Family photos… on film? {cleveland film photographer}

I love shooting with film. Don’t get me wrong, the digital film world is pretty cool, and it’s great for when you need something turned around quickly but for me there is nothing like film. I’ve talked before about how digital sessions seem to fly by, and photographers have the ability to “spray and pray” which means we can fire off 100 frames in one minute and hope that one of them comes out- handy when you’re shooting something very fast moving for example. There are people who are all about the latest, newest, “greatest” technology and I am not kidding when I say- I am not that guy. Are you? Let’s talk about who is a great candidate for the way *I* shoot film photos.

Over the last four-ish years of shooting film primarily for myself, but also for some clients, I have learned so much. Slower doesn’t mean less valuable. Being thoughtful in the moment rather than hurried in the posing makes a photo more meaningful. Grain is gorgeous. A softer focus point isn’t the end of the world.

My daughter, her eye lashes ilford HP

I love when clients and prospective clients ask about having their session shot on film, and what the differences might be, if any.

The truth is, I shoot film very differently from the way I shoot digitally. My digital sessions are about 45 minutes long, though often times we get “done” much more quickly. I feel like, when I’m shooting digital my clients expect that perfect sit-stay-smile photo. I do a lot of posing and directing with my sessions typically, so that I can provide what my client is expecting, or more correctly, what I assume my client is expecting.


When I shoot film, I am not interested in that. You would be a GREAT fit, for film if you’re looking for MOMENTS. Playing at home, reading outside at a picnic, the way your baby holds that bit of your hair while he’s nursing, finding something interesting at the creek…

If you are relatively comfortable “unposed”, you are happy with photos where not everyone is looking directly at the camera, where hair isn’t perfectly laying flat, where the small details matter, you’re going to be really thrilled with my film photos. If you are comfortable with a little more creativity, like this double exposure, you are a good candidate for film. Since we live in a digital world, you will still receive digital scans of the images- but they are scanned from the film negatives. We still get that timeless, classic soft film look.

I find myself shooting a lot more lifestyle, unposed film- taking in the little things. The sunstar my kitty is laying in, fall wind through my girl’s hair, and the leaves my daughter collected and shared with me…

film photography, cleveland, fall, film

That’s not to say that we CAN’T pose a bit here and there… we absolutely can! Film means moments to me, and not every minute is a moment. When digital image making became readily available and instant, we lost sight of “moments” and making it count.

Winter on Film

I think that’s something really important we’ve let go of; making the moment. We view the world through the lens of our cell phones, firing away thousands of pics of the meal we made, every step of our visit to the zoo, hundreds of photos of that picnic we attended (that potato salad Aunt Jan makes gets its own photo)… Not every minute, is a moment. Film forces us to slow down, and remember that. Not only are we limited with the capacity of our film rolls, but film can be very costly to develop. Film has taught me to look for the moment, not just the minute.

If you’re interested in holding moments, please email me I will walk you through everything from what to wear, to how to plan. Fill your home with moments.

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