I hardly edit photos anymore which means more shooting and playing with the kids time.
My colors are just how I want them to be. Real life. Bright and fun. And the light. Oh well the light.
And a secret? Shooting film is easy. Its simple.
There is a lot to shooting film — way more than one blog post.
But for this post, I’ll tell how I got started and transitioned to film in the easiest way possible.
Black and White Came First
My first photography class at a local college 9 years ago was black and white in the dark room. I bought a Canon rebel film camera from Costco and fell in love with photography. After the class I switched to digital (because that’s what everyone was doing and I thought I needed to). But my black and white never looked the same so I still shot some black and white in my old canon rebel but used my new Canon L lens I had gotten for the digital.
I didn’t think much about film vs. digital until I ran across this book — Hot Shots (a how to shoot film book by Lomokev) — in Urban Outfitters. All lomography. All about how to shoot film with super easy to follow directions for like $10. Within a week I had gotten my first lomography cameras and some film and was shooting away. I had a cheap camera (olympus xa2) from ebay, 35mm film and went to Long’s drugs to process. Not expensive and highly addicting.
Using My Lenses on Cheap Film Cameras
Then I did what every digital shooter can and should do. I used my expensive Canon L lens (or your Nikon lenses) on my Canon rebel film camera (or you can get a Canon EOS 3 or a Nikon F100) and started shooting 35mm film. Easy as pie and cheap as all get out. Because its the lens that matter — not so much the camera — with film.
I started out using the AV settings (automatic settings.. I just set the aperture -how shallow a focus distance I wanted) and used my exposure compensation to overexpose 2 stops (+2) if I was shooting into the light (back light) to make up for the camera’s meter seeing all that light. And taking my film to the local drug store to process. And boy did I fall in love.
Shooting Film is Like Christmas Everyday
I don’t mean to be over the top but it is like Christmas everyday. I love sending my film in to the lab (Richard Photo Lab, Indie Film Lab, and FIND lab are my favorite go to labs) and then receiving my scans back via ftp in 2 weeks. Yes, scans.. and then its all the same as digital minus the post processing. Anticipation and Joy.
And the actual shooting is so much more fun that digital. I find myself more present because I can’t look at the back of my camera (well I can but there is nothing to see :)). I think more. I shoot way way less. But have more keepers. It’s a crazy joyous thing.
Medium Format and my best friend the Light Meter
But when my friend hired Jonathan Canlas as her wedding photographer and showed me his site, I found out about Film Is Not Dead workshops. I attended FIND and started shooting medium format with a light meter. That was my game changer. (we will talk more about that later). Let’s just say that medium format film cameras looks just so rich and deep and unlike anything digital.
Wendy is a film photographer living in Maui with her four kids, husband, 2 dogs and stow-a-way cat. Her photography is focused on shooting weddings, families, and personal work usually involving her very own children. In her former life, she was an attorney and graduated from UC Berkeley in econ and Stanford Law. Wendy founded the popular blog Let The Kids Dress Themselves in June 2011 as a way to feature incredibly beautiful and honest family and children’s photography