I’ve been shooting weddings fairly sporadically for about 8-9 years now, I’ve always just shot them with the digital, but have been finding this increasingly uninspiring. Yesterday, armed with a my Leica M-A, M3, 50mm ‘cron, 90mm elmar and a couple of rolls of Portra 400, I took the first step to addressing that sense of being uninspired and shot a pre-wedding shoot entirely on film.
Processed at my local high street D&P I am sure there is room for improvement in terms of the potential for quality from Portra – I had to do a little touching up to get the colours a little better, but, all in all I am fairly happy with the outcome. What’s more important is that I didn’t find myself concerned that I wasn’t going to get the shots I wanted. I suspect this was helped by the fact that I was only a second photographer to James Greenoff who organised, set up the shoot and was there armed with a stack of kit, but to be honest I didn’t thing about that either really, I just got on with what I had to get on with. The irony is, I am so much more comfortable with film cameras than digital cameras these days, that I really shouldn’t have anything to worry about just shooting film… Hopefully this is definitely one of the first step toward doing a lot more film shooting for work, it certainly made me a lot happier doing it!
Anyway, here are the results from the day… Shot on a working farm, so I’ve included some of the shots from the times in between those we spent with the couple
Some more shots from the day here
Cheers for reading
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8 thoughts on “A pre-wedding shoot on a farm…”
I have a little personal story which is slightly related I think.
The photographer who shoot on my pre-wedding photo session knew that I love the signature of portra, so he processed his files to mimic the look and feel of this film. Most shoots were quite nice, but some really had troubles with really strange colors on our lips etc. He corrected it after all, but I think it would have been much easier to simply shoot portra at the first place.
It is interesting that today there is a definite need for the feel of film photographs. I think it has to do something about our memories how we remember “real” photographs. Therefore many wants to emulate them. But it is actually not too hard to use real thing.
Your photos are by the way quite lovely. I think it really should not concern you to leave the digital bag at home occasionally.
Thank you for the words of encouragement Gábor!
It’s silly really, having these up on a website, photos that I am actually looking for approval from – all be it two specific people – has had an impact on my confidence in them. Ordinarily, I post photos on here with little or no concern about whether or not they are any good, but having them be something that has been created for someone means they can be judged in a different way… and it makes me a little uncomfortable. Interestingly, it reminds me of when I went digital “pro” and it felt like my confidence dropped when nothing else had changed… A hurdle for me to jump…
Anyway, yeah, it’s interesting what you say about film. I for a long time thought it might be how we remember photos, therefore some sort of nostalgic thing. But actually, I think film photography is just more aesthetically pleasing. Light and shadow are captured in a way that whilst can be done with digital, takes a good deal more effort I think … As you say, why bother to emulate it when it can be just achieved simply by using film!
Today I have sent an email to a uk based film lab that look to offer services similar to that of RPL in the US, I’m hoping now to find a way to bring a little more consistency to the colour reproduction of my work… wish me luck! 🙂
Thanks again for you thoughts
I came across your site ages ago when I was reading up about the Ricoh GR1v and found your review and loved your photos – you have a great eye. I bought the GR1v and love the camera although I still love my M6/35 Type 3 Cron a lot more – but you can’t beat having that quality of lens/camera in your pocket at all times. I am still getting used to framing with a 28mm lens as it really does take a different eye.
Anyway love the shots as always but agreed about the colour being slightly off – not bad of course but not what it could be. I thought I would say something as I noticed above that you were talking to someone in the UK and though I might mention UK Film Lab as they do some superb work that is on par with RPL in the US. I’m guessing that’s probably who you mean but if not they are well worth looking at – Christian is amazing photographer too.
I’ll tell you what, your not wrong! I went out on the weekend with a 28mm after drifting toward 50mm for a while … What the hell?? I just couldn’t find the angles! All that depth of field though…! Funny how you become unaccustomed to something. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been shooting less compacts, they all seem so wide!!
Anyway, yes UK film lab it was … Though I’ve not had a response to my email enquiry yet…?
Agreed but I have told myself to stick with the GR1v as it is an amazing (and small) camera and it will be a nice challenge to figure out the 28mm framing.
UK Film Lab were very quick to get back to me even with the time difference half way around the world – maybe I got lucky. Anyway I think you’ll enjoy their work. I have been self-developing and scanning all my colour work with a Pakon F-135 which works out pretty well with some post in LR6 but that Fuji Frontier look just keeps begging to take me back to a pro lab 🙂
As it turns out they were/are having some work done on their premises. I got a response and am having a phone chat with them sometime today. I have even shot a roll of Portra to send them. Having looked at their site, I have high hopes.
I am just concerned I will get hooked on the frontier look, and all of a sudden even my hobby is going to get a little more expensive…
🙂 My thoughts exactly regarding the expense of it but I am constantly disappointed with my own scans and in the end I figure I might as well pay for someone who knows what they’re doing and get the result I want. It is crazy as I also have a nice older Imacon Flextight that does amazing scans but trying to get the colours correct (mainly skin tones) drives me to distraction.
I think it is all about finding the process that gives you the most satisfaction…
If that means outsourcing scanning, even at a cost, then so be it I say. This photography lark should be fun … Things that drive you to distraction should not feature! 🙂