You might have noticed that I talk about film photography a lot. Lots of my couples book me because I shoot a few different types of film at their weddings - Polaroids, Instax, 120 film and 35mm film. If you think you like the sound of this but aren't sure what this looks like, hopefully this quick guide to the different types of film I shoot will help you.
You've probably played around with instant cameras before, either as a kid with your parents' bulky old-school camera or with one of the newer Instax instant cameras. Even though Polaroid and Instax are both instant films, there's a difference.
Polaroid is usually a square format with a white (although now there's loads of other colours to choose from) frame. You can get Polaroid cameras that shoot a wider format, but when people think of Polaroids, they think of the iconic square format. I love shooting this type of film because of its unpredictability and I really like the square format. Framing and composing when you're working with a square format is really fun for me and allows me to be more creative.
I'm working with a digital kit for the rest of your wedding so it's always fun to get the Polaroid out during your couples portraits. It gives you something a little different and I always post the actual prints to you after the wedding so you're getting an amazing, physical keep sake of your wedding.
Polaroids can be a little unpredictable and I find that the exposure and colour of each print varies wildly. This can be due to the camera itself, the temperature and the available light. It takes getting to know your camera and what it can handle, but once you've done that you should get a fairly consistent result each time - save for the little imperfections that make Polaroids so much fun to shoot in the first place.
120 film is a type of film that comes in a roll. It's not an instant film, meaning you need to develop it yourself or take it to a lab to get developed. Even though I'm really impatient, this can be a lot of fun waiting for it to come back. I always get nervous when I send a film off to the lab - each time I'm always convinced it'll come back blank! It never has done, but it's difficult to get used to the idea of not being able to see your photo immediately after taking it; something we've got so used to in the age of digital everything.
The camera I usually shoot 120 film in is the Holga. It's a cute little plastic camera that unfortunately isn't being produced anymore. I've got three Holgas in red, yellow and pink. So if you see me at your wedding with a brightly coloured camera that looks like a toy I am taking photos - honest!
The Holga can be unpredictable, but that's why I like to shoot with it - sensing a theme here?! Because of the build quality, it lets a few light leaks in but you can limit this by taping up some of the edges. My Holga isn't too bad for this and rarely lets light in, but when it does the results are lovely.
Instax is another instant film, and until recently existed purely as a wide format. Lomography have just brought out a square format instant camera, but the type I shoot with is the wider film you see above.
You might have played around with one of these at a wedding - lots of my couples have used them with guestbooks. I did the same at my wedding - it was so much fun watching my friends take photos at the wedding, kind of like a portable photo booth!
There are two types of Instax film that I currently use - Instax wide and Instax mini. These both come in colour and monochrome. Both formats are great, but with the Instax wide you get a lot more photo. The downside is that the camera is pretty hefty. The mini is great for just sticking in your bag and carrying around with you all day.
Another thing that Instax film cameras have is the ability to do double exposure. Really great for experimenting!
35mm film is another film that you need to develop. You've probably used this in disposable cameras or in the 90s - early 2000s before digital cameras were widespread.
I own far too many cameras that shoot this film. My go-to camera would be the Olympus Trip, a small camera from the 70s. It's the first ever film camera I bought when I was 16 so it's pretty special to me!
35mm film is really versatile - depending on the speed of the film you can use it in most situations, so it's a great film to just pick up and use throughout the entire wedding day. One of my favourite things about this film is the slight grain you get. I'm not loyal to one particular type of film, but Fuji's colours and tones are lovely.
This film comes in colour and black and white.
I started shooting film when I was about 9 years old. I stole my grandma's Polaroid camera and took photos of bugs and plants in her garden, thinking she wouldn't notice her quickly depleting film stocks. When I finally got my own film camera, I couldn't stop reading about film photography and testing different types of film. When I was studying for my Masters in photography, I completed all of my final projects on film.
Shooting film really requires you to slow down and think about what you're doing, how you're framing the composition and the available light. It seems obvious that light is so incredibly important in photography, but shooting film helps you read light in a completely new way.
If you're looking for something a little different and love the idea of having different types of film at your wedding then you've come to the right place. I hope this has given you an insight into my process, but if you have any questions about how film will fit into your wedding day, feel free to get in touch.