By Taken by Sarah Photography Sarah | Oct 25 2017
I’m a film photographer. A rarity in a world of instant digital gratification, selfies with a stick, and blog posts about an entire wedding within two hours of it ending. I used to be part of the digital world too, though I started learning photography many years before digital was even a thought. I used to make slideshows from the wedding day at the actual wedding while I stressfully shoved food down so that I could show my clients a little slideshow on the dance floor. I used to stay up for hours after coming home from the wedding obsessively looking at the uploads and neglecting the sleep I so desperately needed after working hard for many hours. I used to feel stressed if I didn’t get the entire gallery AND the blog post AND the album design to the client in less than two weeks. Because in the new digital world, if you aren’t faster than fast, you’re not worth as much, and well…. you just might get left behind because somebody else is faster.
During all those years of digital stress, I always had a nagging feeling that something was off in my work, that my photos lacked a quality and feeling that I couldn’t find. No lens could fix it, no number of photos made it better, no amount of editing could change it. So, I decided to go back to my roots and pick up a film camera again. It was everything I had been missing and more. For me, a digital camera simply doesn’t convey the vision I have for my work; it looks like a picture of something, flat and un-lifelike, while film gives me a photograph that breathes and lives and shows the actual life of the scene. I feel strongly that I want to deliver photographs to people that mean something and that will bring them back to the emotional place they were when the photos were made.
I always say there’s a difference between a picture taker and a photograph maker. It takes a lifetime to be truly good at making photographs.
My dog could be a picture taker (quite literally actually, we’ve strapped a go-pro to him before!) and I expect I’ll be taking a few more decades to really perfect my skills, but I always strive to bring meaning and beauty to every client
in the photographs I make for them.
When I say I use film, people think I mean that I shoot motion pictures. This always puzzles me to no end! Drugstores still sell and develop film; we are not that far removed from film being the only thing available, and yet people always react as if they’ve never heard of such a thing. The questions go on and on – How do you develop it? Isn’t is expensive? Why? – and there’s always the shock when people ask to see a photo I’ve just taken and I show them my black camera back (I admit I have a little fun with that one!).
I’m not into discussions on “film versus digital” or why one is better than the other because it’s a one hundred percent individual choice; but I do want clients to know there are options out there.
Instead of throwing out 25 emails to random photographers, find those websites and Instagram accounts that speak to you and narrow it down to 1-3 photographers you truly LOVE, then find the one that meets these criteria:
Thanks for reading! May your search for a photographer be a joyful and relaxed process.
See more from Taken by Sarah here!