How to Pick a Wedding Photographer – Film and Digital Photography

October 25, 2017

How to pick a wedding photographer || The Ganeys Film wedding photography || The Ganeys

Awhile back, I shared our journey of searching for our wedding photographer, but today I wanted to start a small series with advice to all brides-to-be regarding how to pick a wedding photographer and I’m starting with the difference between film and digital photography.

Currently, there are two big buckets that photographers fall into. There are digital shooters and there are film shooters. Most of the film shooters also shoot with digital (doing a little of both and using the camera that best fits the scenario – making them hybrid photographers). There are a few photographers that shoot exclusively in film.

Digital Photography:

Digital photography became popular, for a reason. You can take an endless amount of photos. It is cost effective. Thousands of images can be saved on a memory card the size of two quarters. You can see how you’re doing throughout the day. There is instant gratification. It is fast. You can manipulate the images in a variety of ways. You can shoot well in low light situations. Digital photography is incredible.

However, on the flip side, digital photography also became “easy.” You can “spray and pray” taking 10 or 20 photos of the exact same scene, and hope that one or two comes out as you had hoped. It has made some photographers careless, saying “I can fix that in post.”

Film Photography:

Film photography is timeless. The photographer is required to slow down and double check their setting. When I’m shooting film I feel more present, with the couple, as I’m not looking down at the back of my camera. I believe the colors of film are more true to life. Film forces the photographer to understand light and know exactly where the subject should be positioned to get the best images possible. Finally, I love the softer quality (can’t see every wrinkle) aspect of film.

On the flip side, there’s a lot of risk with film – in almost every aspect. You can expose the film incorrectly. The film can be lost in the mail. The film could be developed incorrectly by the lab. There’s risk there. And that is terrifying – which is why many film photographers shoot with digital as well, making them hybrid shooters.

See for yourself:

To see more differences between digital and film, search for hashtags on instagram. #digitalphotography or #filmphotography would be a good starting point. You could also search for cameras such as #5dmarkiii (digital camera) or #contax645 (film camera).

Think about the options and decide what fits your needs for your day. You may not care. You may be attracted to one or the other. But it is definitely something to consider when looking for a photographer.


Even more important than the difference between digital and film, I would say that when picking a wedding photographer, you should like their style. I’ll be writing about the three buckets of styles in my next blog post about how to pick a wedding photographer. Thanks for tagging along!

Delille Cellars Wedding

Digital photo taken on a 5D Mark III

Woodinville Winery Wedding

Film photo shot on a Contax 645