Why I’m shooting film


(Image shot on a Contax 645 f2 with Fuji Pro400H film)

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I’ve been a little busy with a few changes. The website and logo got a makeover to reflect a more elegant and timeless brand. But the biggest change is that I have added shooting medium-format film to my workflow. I caught the film bug while I was a Jose Villa Workshop in Mexico this past November (More on that coming later!) And I’m loving being part of the film community. One may wonder why I want to switch to film when there is so much technology out there, and it is relatively easy to edit photos to look like film.

1.  The first reason is that I hate editing digital images. I love brainstorming, planning and shooting, but to spend 50-60 hours of my life trying to make digital images look like film? Nah…

2. The second, most important one is that I feel like shooting film makes me a much better photographer. I take my time, set up the shot and make sure that everything is absolutely perfect in the frame. There is no “I’ll Photoshop it out later” mentality. It has made me slow down and really compose my shots. Also, film is pretty expensive, so I have to ask myself if it’s worth the cost to click that shutter.

3. The third reason is the dynamic range achieved by film. With the medium format cameras it’s possible to keep a lot of information in highlights that would be lost in a digital file. The result is this amazing luminescence in film that is pretty addictive and hard to ignore.

Obviously this is all my personal preference, and it’s possibly to achieve all of this with different tools. But I’ve been asked “Why Film” many times lately, and I’ve narrowed it down to this. I’m happy to share my film journey on my blog because I’m pretty excited about it!

Nadia & Joe at Decanter St. Regis DC

I’ve decided that black-tie events are my favorite, completely based on this wedding. The bride, Nadia, is stunning on a regular basis so we all knew that her wedding was going to be spectacular. The location, a few blocks away from the White House in the prettiest hotel in all of DC, set the tone for the evening. All the guests were dressed in their formal-best, and a few touches of peonies and personal elements made this wedding sensational!