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.

Alison and Joe’s wedding at Blaithwaite..

This is the fantastic wedding of Joe And Alison at Blaithwaite, my home from home (its only seven miles away) wedding venue. The sun shone in the main allowing an outside ceremony and I really made the most of my time catching everyone on the way to and back from the Ceremony. Chatting to Alison previously and also sharing images via email and Instagram gave me a great idea as to what they wanted from their days photography. I like brides to help out with ideas as it also allows me to share any ideas that i also have. Alison had been in touch about the areas of the house that we could use to create some different images, working them into the day so the day still flowed.

Blaithwaite is an incredible place, with sweeping paths down to the Summerhouse, huge trees that provide great cover on windy days and the backdrop of the house itself which looks awesome from the lawn.

Some awesome iced cream was consumed, some amazing dancing was thrown down and two people madly in love tied the knot. I could photograph this day over and over again.

Supplier shoutouts:

Dress – Bromley Brides 

Dj Steve from Dynamic

Flowers by Elaine Forrester

Makeup by Rebecca Jones

Hair by Hancock Hair

Groomsmen suits by Marc Darcy

Venue Blaithwaite House

Lake District Wedding Photography Cumbria

Current Offer

A full day’s wedding coverage (8hrs)

Includes a USB drive of images.

Option of a half-price photobooth (£200)

All for only: £899

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