Whenever I shoot a wedding I bring at least three camera bodies with me, including (again, at least) one film SLR.
Although good knowledge of digital post-production techniques using good software tools to convert files to black and white can certainly yield beautiful results, I still feel that nothing compares to wringing the emotion out of the emulsion directly on black and white film.
I might shoot a few thousand exposures at a wedding, including only two or three rolls of film (3 rolls x36 exposures = just 108 pictures at most). Oftentimes I’m so excited to see the results that, despite the exhaustion from all the preparation, lugging gear, stress of the fast pace and being responsible for being the guardian of a couple’s memories and the weight of their relatives’ expectations, etc., I’ll still come home and spend the night developing my black and white film deep into the wee hours.
The next day I scan the film and start sharing the images with the bride and groom, while the digital images have only barely made the journey from memory cards to backup media storage.
Oddly, having been based in Taiwan all these years, as I have a largely ethnic Chinese clientele they do not always like or desire black and white images. I think it has something to do with their obsession with “progress,” and always having the latest. True, Windows 7 is a lot better than Windows 3.1, but that’s technology, and the technology used to make images is irrelevant once the final outcome has emerged.
I include these images along with everything else, at no additional charge with no added editorial. Some clients notice, others don’t. My ideal wedding client would not only notice and appreciate the black and white film images, but hire me for them.
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