…. is exactly the number of minutes I’ve spent working with this family and on their images. 90 minutes of laughing, playing and running around a field of wildflowers; 25 minutes to package up the rolls and drive to fedex in order to ship them off to the lab; 34 minutes downloading the film scans; and 17 minutes to put together this blog entry. I think that’s one of the main reasons why I wish I could work with film for all my sessions as I’ve been spending, what feels like, a lifetime in front of my computer screen editing images as of late. But before I continue I’d like to disclaim that I love digital photography and I could count off a bazillion reasons why it’s possibly more advantageous over film – it’s cheaper and (in some sense) easier to work with.. I can fix any of my technical errors in post processing later… sometimes film rolls get lost or damaged and there’s nothing you can do to rectify that (as I certainly had the latter happen for this session). But arguably there are always going to be positive and negative (no pun intended) aspects to anything in this life (could I have lost or damaged a memory card just as easily as a roll of film? Absolutely!), but it sure as hell is fun to figure all of these pros and cons out for myself by trying everything firsthand.
About a month ago a local photographer asked me if I would be willing to take on a bride & groom/family session for her since she had to last minute schedule surgery for that weekend. Thankfully for everybody I don’t know if the word “no” is even in my vocabulary so I immediately penciled it in my calendar. After talking to the bride about the details and what she was looking for, she said she wanted to have a casual portrait session with themselves and their two kids after having a small courthouse ceremony in downtown Naperville. She wanted to session to be simple and fun, that she loved a casual photojournalistic style and really wanted a vintage feel to come through in the images and possibly even something in a field at sunset. Okay – fun, simple, photojournalistic bride & groom session mixed with a family session? Oh, and all happening in a field at sunset? Ooh this was so worth squeezing into my schedule! When the day came around I woke up that morning and looked over at my film camera sitting on the nightstand (where it totally should not be permanently housed on) and the idea of using film crossed my mind since we now offer premium film sessions to clients but haven’t had a chance to market them much. I spent the next few hours going back and forth with myself, “Film? Digital? Maybe digital with some film?” What if I use film and it doesn’t work out how I expected it? What if I use digital and regret not trying? A friend suggested going with the third option of using digital and then working with my film camera just part of the time, but the more I thought about it the more I didn’t like the idea of having to juggle back and forth between the two completely different forms of media. I felt like having to continually switch mental gears between film and digital would take away from my full focus and creativity of shooting, so I decided to stick to my usual routine and go digital. Another hour of ambivalence and I did what any normal person in 2011 would do – I posted my dilemma on facebook for all to see and hoped maybe someone else could decide for me. Thankfully a very good friend encouraged me to go outside my comfort zone and take a risk and use just my film camera, and so I did. And after smiling ear to ear for the last hour as I look through these images over and over, I’ve decided it was the best risk I’ve taken in a while (albeit a small one, but a risk nonetheless).
And with that being said, here are some of my favorites from my time with this silly, loveable family. Stay tuned for more as the rest of my film rolls are developed
If you or someone you know is interested in having a film session with us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.