When I fell in love with photography I wasn’t sitting at a computer scrolling through thumbnails of images. I wasn’t able to look immediately at the camera’s screen to see if I had the exposure just how I wanted – or if the image was even in focus. That’s what was exciting to me. The wait of uncertainty. The seconds ticking down on the glow-in-the-dark timer in the closet sized room. Everything was tinted red with the glow of the safelight and it was magic as you watched your image develop and appear. The wait was over and you finally got to see the image you had captured earlier, often days before. You could hold the photo, move it closer to your face to see the details (and maybe find some scratches or dust from your negatives). Each photo was precious, it couldn’t be deleted with the click of a button and you didn’t have a card with 250+ chances to get it right. You had a roll or two of film with 24 opportunities to capture a moment in time.
My very first time picking up an SLR camera was in my high school black & white film photography class. Learning about exposure, aperture, depth of field, and the correct timings for each stage of developing your film and your photos. I loved the hands on process and the ability to have a physical copy of my image at the end of a day spent in the dark room. I took another black & white film photography class once I got to college and shortly after, decided to minor in Art with an emphasis in Photography. I couldn’t get enough. It wasn’t until my junior year that I was able to take a digital photography class and learn the other side of photography. Instead of waiting for the clock to count down the final seconds of your film development, to see how your images had turned out – I had an instant satisfaction of seeing what had just been captured on the 2x3in screen on the back of my camera. I was able to take as many photos from as many angles as I wanted – as long as I had enough memory cards. I had options. I got to see what I did wrong in lots of photos and what I did right (purposely and accidentally). I fell in love with film photography – the opportunity to develop my images by hand and have that physical quality. But I love the ease and the advanced technology that digital photography brings.
Photography began as a print medium. The way of displaying your photographs was to hang them up on the wall, to view them in person. With the digital revolution bringing more opportunities and changes to the photography world – less and less photos are being printed out. People are receiving their photos on DVDs, through email, or on a flash drive. But there is little – to – no action after they scroll through the images on their computer and maybe post a few on facebook. I know I am definitely guilty of this. After a trip or a special event, I often upload my images from my camera, edit them and then save them onto my external hard drive. Now, I don’t think you necessarily need to print out every single photo you take. That is the advantage of digital photography – being able to save your images until you may need them. But your photos and your memories deserve to be displayed (especially after making such a large investment on your wedding day). To be shown to your family and friends. Photography began as a print medium and I want to keep it that way. That’s why I provide a flash drive of all of the images for the weddings I photograph. Not so that my clients can keep their photos on a flash drive – it’s so they can print them where ever they choose and can afford to do so. This is also why I love the idea of an album so much. To have at your finger tips, to page through and remember the feelings you felt at that exact moment.