Last year I set myself the aim to shoot all my personal photo work using film and with two exceptions, I did. I’ve really enjoyed doing it and for 2017 I want to do all of my photography on film, no exceptions! It’s something I believe every photographer should do, it’s so important for not only increasing your understanding of the medium, but also for improving the standard of your work.
The main change with shooting film over digital is how it slows you down, the cameras are old and so it takes longer to take a shot, they may also need you to select all the settings. Forcing you to wait before taking your shot makes you think more about it, your composition becomes more considered, regularly now I’d go to take a shot but not take it upon considering it more. Having only 24/36 (or less!) shots also means you’re going to be more careful with your photos, you may still only have 12 selects after a day’s shooting, but that’s from a roll of 36, not an SD card full of hundreds of photos.
The delayed gratification of film also really changes how you view photography. Digital photographers constantly yo-yo back and forth between their screen, previewing each image as they take it. I DESPISE this, it takes you out of the moment and leads to the preoccupation with the ‘perfect image.’ The beauty of photography is that it captures things exactly as they are, don’t try to change that.
All of these things lead to one major change in you and your photography, you enjoy it more. No yo-yo-ing and slowing down mean you are enjoying more what you’re doing, whether that’s time with friends or exploring a new city. It’s hard to explain until you’ve done it, but it really is just so much more enjoyable.
A benefit of film photography is also it’s cheapness (kinda)… You can buy a cheap SLR for €50 and film can be bought for €1.50 (£1!). You may have to pay for developing each time but the introduction cost is so much less and you’d be surprised at how much more your photos mean to you when you go through getting them developed and printed.
The final reason I’m going to mention why I think you should shoot film is usually what people think of first, it looks cool! With apps like VSCO we have become very used to seeing digital photos edited to look like film because it is a really cool look, it only makes sense to stop editing photos to look like it and start shooting the real thing!
If you want to read more by me on film photography I wrote a post about it back when I’d only shot two rolls of film! I also have posts on why I shoot Kodak film, a review of my film camera, lessons film has taught me and how to develop your own film.