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A Guide to 

Film photography guide for weddings — April 16, 2024

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Recent years have seen a revival in film photography, especially in the wedding industry, where photographers and couples alike are always searching for new – or old – ways to capture special moments. For those searching for wedding photography ideas that provide a different experience from digital photos, film may just strike the perfect chord.


The How

Shooting on film is an artform that requires a practiced hand. Every photographer selects their tools differently, from which analog cameras they prefer to which film format works best for them and their clients. Many use 35mm or medium format film, the latter more costly to produce, though it captures additional detail for sharper images. For all the benefits of film at a more affordable price point, 35mm allows a higher number of photos per roll. The images will have a more organic grain effect that sets them apart from the crisp, clean look of digital.


Taking film photos requires an added level of patience and mindfulness from the photographer. Due to the physical limitations of the medium, every photo must be especially intentional, with photographers relying on their sixth sense for being present at just the right moments. Since film works best at certain levels of light, clients should discuss with any potential photographers what method they use after dark or in other low-light situations. Some switch to black-and-white film, while others may switch to digital after a certain point in the night.


After the event, the photographer will send the film to a lab to be developed and processed. Once the negatives have been scanned and uploaded, they can edit the images as needed before sending them to the couple. The process may take slightly longer than preparing digital photos, but that patience is always rewarded. Whether a couple decides on digital, film, or a combination of both, the delivery method is typically the same – the finished images will be sent as high-resolution files to be treasured by family and friends for years to come.

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The Who

Selecting the right film photographer for one’s wedding day can be an involved process. Film photography is an additional investment for the client because it is an additional investment for the photographer. Film has a higher cost per image than digital, not just including materials like rolls of film and the cost of developing, but for the years of practice it took the photographer to hone this unique skillset.


Some film photographers shoot exclusively in film, while others offer hybrid wedding photography packages that also include digital. No matter the medium, clients should carefully examine the portfolio of any potential photographer to ensure their style aligns with the couple’s vision. It’s important to discuss if the wedding itself, including the location and season, will be well-suited to film. Outdoor weddings and indoor weddings with enough natural light ensure a high-quality finished product.

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The Why

Though countless technological advancements have been made since the invention of film photography, the time-honored hallmarks of the medium still hold true – film photos are especially flattering, with softly blended light, romantic color palettes, and an almost tactile grain that adds a unique texture to every image.


Each photographer brings their own unique style to their film photos – from modern to vintage to editorial and beyond – but in all applications, the end product maintains an added level of romanticism. Posed shots are reminiscent of the timeless portraits found in old photo albums, while candids are at once dynamic and nostalgic, transporting the viewer back to a specific moment of joy and celebration. It’s a method of storytelling that takes an additional level of care to produce. That care is obvious in each soulful image, an heirloom that connects couples to the many generations before them who had their weddings shot in the very same way.

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Emily Bridgman Photography offers luxury digital and film photography packages for weddings in Arizona and beyond, captured with a storyteller’s eye for authenticity. View our galleries and contact us to learn more about how we can capture your most unforgettable moments.

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Coming soon!


Taylor & Scott’s Sophisticated Phoenix Wedding

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 think you have to be true to your own passion and your own sense of what excites you as a storyteller.

Emily draws on her experience in the film and fashion industries, where she creates images that are rooted in insatiable curiosity and genuine storytelling. Her artistic approach stems from filmmakers and composers, and while your narrative serves as her primary muse, she also incorporates spontaneous moments and carefully crafted imagery to orchestrate a sophisticated and timeless aesthetic.





We'd love to hear more about your upcoming event.

Let's create your story together.  

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