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February 7, 2021

DC Film Photographer | Why I Shoot Film

The MEP Experience

DC Film Photographer during a maternity session

I chose to be a DC Film Photographer over the course of the pandemic. It’s crazy to believe that the pandemic birthed such a valuable part of my business. However, I was able to experiment and practice photographing film over the course of an entire year! I knew I loved the look and film aesthetic, so it truly was a matter of time until film found me.

For those unfamiliar with film, I am not referring to film as in video. I am referring to film photography – think darkrooms, vintage cameras, etc. Digital cameras use electronic sensors behind the lens, while film cameras use, well, film.

Film can be intimidating to learn because you cannot view previews in the back of the camera. You need to trust your knowledge and gut. As a creative, I find this motivating because it pushes me to be my absolute best. When it comes to selecting a photographer to take our family photos, I specifically am looking for a film photographer.

This is why I chose to be a DC Film Photographer:

1. The colors and overall aesthetic

Film has a very unique color profile and aesthetic, and I think this is what attracts most people to film. It’s certainly what caught my eye. Digital photography has come a long way in recent years, but I truly believe nothing compares with film’s skin tones and color profiles. Many photographers shoot digital work to appear as though it was photographed on film. Why just not shoot film?

2. The creative process

I only have 16 images to photograph per roll of film on my medium format film camera. 16! I have to slow down, take in the scene, and wait for the perfect moment. No overshooting, no running around. I intentionally frame my subjects and let the magic unfold before I hit the shutter. This sense of tension and release really enhances the creative process and allows me to dig deeply for the best possible photograph.

3. The nostalgia – why I love being a film photographer in DC

DC Family Film Photography Session at the DC War Memorial

Film also renders a softness in its images, creating a feeling of nostalgia. This nostalgic feeling just gets me. It encompasses so much of what we feel as mothers. The constant pulling of time – it translates beautifully in film. This interpretation also renders exquisitely in the artwork I provide my clients.

4. The wait

Film needs to be developed, and this can take anywhere from days to weeks. This waiting period creates tension, and tension must be relieved. The relief is found when film photographers either develop or receive their film scans back – this day always feels like Christmas! Likewise, my clients need to wait a little longer for their film scans and art compared to simply receiving digitals. The reveal is always so rewarding.

Family photo session at the DC War Memorial

5. Niche

Film is a niche. The majority of photographers primarily photograph with digital cameras, so film photographers are scarce. I love this about my work because it makes it have a unique aesthetic true to my brand. Furthermore, film is not a niche that will go in and out of vogue. It has a classic look that will forever stand the test of time.

DC Film Photographer during maternity session.

These are the reasons why I choose to photograph with film. For more differences between film and digital photography, check out this article.

DC Film Photographer – Marie Elizabeth Photography

Marie Elizabeth Photography specializes in fine art Maternity, Newborn, and Family Photography based out of Washington, D.C. and serves the areas of Arlington, Alexandria, McLean, Falls Church, Vienna, Bethesda, Potomac, Chevy Chase, Kensington, Silver Spring, College Park, and Riverdale Park. 

It is always an honor to serve as your DC Fine Art Film Photographer. I provide a custom, luxurious experience to lead you every step of the way, beginning with a planning guide to make you feel confident and prepared, a consultation to achieve your portrait goals, a client wardrobe, hair and make-up artists, and finally, artwork to adorn your walls and preserve your memories forever. Let me be a part of your story today.

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