely what enables it to convey human connection and honest emotion. 

Polaroid wedding photos show a bride posing with her bouquet and her parents in wedding photography on film.

Film photography does a beautiful job of capturing movement on your wedding day. This adds to the emotional quality and captures the relationships that are in focus that day. A large reason why I started shooting film is that the focus shifts from creating perfect photo opportunities to embracing moments as they are.

One reason that wedding photography on film is so emotional is that it creates a sense of nostalgia. You can look at a film photo of you and your partner and feel the timelessness of your love, no matter how modern your wedding clothes are. 

Polaroid wedding photos show moments from a wedding reception. A groom kisses his wife on the cheek in wedding photography on film.

3. Film invites you (and me!) to be present.

Your wedding day should be about the experience, not the production. Film invites you, your partner, and me to slow down and be present. You can just focus on being with your people and trust that I’ll catch those unscripted moments that mean more than any posed portrait.

A couple poses on a beach with their dog in wedding photography on film.

Wedding days can feel rushed and hectic. Some people say that you should have a wedding photographer because the “day is such a blur that the photos show you what actually happened.” It doesn’t make your wedding day sound very appealing, does it?

Film can provide the exact opposite experience. Wedding photography on film invites you to be fully present so that when you look at your photos, you remember exactly what each of those moments felt like. 

A couple walks away from a ceremony site in wedding photography on film. A flower girl crouches in front of maids of honor.

4. Film provides tangible keepsakes.

If you appreciate tangible keepsakes and heirlooms, wedding photography on film is a perfect option for you. With social media, we’re inundated with digital photos. There is something different about physically holding a photo of a moment that doesn’t just exist in multiple digital forms. Whether it be a Polaroid or a printed film photo, there is connectedness in physically being able to hold your memories instead of looking at them on a screen.

Film wedding photography is also a good addition to your wedding day if you want to look back on your photos on your anniversary or other occasions. Sometimes, even if you have every intention of printing an album from your digital gallery, it ends up getting put off indefinitely. With film photography, you know you’ll have the start of an alum to commemorate your wedding day.

In wedding photography on film, a couple gets married under an arbor with pink and white flowers.

5. Film photos are completely unique to you and your day.

There is something to be said for the ability to create cohesion among images in the digital post editing process, but wedding photography on film produces one-of-a-kind images. Even the imperfections are special because they’re honest. 

Film captures conditions such as lighting, weather, temperature and surrounds exactly as is. If it rains on your wedding day, you’ll have the moody light preserved rather than lose it to the editing process. If the water at your beach wedding is crystal blue, you won’t lose it to temperature adjustments. 

In wedding photography on film, a bride and groom dance outside a gray barn.

I have loved doing wedding photography on film since I was eight years old. (It’s true! You can see my photos of my parents’ 1999 vow renewal here.) Film’s intentionality is perfect for capturing honest emotion and human connection without pulling you away from your day.

Are you curious about getting your wedding photography on film? Let’s connect!

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