Digital or Film? Two Elite Wedding Photographers Explain Their Preference

Photograph via iStock.

You’ve heard pros and cons on both sides of the debate… so should you hire a wedding photographer that shoots digital or film? We went right to the source and asked two accomplished wedding photographers why they prefer one format to the other.

Why go digital?

Weddings are fast-paced, and I find myself alternating between indoor and outdoor locations with very different lighting. Shooting in my digital camera’s full manual mode allows me to quickly change my camera’s sensitivity to light so I never miss those spontaneous moments. Having the ability to quickly preview an image on the LCD screen allows for easy tweaks and adjustments. That way you—and your photographer—can have a great level of confidence knowing you’ve nailed the image.

Genevieve Leiper, Genevieve Leiper Photography

Why opt for film?

Film has a wonderful way of keeping photographers in check and challenging them to nail the shot on-site rather than on the computer. My favorite thing about shooting film is its ability to capture the most natural and luminous skin tones while minimizing any imperfections. Film can work in any setting, but I find that color film looks amazing in well-lit locations and outdoor venues. For dark days or dim lighting, I usually incorporate a black-and-white film. Don’t worry: Choosing a film photographer doesn’t mean you’ll only get prints. I work with a film lab that develops each roll of film, scans photos into a computer, and creates high-resolution digital images that you can print and post.

Lisa Blume, Lisa Blume Photography

What do I need to know about lighting for gorgeous photos (no matter what the format)?

Light is everything when it comes to photography, so make sure your biggest photography moments have the best. For example: Choose a dressing area with big windows and natural lighting, and consider the walls—darker rooms can create stark contrast, while rooms with lots of white create soft, pastel settings. For an outdoor ceremony, use the Sun Seeker app to track where the sun will be at that time of day. We like it to be behind you, at a two-o’clock or ten-o’clock angle from the aisle. You can use the app to identify sunset, and schedule a few minutes to snap photos in the golden rays. If your reception hall has no access to natural light, never fear! Give your photographer a heads-up so they can pack their own lights to brighten the space.

— Carina Bethea, Michael & Carina Photographers

This article appeared in the Winter/Spring 2018 issue of Bride and Groom.