Shelly Pate

Why You Need Wedding Film Photography for Your Big Day

Incorporating film photography on your wedding day is more than just following a trend. It’s taking your wedding photos all the way back to their roots before the invention of digital. There’s such a nostalgic feel to it and I love how it helps couples slow down to savor the day. Here are the many reasons why wedding film photography is the perfect addition to your day!

Wedding Film Photography: The Timeless Beauty of Imperfections

wedding film photography of wedding ceremony

Working in the wedding industry, I always expect something to go wrong on the actual day. No matter how well you plan, there’s always surprises in the weather, working with vendors, or problems with guests. That’s why the imperfect medium of wedding film photography is the perfect match for any wedding day.

The more imperfect, the more realistic something feels. The weird bands that form in developed photos from expired film or the overall grain in the photos speaks to that realism. Film allows for a lot of happy accidents through its imperfections. Wedding photography on film looks aged from the start, so it has a timelessness that conveys a nostalgic feeling.

Italian Dolomites against cloudy sky

The Creativity Caused by the Slowness of Film

The thing with wedding film photography is that it forces a slowness so that we can take really intentional photos. When shooting film, I will wait for my couples’ natural reactions rather than moving ahead. We take the time to slow down so I can capture exactly what I’m witnessing.

Being photographed on film can feel a little strange at first since it’s naturally a slower process than digital. If you’re adding film wedding photography to your wedding day, include plenty of extra time in your wedding photography timeline for portraits.

National Arboretum columns against cloudy sky

The slower pace allows us to get creative and take uniquely styled photos. These photos capture the more artistic expression of your day, adding another layer to the final wedding photo album. That sense of creating is way more present in film as your film wedding photographer feels like an artist making a painting. 

Digital photography can feel so rushed while film brings out all of the details and textures of the scenery. I look for patterns in wide spaces, close-ups and interesting shadows in the water. The grain of the photos whether it’s film photography in black and white or color can also show movement in such a lovely way.

riding boats at Venice Italy sunset

Why Wedding Film Photography is a Style We Love

Film photography in 35mm or any other type is all about creating an emotional connection. How the images are blurred or the colors muted pulls you in more because you almost want to touch the photos. You want to be able to look back on your wedding photos and feel every moment from the day. Film echoes the feelings of a memory in a way that nothing else can.

overcast cloudy fields in Italy
Mexico waterfront with rocks

Film echoes the feelings of a memory in a way that nothing else can.

For me, my love for wedding film photography is completely tied to memories of growing up. A film photography camera is what my father used to capture all aspects of mine and my sister’s childhood. We have albums that we go through together during holidays and it just brings back so many emotions.

wedding film photography of wedding ceremony

I first learned photography during high school by shooting in black and white with my dad’s 35mm film camera and hand developing in the darkroom. My love for photography began with film and was inspired by my dad so I always feel tied to my dad when I use film.

wedding film photography of bride twirling in wedding dress

I even brought along my film camera for my own 5-year vow renewal last year in the Italian Dolomites. It had been my first time picking up my film camera for fun in a while and I got to use it while on the mountaintops!

If you add film to your photography wedding package, I use both my dad’s camera along with a newer film camera. I love the mix of textures and colors created in the photos between the different cameras. All film photos will be included in your online gallery through high resolution scans and you can expect 1-2 rolls per hour of coverage. Polaroids are also another option that can be added to your wedding collection!

wedding film photography of wedding ceremony decor in Mexico

When you look at your wedding photos, you want to be transported back to that day and moment. Nothing creates a really strong channel to evoke those emotions better than wedding film photography.

bride walks across beach in wedding film photography

Thinking of adding film to your wedding day? I can’t wait to share more about my love for film!


Featured Categories