In a world filled with digital marvels, the timelessness of film continues to captivate hearts and stand the test of time. As a New York Wedding and Elopement Photographer who cherishes the artistry and sentimentality of weddings, I find that incorporating film into your special day elevates the entire experience. So, let’s delve into the magical world of film, where nostalgia meets romance, and every frame tells a story akin to a cherished family heirloom.

Why Film?

There are an endless number of reasons why I love film photography so much. Fun fact: I actually learned photography on B&W film in high school. I even learned to develop B&W film! Apart from film being a big part of my journey to becoming the photographer I am today, here are a few reasons why I love it!

  1. Nostalgic, Timeless, and Sentimental: Film is more than a medium; it’s a journey back in time. Its inherent qualities evoke nostalgia, creating images that feel like treasured family heirlooms. The timeless charm of film transforms your wedding photos into enduring memories, reminiscent of your parent’s cherished film wedding albums.
  2. Warm and Romantic Aesthetics: The grain and color of film weave a warm and romantic tapestry. Unlike the modern precision of digital, film embraces imperfections, adding depth to every shot. The grain and color variations create an aesthetic that goes beyond mere images, inviting you to feel the emotions captured in each frame.
  3. Raw, Honest, and Intentional: Film photography demands intentionality. Unlike digital edits, film captures raw, honest representations of moments and emotions. Embracing film slows me down, urging me to be more observant and present. This intentional approach allows me to curate a wedding day narrative that is authentic and filled with genuine emotions.
  4. Documentary Style: Film seamlessly aligns with the documentary style, capturing moments and feelings as they naturally unfold. Slowing down enhances the storytelling process, enabling me to weave a tapestry of your wedding day that is both heartfelt and authentic.

Photos in this block taken at a Roam Collective Co. Retreat. Vendor list: Hair and Makeup (Black Fern Beauty Co.), Models (Jess and Aaron, Carmela and Jacob), Florals (The Florista), Dresses (Grace Loves Lace, Raw Golden Rentals)

Different Types of Film

One of the main questions I get from couples who are interested in film is about the differences between 35mm and 120mm film. Film comes in various sizes, with 35mm and 120mm (also known as medium format) being the primary options. The main distinction lies in the size of the negatives, with medium format offering more detail, depth, and resolution. Another key difference between 35mm and medium format film is the number of photos per roll of film. 35mm film typically yields 24 or 36 photos per roll while medium format yields 15 photos per roll. Both formats hold their unique charm, and I, as a photographer, adore and utilize both at weddings. One format is not “better” than another and it really depends on what your priorities are when it comes to the aesthetic of each format.

Below are some examples of 35mm vs 120mm film photos taken at the same session. While I wasn’t able to capture the exact same shot on each format, I think these example photos do a great job at showcasing the differences between the formats.

35mm film

120mm film

35mm film

120mm film

Photos in this block taken at a Roam Collective Co. Retreat. Vendor list: Planning and Styling (Roam Collective Co.), Hair and Makeup (Black Fern Beauty Co.), Models (Jess and Aaron, Carmela and Jacob, Josie), Florals (The Florista), Dresses (Grace Loves Lace, Raw Golden Rentals), Venue (The Lodge on the Desert)

Film Colors (Film Stocks)

You may have noticed that some photographer’s film photos look different from one another. This is mainly due to the diversity of film stocks, which can vary in color, saturation, contrast, grain, and tones. For example, some film stocks produce photos that are true to color while others lean more warm or cool toned. Some film stocks can look more or less colorful, have a higher or lower contrast, or have fine or coarse grain. Ultimately, don’t worry too much about knowing the exact specifications of each type of film stock (that’s us photographers job!). The most important thing to do when considering to add film to your wedding package is to ask your photographer for example film photos to ensure that their style aligns with your vision

How to Add Film to YOUR Wedding:

Are you inspired by film? Do you feel the nostalgia when you see the photos? Let’s book your wedding AND add film to fill your day with documentary style photos.

Inquire here to learn more about what it looks like hiring me as your wedding photographer! For more inspiration, check out these Pinterest boards and follow me on Instagram.


February 13, 2024

Why You Should Add Film to Your Wedding

Molly Waring


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