We all have our favorite film photographers we follow. We love their images for one reason or another. We begin to make assumptions about how they shoot and their business. We start to think, "I need to start shooting exclusively film if I want to be as successful as they are" or "they must make so much money on their weddings/family shoots because they shoot all film" or my favorite "I'll never be able to do what they do".
Remember this friends. The internet lies.
Many, many, many of those photographers we all adore also shoot digital. It's true. Ask them. Of course there are a few who are exclusively film. I'm not saying everyone is lying to you! I'm saying our perceptions are not always reality.
Why is shooting digital so frowned upon in the film community? Guess what? I shoot hybrid. GASP! And I'm ok with it. I have felt the pressure to be so cool I sell all my digital gear and go all film. I have even made proclamations in Facebook groups that I was doing just that. And then 2 minutes later regretted ever saying such a thing and felt like a tool. Keeping my digital camera isn't a crutch, it's smart! If I book a headshot gig, I'm going to use my digital. A commercial shoot where I need to test strobes? I'm going to have my digital with me. I also have it as a back up in a newborn or family session. I still shoot 80-100% film at my sessions. But who cares? My clients, most of them anyway, certainly don't care. My work still stays consistent. And I've worked hard to be able to match any digital shots I keep in my final galleries to my film work. Why would I get rid of it? If we start thinking negatively about our digital camera instead of embracing how smart it can be to use it in our business, what good is that?
I think there is an unwarranted stigma to digital or hybrid work. And I'm honestly not sure why.
Shooting hybrid is smart on your wallet. I've seen so many people in facebook groups talk about how they are struggling financially with their business and they NEED to book more weddings or make more money and they might have to go get another job because they can't swing it anymore. And then they post 100 images from their weekly 5 rolls of film of their kid. I am NOT judging anyone for doing that. I'm just asking the question, if you are really struggling financially with your business, why are you spending several hundred dollars a week or month on film for personal work? If you are really trying to make your business work, why not shoot a little more digital alongside that film and try to stock up a good business nest egg?
That's only ONE reason to think about shooting hybrid. You can also embrace hybrid shooting with presets. We can easily match film scans with our digital shots using some of the pre-sets out there on the market right now. In my next hybrid article I'll be interviewing Kirk Mastin, the owner and creator of Mastin Labs to get his opinion on hybrid shooting in the industry. Stay tuned for that, it's going to be good!
Look guys, I'm not saying, "hey, everyone shoot less film and pick up your digital camera more!!" I'm trying to say that sometimes, we need to, and instead of feeling ashamed about it or uncool, just embrace it and make it work for you. Because almost everyone else is, they just aren't open about it.
Can you tell which is the digital shot? :)