There is something so special about film photography. It’s timeless, nostalgic, intentional and has a way of making you feel like an artist even in the worst creative ruts. And this may come as a surprise, but it makes a super unique client offering that could set you apart. So let’s talk film photography – how to get started, equipment, and how to market and offer film as a service to your clients.
This may sound over simplified, but when it comes to starting film the best thing is to just do it. You have to start somewhere and trial and error is a classic starting point. And yes, I know that film leaves no room for error, but practicing by doing is effective for all learning types and, naturally, the more you practice, the better you get. As you start to hone your skills, you’ll be able to plan ahead and know what images you want to capture.
BEGINNER CAMERA AND FILM RECS
Any 35mm format is a great beginner film camera because it’s easy and accessible, gives you a good amount of shots (exposures) per roll (great for the trial and error we talked about), and there are various film types available. My personal recommendation? The Canon AE-1 Program.
As far as film goes, the Kodak Gold 200 Film is great for starting out. It’s an affordable option with great coloration. If you’re a Psyched Society subscriber, I go into more detail on film options with 6 types of film for all editing styles in the film photography series. If you’re not a subscriber, it’s never too late to join!
- Developing. Unless you can support a local dark room or make your own, I recommend shipping your film to be developed at Indie Film Lab. They make the process super simple.
- Edit your digital film images. Once you receive your film back, edit your digital film images. I know that sounds like it would defeat the purpose… however, there is a lot you can do to fine tune your film scans just like you would with digital images.
ADDING FILM TO YOUR SERVICE OFFERINGS
Film allows you to uplevel your client experience without the continuous rat race of having to upgrade to the newest and best equipment. Film allows you to offer something different; something that not every photographer has. These are simple reasons, but that’s what you want to use to market your new service. Don’t over complicate things. Clients love the real real.
Market by creating desire and highlighting film’s timeless look, intention and how it offers the best of both worlds in that you can have those timeless, editorial film images along with the more candid and in the moment digital images that we all know and love.
Get the word out there by blogging about film, mentioning it anywhere you possibly can on your website, talking about it on social media and adding it to your price list. That last one is commitment and I’m here for it. I go into how to price film photography as a service in the film photography series on Psyched Society, so check it out if you’re a subscriber or sign up today if you’re not!