Wedding Photographers – Film Vs Digital

wedding photographers film vs digital | bride to be

The film versus digital debate has been at the forefront of professional photography over the last decade or so. As digital technology has seen numerous advances, many photographers have slowly moved to exclusively shooting digital. These same photographers once shot film, now to most of them film is all but dead. Traditionally wedding photographers worked exclusively with film, with most of them shooting a mix of 35mm and medium format, using both color and black and white emulsions. Whilst this is a combination that has served wedding photographers well for decades, it is perhaps not the most viable option in today’s world, for both financial reasons and in terms of workflow, time and quality.

With the introduction of digital camera technology the industry has seen huge changes. These days the cost of film and processing can be prohibitively expensive. Availability is generally limited to a small number of remaining professional labs and prices for film are steadily increasing as the demand lessens and production drops accordingly. Recent years have seen the closure of many film manufacturers and those that do still exist have ceased producing all the emulsions they once did. It is however, not only for financial reasons that one may consider film to be the lesser option for photographing a wedding. As digital technology has advanced the image quality continues to progressively improve. Initially digital camera technology could not match the quality of film, and to some extent this judgement on digital cameras has stuck in peoples minds, and they continue to assume film will be better quality. There is however more to this story. If we were to consider large format film it is true that this can still outshine the quality of digital – the reality is however that such a format is not suitable for many applications, wedding photography included. Thus we must compare apples with apples to make a fair comparison.

The majority of wedding photographers shooting film will be shooting 35mm with a mix of medium format. The current top end digital cameras produce images of higher quality than 35mm film capability, and can be said to rival medium format. Now, if we look at a common situation encountered at a wedding, low light, we can take this debate further. In order to take photographs in low light settings one needs to use a high ISO. Essentially this is a measure of the film/digital sensors sensitivity to light. High ISO film is traditionally extremely grainy – think of the old photojournalistic photos shot on high speed black and white film. This is of course a look that many people like, however some clients may find it undesirable. Unfortunately it is unavoidable if we wish to use film and shoot in low light conditions without a flash.

On the other side of the coin, the current professional digital cameras have come ahead leaps and bounds in their low light capabilities. Early models produced extreme image noise at high ISO’s. This noise is considered an ugly, unwanted trait, unlike film grain which can be pleasing. The current breed of digital cameras addressed this and as such are able to capture relatively noise free images even at high ISO’s. What does this mean? It means even given low light situations a photographer shooting with a professional DSLR will be able to produce pleasing results without resorting to unflattering flash.

One last key factor when considering film Vs digital for your wedding photography is the potential for images to be lost due to error or mechanical failure. It is certainly possible that a digital camera’s flash card will fail, however I personally find having to hand film to a lab to process holds a higher potential risk. It means putting your precious images into the hands of someone who may potentially make a mistake with processing. Essentially it is just one more step in the process where your wedding photographs may be ruined. Add to this the fact that your wedding photographer will be shooting blind, uncertain of if the images they are taking are working or if their camera is experiencing a technical failure then I think it has to be said that digital is the safer option.

Film is a magical material, it has a great “look” and can produce outstanding results. However given the negatives (excuse the pun), when it comes to wedding photography I know I would rather have my wedding shot on digital.

By Sydney wedding photographer Samuel Burns.

Wedding Photographers | Film Vs Digital



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Sydney Wedding Photographer – Eddie & Nora

Photographing the lovely Eddie & Nora was lots of fun… and being a fan of sushi how could I not enjoy a wedding where a sushi platter was served for lunch! Although a small scale affair it was a really beautiful day focused on the family and the sushi… I mean love sushi… damn! I mean Love!

We started at the couples Pyrmont apartment, when I say couple I mean the kitty cats, Tiger and Moshi… I’m sure fellow cat owners know how it is… lets take a moment to thank the cats for allowing us into there aparment. Tiger features heavily in the photographs, being inquisitive he was quick to check out the action, complete with an obligatory sniff of all foreign objects including the wedding dress, rings and our cameras. Moshi on the other hand spent a large portion of the day hiding behind the washing machine, a scaredy cat indeed!

After getting ready Eddie’s mother prepared some tea for a traditional ceremony welcoming Nora into their family. We followed this with the aforementioned sushi and made friends with organic fruit Eddie’s brother had brought over from his mothers garden (featured in photos).

