The simple pleasures of shooting weddings on film.


So many downsides to this statement, I hardly know where to begin. When compared to shooting on modern digital cameras, film has well and truly been left in the dust. This is even more apparent when photographing weddings, especially in Cumbria with its random weather paterns and dark winter days. Shooting exclusively on film would put any photographer at a major disadvantage.

Its also a softer medium and often (compared to modern digital cameras) has more grain. In digital terms this is called noise, generated by more sensitivity and thus more heat passing through the sensor. There is nothing on a film camera up to using sheet film that digital cannot outstrip in terms of final image. Its just way more clinical. Cleaner – better – predictable – more control. Saving only two critical areas where film can still win: The organic look or natural feel that film gives and transition between light and dark. Film has a way of moving between light and shadow that is unsurpassed, it isn’t about dynamic range but more about how it is rendered.

Then there is the soul…






The decision to become a photographer, made in Portugal in 2001 saw me shooting on film, but using it now doesn’t make me nostalgic at all. Its more about how it captures images and embracing its organic qualities, how it can further enhance what I deliver as a final portfolio of photographs. Photographing weddings using film to compliment the digital images is a choice. The tonal range of film and its unique way of transitioning from light to dark means that it looks like nothing else. Digital can come close with the help of VSCO or Mastin but these are now matching tools for the digital files I produce more than anything. The organic look of images is important, Not to be mistaken with the faddy brown colour spaces that photographers are using on images currently. Like looking back at your parents wedding photographs, these will show their age in time.

Cost is an important factor as a roll of black and white Ilford film now would be around £5, colour film around £8 and professiona fujifilm emulsions costing up to £20. Its impossible now to cost effectively shoot an entire wedding on film and not charge clients upwards of two and a half thousand pounds for thirty or forty rolls and processing. So shooting three or four rolls at a wedding will give people a compliment to the digital images taken on the day, a hybrid of the two and something timeless, shot on a camera that often has manual focusing, produces square images instead of rectangular or even produces more than one image in a single shot.

Wigton Cumbria wedding photographer

Its also fun. There is an enjoyment to be had from working on film, seeing your images for the first time on a scanner bed or printing in the dark room. Not many photographers work with film now but for those who do it is incredibly rewarding. This brings me back to the soul, not just that film has the ability to make soulful images (great photographers do that) but more that its alternative, unique and good for the soul to work with.

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The links above are for some of my favourite emulsions and if you would like film shot at your wedding you need only ask.

Zena and Tim – wedding at Orchard House Rottington.. Whiskey Gingers :)

Okay, so this wedding being nearly six months ago now means I have sat on it for a while before blogging it. Some weekend weddings last one amazing day full of all the things you would expect from a wedding in the Lake District.

Then there are others.

Some weddings last two days.

Filled with all of the things you would expect and some you might not. A couple of days of real celebration pulling together people from far and wide to celebrate a union of two clearly very popular people. So the schedule was as full as it was detailed and I started…. Hang on… The images can tell you what happened and if there were ever a wedding that could do so, it’s this one. From the campers in the field to everyone crowded round chatting, the family atmosphere and the warmth of the summer air. You both did it right for sure.

Congratulations to both of you, it was amazing to come back to Orchard house for one last time. To be in amongst your incredible friends and family and capture something a bit special.


Hadrians Pizza

Stonehouse Smokery


Sean Webster Band

The Mustangz

Soul Junction

Lake District Wedding Photography Cumbria

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A full day’s wedding coverage (8hrs)

Includes a USB drive of images.

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Lake District Wedding Photography, 21 Mill Road, Glasson, Cumbria, CA7 5EE [email protected]