Film Mentoring: Shooting Hybrid

 
film photography tips

I have been doing a monthly blog post for hybrid photographers or this interested in learning more about film.  This month I wanted to go into so me of the ins and outs of hybrid shooting.

I am often asked how I match my film and digital work.  I outsource most my film matching to my studio manager, Karissa. That way I can spend more time behind the camera and with my couples instead of behind the computer!

To be totally honest editing was never a part of the job I enjoyed and it is one of the reasons I was attached to film.  When editing digital images without film scans to match I find myself having a hard tie staying constant. Also, all that time behind the computer was sucking the life out of me, especially knowing I could be using that time to grow my business or simply spend more time with my family!  Outsourcing is an important step to finding balance in owning a business.  Find the things that don’t inspire you and outsource them!

film photography tips

Sometimes I do my own editing and when I do I use Mastin Lab presets.  I have been using the Mastin Labs presets form the first hybrid session I shot and they have been an important ingredient for me to achieve a consistent look between both mediums that I love.

Another question I am asked when hosting film mentorships is what how much film I shoot for each wedding. I shoot film for the first part of the day when I am shooting the details, dress, and shoes. Then for most of the getting ready photos, most of the ceremony, most of the bridal party and family portraits and most of the reception I shoot digital. I shoot film for a few key getting ready photos, a few key ceremony photos, and for all the detail photos and bride/groom portraits. Of course, I also make the choose of when I shoot film vs digital based on each situation and day. I will choose film or digital based on lighting conditions and how fast-paced the moment is. If I feel like a certain group of photos is sure to make it into the album or hangman n their walls I will shoot film. On average I would say I shoot about 25% film with of that being 120 film and then one color roll of 35mm for details and a b/w 35mm for reception. 

Having a organized approach is essential when shooting hybrid! My favorite tool is an apron I found on amazon that has 3 packets. One pocket has a labeled ziplock bag put my exposed film into and I mark the roll if I’m pushing it. I use a separate pocket for unexposed film. And the third packet holds any other little things I may need for the day.

One of the things I love about shooting hybrid is that when shooting film, I shoot less!!  Which means I have a lot more keepers and culling is much easier! I don’t find myself firing away 20 shots of the same thing. I take 1-2 amazing shots and then I move on to the next. I also have trained myself to shoot my digital in a way that I know will best match my film photos later. From aperture, to composition, to lighting, to cropping… it all makes it that much easier to deliver a consistent set of images to my clients. 

film photography tips

Are you wondering what the benefits to being a hybrid shooter are!? First off, editing film scans is much easier an quicker.  I shoot my engagement session 100% on film so as soon as I get my scans back I send them over to my clients and it is so easy and I am not paying anyone to edit for me!

 Also, almost immediately after I started shooting film I stared to attract more of my ideal couples and it has helped me command a higher rate. It has helped my body of work become a to more consistent and I feel I w finally able to define my style.  Shooting film has also helped me grow by leaps and bounds as photographer and even when I shoot digital I pay so much more attention to detail. 

Are you ready to take the leap to becoming a hybrid shooter?  I would encourage anyone thinking about it to do it! If you have any questions along the way I would be happy to help feel free to email anytime!