February 16, 2021


Shanell Bark



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5 Tips for Shooting Film

So you are considering shooting film. Where do you even begin?

I often get asked, why I shoot film? So here are a few reasons why and examples below.

The tones film provides cannot be beat, the skin is creamy and the greens are minty. Soft and romantic with that magical pop of contrast. Digital images can be matched to appear similar to film and as a hybrid shooter I  have found their is a reason for both in my bag. Film handles highlights and bright lighting so much better than digital, however digital is better in low light. Above all things Film has made me be a better photographer and made me slow down, read light better, and made me see things in a whole new way. Film being perfectly imperfect is unlike digital in the fact that you can not just “fix it in photoshop”. Film makes you know your skill at a higher level and it challenges you as an artist. The Images below show both film on top  and a digital SOOC Fuji 400 pushed and the lower digital SOOC!

film image of wedding bouquet

wedding bouqet

Film changed my business. Early on in my career I never realized the artists I loved most were film photographers. I kept being drawn to a certain esthetic but didn’t realize what it was. Finally I figured out the common denominator, and it was film!

Knowing I needed to learn how to shoot film to achieve this look I wanted, I reached out to some of the best film photographers for mentoring and guidance.  It took months of shooting, before getting confident, but it was happening! The more I shot the better I got and the more I fell in love with the medium. I finally was accomplishing the look and feel I wanted for my work, and it felt amazing!

Shooting film opened up a whole new community of photographers and friends, not to mention, so many more publication opportunities. Film was not just a medium any longer, it was a part of me, my brand, and life.

5 Main reasons to move towards film:

  • Less editing time.
  • Better skin tones.
  • Makes you a better photographer as a whole.
  • More publication and career advancements.
  • Higher pay.

why shoot filmfilm photographer

The 5 Tips for shooting film:

  • Start with a 35mm camera (Canon and Nikon have great options).
  • Get an external light meter.
  • Try different film stocks to see which you like best.
  • Shoot A Lot and take notes for your reference.
  • Use a professional lab for developing.




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