With content stomachs we snapped a few quick family portraits the jumped into Eddie’s “cosy” sports car to head to the registry. A wedding day without hiccups surely isn’t a wedding day and true to form Nora’s wedding dress managed to get well and truly caught in the car seat! With the help of a torch and some gentle affirmation eddie finally got the dress unstuck, things weren’t looking good for a little while!

Congrats guys.

Ps. In a completely unrelated and unplanned act of fate I am having sushi for dinner tonight…

sydney wedding photographer - Eddie and Norawhats for dinner? SUSHI!Sydney Wedding photographer - The bride... she is ready!mmmmmm teaSydney wedding photographer - Eddiesushi! nom nom nomSydney Wedding photographer - The lovely couple and the familysydney wedding photographer - the couple and a cute little lizzyvroom vroom vroom... oh wait... this isn

Sydney Wedding Photographer | Samuel Burns


Henry B - Impressive work mate. Well done

Sandra Lemin - Dallas Wedding Photography - Gorgeous wedding and your photography is gorgeous!

Jared Tseng - LOVE the shot of the groom standing on the shopping cart. Exceptionally creative! The whole series is really solid.

Annelie - I agree with Kellee & Julianna that I really love how you captured the day and expected the cat to show up in one of the wedding ceremony pics:)

Kellee - Love the way the cat weaves it’s way through the story. Love the way you captured the day!

Julianna - Love how you’ve included the cat in the story too! Awesome shot of the couple with the shopping cart.

Head On Photo Festival

I’m pleased to let everyone know I’m exhibiting some work as part of the 2011 Head On Photo Festival. My photography is on display in the front window of Assin, next to the Verona Cinema on Oxford Street Paddington from May 8th for the next month or so.

A big thanks to Assin for their generous support (Thanks Kinae!). Also to Cassandra at Arthere  for making things possible and of course Head On for putting together a great event that is fast becoming a staple in Sydney’s culture and art scene.

There are plenty of works by numerous photographers on display so get out to Oxford Street, grab yourself a coffee, have a wander and enjoy!

sydney wedding photographer

SB Wedding Photography Sydney |Putney NSW | 0405 812 981 ‎


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Curzon Hall | Wedding Photography Sydney – Jessica & Ian

I had the pleasure of photographing Jessica & Ian at the lovely Curzon Hall, Marsfield. The grounds of this venue are really beautiful and I was looking forward to taking some great portraits in them, unfortunately it was pouring rain all day long, yep, mother nature sure had a different idea than we did! In fact the wedding ceremony itself was planned as a garden ceremony which would have been amazing to photograph. Take note brides, have wet weather plans in place… and remember, 150 guests trying to hold umbrellas is not a suitable backup! On this particular day four outdoor weddings were moved inside, the foyer was chaos! just trying to get in and out was a mission, even so the wedding was a great day and given the amount of rain that fell Jessica & Ian should have a lifetime of goodluck built up.

Rain rain go away, please comeback another daySydney Wedding Photographywedding photography sydneyFather of the bride finished getting readycurzon hall marsfieldcurzon hall marsfieldsydney wedding photographycurzon hall marsfieldCurzon Hall Curzon Hall curzon hall weddingcurzon hall weddingwedding photoscurzon hall weddingcurzon hall photoscurzon hall photosThe cutest!!Cheeky MonkeyCute No. 2Mother of the groomNot Schmancy, just a little bit fancywe have a winner!

Cheeky Approval


Curzon Hall Wedding photography Sydney by Samuel Burns




michele bowman - i just love how you tell a wedding story, even when it’s a rainy day wedding!!

Ricki Lee, ummm, I mean Lykke Li

Ok, so it did take me a while to decide who I should be blogging about, in the end Lykke Li won out, mainly due to the fact Ricki Lee said I “can’t touch it” … of course I also happen to love this song by Lykke Li.

In tribute to talk show host Ricki lake… “GO LYKKE!… GO LYKKE!”


Stal Kherr - I adore this song. Video ain’t bad either. You have good taste.

Yeah Yeah YEAH! (s)

So, another song worth turning up… I adore Karen O’s voice, as a matter of fact Karen if you’re reading and you feel some strange yearning to marry me thats cool, I’ll photograph our wedding facebook style holding an iphone out infront of us and snapping away. Hmm, perhaps that could become my new thing, Iphone wedding, any takers?

P.S. Karen i’m not really creepy, you’d have to buy me dinner first.

P.P.S. This song may require semi-naked interpretive dancing around one’s bedroom.


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