Why Shoot Film?

Film is Alive!!

In a world of digital, where everything is instant and urgent, film is finding its place among people that appreciate the art of slowing things down. In recent times we have seen a revival of classic traditions and slower lifestyle choices – vinyl has made a huge comeback for appreciating timeless music, the slow eating movement is popular among people that want to escape their screens and savour their gatherings with good food.  Probably one of the biggest returns to a classic medium is film photography.

The wedding industry has definitely embraced the nostalgic look and feel of film.  With it’s pastel tones and beautiful colour palette, film is not just some quirky fad that appeals to people because it’s trendy.  Digital shooters are desperate for their pictures to look like film but it is a look that is currently unique to film users only.  There is a Facebook group called ‘Looks Like Film’ which is dedicated to showcasing photographers work that looks like film and whilst there is some fantastic work on there, most of the work featured definitely does not do what it says on the tin!

The look of film is unique and what does it have in common with couples?  So are they!

A wedding day is a one off celebration of everything unique to two people and two families.  It’s a day like no other and for most people a once in a lifetime experience.  It’s a time when social media takes a back seat and people live in the moment.  What better way to capture it then on the timeless medium of film.

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So lets talk about the physical difference between film and digital.

It has a softness to it that simply looks beautiful.  A bit like the crackles on a record, film is not as sharp as digital.  It has a lack of quality that makes it perfect for photographing people.  digital has reached a stage now where every flaw and every wrinkle is absolutely pin sharp but with film there is a natural softness.  Just by it’s very nature it is more flattering.

Imperfection is beautiful!

Next is the colour!  Probably THE most important aspect of shooting film.

We use several different cameras but the main workhorse is our Hasselblad H2 which is a medium format 645 camera.  It is the Rolls Royce of medium format and Hasselblad has always been considered the best cameras in the world.

With this camera coupled with either Fuji or Kodak colour film just produces the most stunning colours.  Skin tones look exactly how they should look (no pink, purple or orange skin tones with film) and the overall colour palette just looks beautiful.
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Ok so Technical alert!!!

Film has an enormous latitude when it comes to exposure.  A piece of film reacts to light very differently to how a digital sensor does.  If you over expose on digital then that’s it, the detail is gone!  Modern digital camera’s shooting RAW files are hugely versatile when it comes to retrieving information from a badly exposed image but with film it is not a problem.  With Kodak Portra 400 you can over expose by unto 8 stops and it’ll still show detail in the highlights.

Why is this important?

Well here in the UK we shoot most of our pictures in the afternoon when the sun is at it’s highest.  The light is massively contrasty and so bright that digital struggles to cope with the huge range between highlight an shadow.  For film this is where it thrives.  2017-01-09_0016.jpg

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Ok so let’s talk Black & White.

Black and white film is where things get truly artisan.  To get digital to look like film, black and white is probably the easiest to replicate but still once again the real deal just cannot be beat!  There is one main reason Grain.

Grain is everything to the way that film is structured.  It is the intangible beauty that makes black and film photography so timeless.  When you look back on classic photos from our history – John & Jackie Kennedy’s wedding pictures, Princess Diana by Mario Testino it is the grain and the movement and the imperfections that make the imperfect so absolutely perfect.

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Freedom by being limited!

There are SD cards that are now 128Gb.  I don’t know how many thousand images that would capture but I do know that 1 roll of 120 film is 16 frames!  That’s right 16!

We realised very early on that time is the thing we value above all else and time on a wedding day is crucial.  With film we’re not taking our couples away for 40 minutes or an hour+ for photos because we don’t need it!

We are carefully considering each and every frame.  With our experience we know how to give direction that will relax you and allow us to get the images that matter.  How long do we need??

10 Minutes!

10 minutes during the day and 10 minutes at sunset is all we need.  Just several rolls of film to get fabulous images and giving you all the time you need to enjoy your wedding day.

With a limited number of shots comes a space to be more artful.  to consider each image before clicking the shutter.  To allow time and space for you both to ease into being in front of the camera.

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There are a ton of reasons why we shoot film but lastly one other factor…

It’s just so damn cool!

Like a 1970 Fender Rhodes electric piano, Like an original Eames Chair, like a vinyl copy Sgt Peppers – film just has the X Factor!

Everybody has something in their lives that is 100% first class.  Even if they were billionaires this one thing would still have huge value to them.  That is what film is…

Luxury, Authentic, Timeless, Beautiful…

 

Contact us right now to discuss your very special wedding plans.  Email HERE

 

 

2016 – A Year in Pictures

You know when it’s been a good year for creativity when it takes two days to try and ruthlessly whittle down your favourites (and still have over 200 images) for the traditional yearly round up of all the amazing people & places that have found their way in front of our lenses in 2016.

