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Film photography has seen a resurgence in recent years, with many photographers choosing to offer this option to their clients. While there are many benefits to offering film photography, there are also some drawbacks to consider. In this article, we will examine both the pros and cons of offering film photography to clients.

Pros of offering film photography to clients

Stunning Image Quality

One of the most significant benefits of film photography is its stunning image quality. Film images have a unique look and feel that cannot be replicated with digital photography. The images have a soft, organic look, with rich and vibrant colors that can only be achieved with film. This is why many photographers choose to offer film photography to their clients, who are looking for a more unique and personalized experience.

Unique Portfolio and Service Offering

Offering film photography sets you apart from other photographers who only offer digital services. By offering film photography, you can provide your clients with a more unique and personalized experience, which can help you stand out in a crowded market. This can also help you attract new clients who are looking for something different and are willing to pay a premium for the film experience.

Premium Pricing

Another advantage of offering film photography is that you can charge a premium for it. Film photography is more time consuming and requires more technical skills than digital photography, making it a more exclusive and premium service. Clients who are willing to pay a premium for film photography are often looking for a more personal and unique experience, which can be a lucrative market to tap into.

Cons of offering film photography

Film photography for clients is not for everyone as it does have some negative aspects that make it a challenge.

Harder to Shoot With

Another drawback of film photography is that it can be more challenging to shoot with compared to digital photography. Film photography requires more technical skills and a greater understanding of lighting and exposure. It also takes longer to process film images, which can be a hindrance for photographers who need to work quickly.

Availability of Film

With the decline in popularity of film photography, it is becoming increasingly harder to find film. Film stocks are becoming scarce, and many film labs are closing their doors. This makes it more difficult for photographers to get their film processed and can also increase the cost of film development.

Cost...sort of

One of the biggest drawbacks of offering film photography is the cost of the film itself. Film cameras can be expensive, and the cost of the film itself can also add up quickly. Additionally, film development and scanning costs can be higher than with digital photography, making it a more costly option for photographers.

However, one of the pros of film photography for clients is being able to charge a premium. In the end, you should be able to recoup the extra costs of the film itself. Also, film cameras are cheaper than digital so the upfront costs will be lower.

Fewer images per session

Until you become confident, shooting with film will likely make you second guess your shot choices because each click has a price to it whereas digital does not. You will not be able to be click-happy or take any shoot-and-hope approaches in your sessions. This may be difficult to overcome for special events like weddings where you only get one chance to get that shot.

Should you shoot with film for your photography clients?

Photography for families, weddings, and portraits can be a very crowded market depending on where you are at. Offering film as an option can help you stand out amongst the competition and also increase your revenue per shoot by charging premium session fees.

The choice between film and digital photography is a personal one, and there is no right or wrong answer. And you don't have to do one or the other - you can always offer a hybrid model where you shoot some in film and take some digital as a backup. It ultimately depends on you the photographer's style, preferences, and client base.

For photographers who are interested in offering film photography to their clients, it is important to do your research, invest in quality equipment, and be prepared for the challenges that come with film photography. With the right approach, film photography can be a rewarding and lucrative addition to your portfolio and service offerings.

Derek Ashauer
Derek Ashauer, developer of the Sunshine Photo Cart WordPress plugin, has dedicated over 10 years to developing and supporting this effective tool for photographers. His expertise in the WordPress platform extends beyond this plugin with over 15 years of experience in building client sites. Derek's work centers on enhancing the functionality and profitability of client galleries for photographers, showcasing his commitment to supporting their business growth.