Film vs. Digital Photography

film photography

Over the last ten years we have seen an increase in clients asking us if we shoot film photography. We believe this question is heavily rooted how we shoot as well as how I got started in photography. So today I am going to explore the idea of film vs. digital photography.

The Dark Room

I got my start in photography seventeen years ago. I was getting my masters degree in art education and had to take a photography class. The process of developing film often felt like existing in a cocoon. The dark room was hushed, dark, and silent save for the swoosh of water and beep of the occasional timer going off. I fell in love with watching the images come to life in a way that digital photography just can’t match.

When I got married and moved away, I lost access to the dark room and it’s hypnotic rhythm. Digital cameras were just becoming more affordable to the public and as an anniversary gift, Jason bought me a Nikon D80.

digital photography

Digital Photography

Looking back at the switch to digital photography, I lost much of the intentionality I had with film at first. I was like a Violet in Willy Wonka’s factory . . . slightly embarrassed to admit that by the way. Digital photography for all the advances it has brought is by its very nature more fast paced.

Now don’t get me wrong, digital photography has opened up some huge doors for us. When we say that we can shoot in any lighting situation, we aren’t kidding. Digital photography combined with lighting equipment allows us to capture images that are often mistaken for natural light and even film vs. digital photography. This leads us to where we are today, using both mediums with intentionality and design based on multiple factors.

film vs. digital photography

Why Film Photography

We brought the film aesthetic back into the way we capture our clients moments because it has such a timeless aesthetic to it that it doesn’t need much editing. It is by its very nature a much more intentional process than digital because it takes skill to produce. There is no crutch of seeing the image immediately to know if you got in right or not. You have to know your settings and gear in and out.

Jason and I are obsessive about details. From the invitation suite to the embroidery on a bit of linen, these items set the stage and tone of your day. You picked them for a reason and therefore these details deserve to be highlighted and shown in the best way possible. Film is know for its ability to blend light and color in a way that can be hard to reproduce in digital form. Film photography by its nature has a depth and density that creates a soulfulness to it.

Digital Photography

No matter how much I love film photography, there are parts of a wedding day where digital still shines. It is much harder to produce a clean image in low light or on a day where it is pouring rain and overcast. This is where our digital work shines.

It can be argued on both sides of the fence that tech can fail and film can get lost. Is this true? YES. For this reason we have always believed in having back up systems for everything we do. Continuing to shoot digital offers us the best of both worlds in having a back up to film and vice versa.

So How Do You Shoot

So you are probably wondering what we use after making a case for both mediums. The simplest answer is that we use the best tool for the situation at hand. Just as a painter will select a palette knife over a round-brush, we use the best tool for the moment to produce the artwork we are known for.

We never want to sacrifice our artwork because we refuse to use one photography medium over the other. We always view it through the lens of creating authentic works of art that one day will be seen by your grandchildren. Family members who will not look at the image and think “what were you thinking?” but will instead say “I make the same face when I laugh that grandma does!”


Venue: Musgrove Retreats

Planning and Design: G & A Weddings

Florals: Larger Than Life Events

Table Decor: The Prissy Plate

Cake: Cake Envy

HAMU: Amy Marie

Paper Goods: In Loft Calligraphy

Vow Books: Wedding Story Writer

Shoes: Bella Belle

Bridal Dress: Elite Pour La Vie

Accessories: Mood and Muse Boutique

Tux: The Knot Standard

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Copyright 2021 Meredith Ryncarz Photography LLC