To say that our job is an honour is an understatement.  We absolutely love what we do and getting to spend time with amazing families and be a part of peoples weddings is the best feeling ever.  To be trusted to tell peoples stories at these pivotal milestones is the highest honour we could undertake.

For many people 2016 will be remembered as a bit of a dark year!  We saw many of our most beloved celebrities taken; some way before their time – then of course their was Brexit and the American elections that shook Europe and the world but for us we were mostly locked inside a bit of a bubble!  As always we were surrounded by happy people and doing the job we love.  This does give a slightly different perspective on things.

As the year went on and we saw celebrity after celebrity passing away it made me think of the legacy that they left; their mark on this world.  I’m sure this would come as little comfort to the people closest to them but I couldn’t help but celebrate the life they led rather than their untimely deaths.  For people like David Bowie and Carrie Fisher they have literally changed our whole society and inspired millions.  It is sad that they are no longer with us but incredible what they have achieved with the time they were given.

We see that all the time.  Couples that meet at uni or online and then change each others lives beyond what they could have hoped!  We see speeches by Fathers welcoming grooms into their families like they are their own sons.  Brides struggling to get their vows out as the emotion of committing to this other person is overwhelming.  Babies that are just a few days old but instantly being met with unconditional love.

This is the effect that we have on each other.  These are the people that we connect with and love and inspire – this is our legacy and these are our stories.Don’t let 2017 pass by without capturing your story.  Contact us here today and lets get to know each other.

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Seeing the beauty

It was the usual panic of trying to find shin pads, football boots, drinks bottles and everything else that we need to take our son Nate to his football match. With only a few minutes to spare we’re hurtling down the motorway to make it in time for the warm up.

Immediately leaving the slip road we see the usual bustle of football matches in progress.  With lots of people everywhere we noticed that one of the matches was being played entirely by older gentlemen probably well into their 60s. I pointed this out to my 10 year old son and I was intrigued to see what he thought of it – I was so proud of his reply. He took a moment to watch the game and then said

“That is so cool”!

I was a bit surprised by his reply.  I thought he might make a joke comment but he genuinely was impressed by these silver-haired dudes in matching kits doing something they love – not letting age hold them back.

I felt bad that I had pre-judged him and assumed he would laugh.  Perception is everything in life and was so proud that he looked at something and only saw the positive – the beauty in an ordinary moment.

It’s so easy to look at things in life and miss the beauty, especially in ourselves.

One of my absolute pet hates is when I arrive for a family session and the mum says ‘oh just take pictures of the kids – I don’t want to be in any’! (my apologies to all past clients that have said that!)

Everybody looks beautiful especially to the people that love them.

With our years of experience of photographing people we know how to pose, light and direct people to make sure they look amazing but it’s the inner beauty that we are always trying to capture.  The beauty that your kids see – that your husband or wife see.

We always try and include pictures of parents because having a family session is for everyone.  It might be you that commissioned us and payed the session fee but it is also for the children as well.  Your children might not appreciate the pictures now but when they are older those images will be priceless, as will the memories that are connected to them.

Imagine finding a box of prints in your parents house today. Inside is a whole collection of pictures from your childhood that you had never seen.  In among these pictures we’re loads of prints of your parents – hugging – being natural – looking young, and slightly retro?!

How much value would these have for you?

My guess is they would be absolutely priceless.  I know they would be for us.

The wonderful thing about photography is that they capture memories.  Sometimes the moments they capture might seem simple, or ordinary, but as time goes on they will only ever increase in value – just like the people captured in them.

 

Danesfield House Wedding photography // Alexandra + Chris

Danesfield House Wedding photography // Alexandra + Chris

If you are looking for a lesson in how to have a wonderful wedding day then Alex & Chris could show you the way! They really are two of the sweetest people that you could meet and it completely showed in all of their wedding pictures.  We first spoke all the way from Jersey and instantly clicked.  It was clear that we were all on the same page when agreeing what makes gorgeous wedding pictures.  Chris and his lovely nature towards everybody really shone through. he was hugging guests as soon as they started to arrive and throughout the whole day was so happy to share his day with everybody.  Equally his twin brother did a fantastic job as a Proud and sincere Best man.

DanesField house in Marlow is the perfect Setting for an English Country house wedding.  If you’re planning your wedding here then it definitely is important to allow a bit of time to explore the grounds and be creative with the pictures. Alex and Chris did exactly that. It was so lovely to just Wander and explore the grounds and get some natural pictures both both Of them. They were so good together that they needed very little Direction from us.

Alexandra is a yoga teacher and relaxation and meditation is something that plays a big parts in her life, so at one point in the afternoon she took herself off just to have a few minutes of quiet mindfulness and to gather her thoughts. This was such a wonderful idea and something to consider when it is your own wedding day.  If you need a few minutes to yourself then it’s okay to do that.  It’s always important to remember that it is your day and you can enjoy it however formal or relax is best suited to you.

 

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