© Mark LaMonica. All Rights Reserved.
|Text and Photography by Mark LaMonica
Film was the only readily available means of taking pictures for a very long time and wedding photography was a huge print film market. When you teach photography and push Fuji Velvia RVP50 as
the best film for vibrant colors, sharpness and enlargements, you can't blame a student for wanting you to photography their wedding with it. The reality is, Velvia at ISO 50 is just way to slow for
wedding work. In this kind of situation you need a fast film that will still pop with color and enlarge without a grainy look. I decided to go with Fujichrome Provia 400F since it proved to be an excellent
film for my alpine sports assignments. I chose not to do any push and rated it at ISO 400 using fast lenses and my tripod to compensate for low light.
Fuji has 4 color negative films that are popular with wedding photographers who still want to use film as their preferred method of photography. The films are 160S, 160C, 400H and 800Z. For true
Black and White Fuji has the Neopan line consisting of 100 Acros, 400 and 1600. Yes film is still popular especially Black & White films. I personally love film, I love the look, the ability to hold a page of
transparencies up to the light and see exactly what I photographed before doing any scans, the ease of archiving and low stress management.
Beyond Negatives and Transparencies
So by now most of you are saying it's just not worth it to use film anymore and in a way, yes you're right. To use film for any kind of photography whether it's an assignment or a private contract, you
need to factor in all the expenses associated with film. There's the cost of the film, processing, scanning and printing with a few other possible expenses like shipping and negative pages, but you get
the point I'm making. If we have a young couple paying for their own wedding and on a very tight budget with only $800.00 to spend on photography, it just wouldn't be possible to give them full
coverage and to take extra pictures during the day. I'm not a big frame waster, I don't shoot senseless pictures, but i will say covering a wedding with making every exposure count I can use 8 to 10
rolls of film or a maximum of 360 frames. I covered a wedding shooting 8 rolls of film and all 288 exposures were of something worth printing and the film/processing/printing bill was $869.00 not
including a wedding album to put all those prints in. For the couple on a budget, they might end up with half that and if the photographer misses a shot or gets a blink from someone, the moment could
be lost forever.
This is why many people have migrated to digital. Yes we do have to buy the camera, computer, software and printer to do the same job, but for me, that gear is already paid for and I'm open to
working with young couples to provide them with full coverage within their budget. My time and expertise is now the only fee they need to pay and if they choose to have me do the printing, there's a
per print charge. Again on a business level, the price should be the same whether it's film or digital, but you also have to understand that we are in a new age of photography, the economy is in a low
and people are looking for the lowest bidder without worrying about quality. As a commercial photographer quality and speed are important and private contracts get the same attention where I can
process the digital files and have a CD ready within 24 hours if local and 48 hours if travel was involved.
I was able to
wedding to the
couple within 24
That's Service !