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A Session of Film Firsts: Family, Indoor, Black & White

Jul 3, 2019

Family, Film

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I’ve been shooting in film now for about 2 years. This past year I’ve shot most of my bridal and engagement sessions in 100% film. I don’t even bring my digital camera.

I just LOVE film. But this session had a lot of firsts!

It was my first time doing an entire family session in film.

It was my first time doing an entire session INDOORS in film.

It was my first time shooting black and white film. (Disclaimer: I used black & white film in high school, but I don’t count it because I had NO CLUE what I was doing.)

It’s hard to do an entire family session in film for many reasons:

  1. Kids move fast and they don’t listen well. This makes using film difficult because I manually focus everything when I shoot film. Most of the time I choose digital for this reason. With digital, I can make sure I’ve got images in focus, and images of the kids smiling! But, I challenged myself to just use film for this session!
  2. Most of the time mom & dad have some specific things they want photos of, and a lot of times the photos they want aren’t in the best light. For example, mom might want a picture of their kiddos playing in their room—but their room might be DARK with only a small window. That makes shooting film HARD. Film needs so much light.


Which brings me to the next first—shooing all film indoors! I always bring digital when I have an indoor shoot. Film is so light hungry, so most of the time it’s just too dark inside, even if there are big windows. But since I was trying out black and white film, I knew I would have a little more latitude inside to shoot film. (The black and white film I used doesn’t need as much light as the color film I use.)

P.S. We did do some images outdoors too. All in film—but that was easy, because I use film outdoors all the time.

I just LOVE the result, and I am so glad I did this! But it definitely wasn’t perfect—I had a lot of images come back very, very dark. Most of the color images just didn’t have enough light. Some of them I was able to save with editing, but some were just too dark. Here’s an example: the image on the left wasn’t too bad, so I did a little editing and think it’s perfect! The image on the right however was too dark, and out of focus. I made it black and white, and will still give it to the couple, but obviously it didn’t turn out great because the film was underexposed.

Enjoy some of my favorites, and be sure to reach out if you’d like to do an in-home family session on film with me!

My passion is in documenting the lives of our families well (mine and yours), and teaching you how to do it too. Follow along as I share photography tips, inspiration, and beautiful portraits.

hey! I'm Karly

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