DENVER, COLORADO – Among the many questions you need to ask prospective wedding photographers is whether they shoot weddings digitally or with traditional film. There are pros and cons for each type of photographic medium.

Denver wedding photography expert Matt Kelly of Ambisuite Weddings said, “When choosing between digital and film, ask yourself what you want your wedding photographs to capture. Then look at the digital and film photography each photographer has taken. You should be able to make your decision then.”

Wedding Photographs: digital vs. film resolution

Certainly you will be concerned with the clarity and quality of the final wedding pictures, aka as “resolution”.

Resolution of digital photographs is based upon a computer measurement known as pixels –usually the more the merrier. Pixel stands for “PICture Element”. A pixel is a tiny bit of data containing information about a tiny bit of color.

Resolution in film images is dependent upon the size of the film being used to record an image, which is measured in millimeters or inches (35 mm, medium or large format).

In addition, resolution of both types is based on the quality of the camera, the lenses used, and the film speed (or digital equivalent).

Experts agree that for now both options for wedding photography give similar results.

The pros of film

Areas where experts say film is superior to digital are:

  • Film has better dynamic range – this means that when a wedding photographer is shooting a bride and groom for example, the contrast between the bright white dress and a black tux will not be a problem. The white won’t overtake the photograph with loss of detail to the black.
  • Film is better for long exposures.
  • The grain of film is more pleasing to some people.
  • Photographers have more control over their shots. Some visual effects, like intentional double-exposures are only possible using film.
  • Some photographers say film is best for quality black and white photographs.

The pros of digital

There are numerous advantages to using digital film for a wedding photographer.

  • It is less costly since there is no film to purchase.
  • When creating the prints, there is no dust to worry about on negatives.
  • It is not necessary to send anything to a photo lab for development.
  • A photographer can take as many photographs as (s)he wants and doesn’t have to worry about the wedding photography budget.
  • The results are immediate. A photographer can play around with exposures, lighting, etc. and make sure the results come out well.
  • Color pictures can be turned into black and white or sepia-toned photos.

Wedding photography expert Matt Kelly said, “In the end, it may not really matter whether the wedding photographer you hire uses digital or film. If he is an experienced, professional photographer in either or both mediums, you should not have any concerns. ”

The final litmus test is this. If you like the feeling, the look, and the competence of a particular photographer’s work, that is the one you should use whether (s)he uses digital or film. A more important distinction you should certainly look out for is that of style_ photojournalism vs. traditional photography. while the experts may be the only ones able to really notice the differences between film and digital, this distinction photography style will be readily noticed in any completed wedding album.