Digital vs Film Photography: What’s the Difference? (And How a Hybrid Photographer Benefits You)

Back in the not so olden times, film was the only option for photography. 

Think about your grandparents’ wedding images. Even your parents’ wedding images. They were likely photographed on film, then processed in a darkroom to develop. 

Fast forward to the digital age and everyone has a camera in their pocket. There’s no need for darkrooms or chemicals or long-processing times. One can simply snap a picture and edit it using a filter and photo editing software. 

Digital photography is wonderful and convenient and works brilliantly in low light. But film is like a lost art. A lost art that produces something digital just can’t replicate.

So, what’s the difference between digital and film, anyway? 

Allow me to explain.

Digital vs. Film Photography

A digital camera gives you instant access to photos. You can immediately see how a picture looks from the display screen of your camera (or cell phone) after you’ve taken the photo. Digital photos can also be edited afterward with pre-set filters. Or in professional programs like Photoshop or Lightroom to bring out certain details, correct or enhance colors, and elevate the photo overall.

Photographers can even edit digital photos to look like film. But nothing beats the real thing. 

Speaking of film…

Film is a slow process – one that requires the photographer to think before pressing the shutter button. While on the other hand, digital allows for spontaneous captures. Most digital photos are snapped and then edited. But with film photography, one must carefully curate each moment, assess, and then take the picture instead of just snapping away mindlessly. 

The biggest difference between film and digital photography (besides the way they’re processed) is the lighting and detail that comes through film. Film produces that bright, airy, natural, elegant, romantic, artistic, timeless look that digital just can’t replicate.

Film shines when there’s light to work with. The more light the better. This is because film retains the details in the highlights of a photo, while digital is better at capturing details in the darker areas of an image.

If you take a look at a film photograph, you’ll see a crispness and certain depth to the image. It’s almost like looking at a piece of fine art. The colors pop and the light makes it come alive. 

Most digital photographs come out flat, dark, and under or oversaturated. Film, on the other hand, produces images that are bright, airy, and natural with color.

DIGITAL (Left) – FILM (Right)

Benefits of Hiring a Hybrid Photographer

I’m a hybrid photographer, which means I use both film and digital mediums to take photos. I like to use digital photos as a backup system. And since not everything can be captured on film, I use digital as a way to get all the images my clients want. 

  1. High-Quality Photos

Film photography really comes down to quality over quantity. There are only 16 opportunities for photos on one roll of film. That means that every moment is approached with intention, in which images are captured with preparation, thought, and purpose. 

I work with a timeline and intentionally frame each scene and photo so that it’s perfect the first time. The result is a wedding photo gallery that’s full of meaningful images.  

  1. Capturing the Experience

As a hybrid photographer, it’s my mission to present you with timeless, true-to-life photographs that capture the light naturally during the most beautiful times of day. And of course, I’ll make sure I get all the big and little details on either film or digital.

That’s the benefit of having a camera created for both mediums. You don’t have to worry about an important moment falling through the cracks just because it can’t be put on film. Digital is there to collect the overflow of images and act as a safety net. 

  1. Enjoy Your Wedding with Family and Friends

I know it’s important for you to enjoy your wedding day and with as little stress as possible. So, I’ll work with you on a photo timeline that fits nicely into your wedding-day schedule of events. 

And when I’m not taking portraits or formal photos, I’ll document the day as it unfolds naturally. I’m there to capture the candid moments, as well as direct and guide you when needed. You’ll be able to enjoy celebrating with loved ones and get a gallery full of beautiful images tailored to your needs. 

DIGITAL (Left) – FILM (Right)

Your Wedding on Film

Although we live in a digital world, film photography has its place. Make no mistake, there’s nothing wrong with digital photography… Especially when it comes to low-light situations. But film creates an experience. Because there are limited photos on a roll of film, the photographer takes a methodical approach. This leads to carefully crafted images full of meaningful stories. 

And let’s not forget how stunning film photographs are! If you want bright, romantic, fine-art quality wedding photos, then you’ll love what film offers. I guarantee your wedding album will be filled with high-quality, elegant photos of your most cherished day. 

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m mildly obsessed with this medium of art. And now after seeing the results, I hope you are too.

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Whether your love story is one blossomed from elegant romance or one of epic proportions, I am so excited to be a part of this journey with you and can’t wait to get to know you more. I am a fine art photographer providing my services all throughout NSW, Australia and destinations worldwide. Passionately devoted to capturing the beauty of your special day. 

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Sheri Mcmahon

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