The question of whether film is better than digital is a question that pops up all the time, my usual answer is ‘excuse me, would you mind moving aside little so I can take some photos of the happy couple?’ I can’t say I’ve spent a great deal of time giving film vs digital a lot of thought, but it does seem like a popular topic on a lot of wedding photography websites, so I thought I should probably sit down for a bit and give it some brain power.
Like a lot of photographers of my age (by which I mean young and handsome) I fell in love with photography long before digital meant anything other than a word you saw printed on cassette tapes. Back then we weren’t cooing and going soppy at the (perceived) texture and depth of film over digital, we were too busy saving our pennies to send off the single roll of film we could afford to get developed each month. Actually I’m going a bit far, I had jobs when I was a teenager so I could afford at least two rolls of film a month.
Without wishing to sound too much like an old man the subject of film vs digital has made me realise something quite important. When I first learned to take photos properly processing was so expensive that I had to really think hard about light, composition (and how fast to run away on some mad occasions on the streets of Toronto) - I had to make every frame count. These days it’s a HUGE relief to be able take a lot of photos on my digital cameras, but the years I put in on film cameras certainly prepared me well to make all the complex decisions needed to capture brilliant photos.
So when you’re smiling sweetly at the camera on your big day I’d like to think the time I spent sweating it over single frames of film back in the day trained me well for getting the perfect shots that you’ll be able to love for a lifetime.
Film vs Digital? Pah!