Differences Between Digital & Film Photography and Why You Want Both on Your Wedding Day

If you were to place a digital and film photo side by side and quickly look them over, you might not be able to spot the differences. 

But if you take a closer look, you’re bound to see that there’s something different about the image taken with a film camera. 

The colors, textures, light – it all sort of pops to life. It’s richer in detail. It’s real-life without a filter and so beautiful. But what sets these two mediums apart? 

Here are a few of the key differences between digital and film photography and why you need both on your wedding day!


A wedding ceremony on a beach, with the wedding party and guests in the foreground on the sand, and the water in the background. The bride, in a long white dress, stands facing the groom, in a blue suit. Their hands embrace.



There is just something magical about the way film renders light! 

Because of film’s tonal range, it really outshines digital in lighting scenarios where there’s a vast difference between light and dark areas. The result is fewer “blown out” images, meaning the highlighted areas aren’t washed out in bright light, and there’s more detail in the shadows.

You’ll see the golden lace embroidery on your wedding shoes and the plush, blue velvet in your ring box. You’ll see the light streaming through the church windows and blanketing the wooden pews inside. And you’ll not only see these things in your wedding photos. You’ll feel them. Because it all comes back to life, and you’re able to relive your special day all over again. 

Where digital really shines over film is in low-light situations. And thanks to things like shutter speeds and ISO, digital is also perfect for fast-paced moments and capturing movement and action. And of course for just having the immediate gratification and assurance of seeing the photo right away on the screen!


A couple dancing at a wedding reception. The bride, with long dark hair, wears a flower crown and white dress. She is twirling and laughing. The groom stands behind her, smiling and embracing her hand.

Wedding ceremony details - in the foreground sits a silver metal lantern and a bouquet of flowers on top of a brown barrel. Benches for the ceremony are set up in the background.



With the film medium, photographers don’t have to edit as much or color correct after taking the photos. This is in part because film soaks up color just as beautifully as it renders light.

Colors look more true-to-life straight out of the camera, and they pop more. Instead of grass looking cool and washed out (as it often does in digital), the green will look vibrant and more accurate to what it actually looks like in person. 

Film is also super flattering for skin tones. There’s no orange tint that you’ll often see in digital photos before editing. 


A pair of blue suede leather shoes with laces sit on the seat of a brown wooden chair.


Timeless Look

Most couples don’t want to look back at their wedding photos and think, “That didn’t age well.” 

You want your wedding photos to stand the test of time. And I couldn’t agree more! That’s one reason I choose to use film photography: because it produces timeless, classic-looking images that have a sort of nostalgic quality to them. 

There’s no trendy editing style out there that won’t look dated in a few years. That’s why they’re called trends. They come and go. Cool today, outdated tomorrow. 

Film photography, however, has been around since the 1800s! It may not be as prevalent, but it’s still relevant, and that’s saying something. 




Film and processing are expensive, so every frame costs money. This means that when I’m behind the camera, I have to slow down and really think about what and how I’m capturing a moment.   

This is not to say that there’s no intention or skill behind digital photography, but it’s easier to rapid-fire through thousands of frames with a digital camera, knowing that you’ll have lots of photos to sort through to find the perfect ones.  

With film, however, there’s a clear intention behind each image. There’s no room for massive mistakes or overshooting because I only have a limited amount of film to work with. So in a way, there is a constraint when working with film, but it’s a creative constraint. One that pushes me to create timeless pieces of art for you to enjoy and cherish. 



Creative Control

It may seem counterintuitive, but film can offer a photographer more control over processing and editing photos. It’s a more drawn-out process and somewhat challenging, but the results are spectacular. And to be honest, film rarely requires much editing anyway.  

People often wonder why photographers choose film over digital when there are programs like Photoshop and Lightroom now. Can’t we use editing tools to achieve the same look film delivers?

Yes and no. Trying to mimic film is time-consuming and difficult. It’s not as simple as slapping on a filter and calling it a day. Plus, a film-inspired digital photo still won’t look as gorgeous as the real thing. 



Digital is Different 

None of this is to say that digital is inferior to film. Only that it’s different. There’s no winner or loser when the photographer puts her heart and soul into the craft. 

And digital photography has its benefits. It offers instant feedback and a backup system through memory cards (super important!). There are also so many options and flexibility when it comes to editing digital photos – retouching, using presets, etc.

Digital cameras are also always evolving and improving, which can be a benefit and a drawback. The advantage is that photographers can always upgrade their equipment and find the tools that suit exactly what they need professionally. The disadvantage is that it’s hard to keep up!



I shoot in both digital and film, so you’ll get the best of both worlds. Timeless details, blink-of-an-eye moments, and every moment in the best light possible. 

I’d love to hear all about your wedding-day vision and how I can help you capture the whole day in the most beautiful way.






Differences Between Digital & Film Photography and Why You Want Both on Your Wedding Day

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