Today on Monday Wedding Madness we will be discussing a question that I get asked at every wedding consultation. What format do you shoot in?
There are two different formats that your wedding photographer can shoot in, digital and film. I will go through the differences of the two formats as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of both. For the record, I shoot in digital.
To start, I want to point out that both formats produce amazing results! You should not base your decision on a wedding photographer solely on what format they use, but use it as a guide to learn what you are wanting for your wedding day. While looking at a photographers work you do not need to be too concerned with if they shoot in digital or film format but more concerned with what their images look like and how much you like them.
As a digital photographer I love having the freedom to take as many photos as I would like without worrying about running out of film. I come to weddings with multiple memory cards so that I have the freedom to photograph the wedding without worrying too much about how many photos I am taking. With a film photographer you have to be constantly aware of how many images you are taking and make sure that the amount of film you have allotted for your wedding will be spaced out sufficiently throughout the wedding day. As a bride and groom, this isn't particularly a make or break factor for you, but if you are wanting a lot of images to choose from after your wedding you will need to keep this in mind.
Digital photographers also have the freedom to see the images immediately after the event. I love being able to post a few sneak peeks for my clients to see the day after their wedding. With film photography the photographer has to wait for the film to be processed and sent back to them. Which in turn makes the wait for the bride and groom to see the final images longer.
The two reasons above is the why film photographers tend to be a bit more expensive than digital photographers. Digital photography costs more upfront with buying the memory cards but the photographers can use their memory cards for a few years before replacing them. Film photography costs more over time since they have to keep buying new rolls of film for each event. Film photographers also have to pay for the processing of their images.
The biggest debate over digital and film lies in the look of the images. Film photography has a certain soft look to it where digital photography seems to be sharper. Over the last few years digital photography has caught up quite a bit to film photography and gets pretty close to replicating the look of film and there are also quite a few editing actions that can be used to make digital images look like film images. If you are still uncertain as it what format you prefer, compare a film wedding to a digital wedding and see which look you prefer.
Both formats have their advantages and disadvantages so you will need to see what is best for you and your wedding.
I also want to include a link to Grey Likes Weddings post on the subject: The Great Film Versus Digital Debate. They talk to four of the top wedding photographers and have them discuss why they choose the format that they did, two are film photographers and two are digital photographers. They explain it a little more in detail.
Monday Wedding Madness is a blog series that occurs every Monday and answers the questions you have about wedding photography. Have a question you would like to have answered or something that you wish you would have known before your wedding or are you a wedding professional who would like to contribute? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.