25 Aug Reflecting on the resurgence of film photography
In the mid-2000s, most photographers put down their analogue cameras and switched to digital photography. Sales of analogue film and cameras plummeted, and the world’s largest film producer Kodak announced bankruptcy in 2012.
The immediacy of being able to see and assess a captured image and the ability to take several shots to get the perfect one are just two of many reasons why photographers use digital photography for both professional and personal purposes. Not to mention rapidly advancing technology that makes it easier than ever to create and edit high-quality images with just the touch of a button.
Film makes a comeback
Over the past 10-15 years, film-based photography has experienced a significant revival, with photographers of all generations picking up their analogue cameras once again – or for the first time. For some, the nostalgia of capturing, processing, and developing film and the unique aesthetic that film photography produces has a nostalgic effect.
“In my professional life 25 years ago, I travelled for many days to remote locations for projects such as a corporate annual report for a large multi-national company. I wouldn’t see processed film for up to a week,” Images for Business Director & Photographer Chris Shain recalls. “I developed plenty of intuition around image making, and I had to trust my creative instincts and technical experience to know that the pictures would work.”
Photographers of the younger generation are picking up an analogue camera for the first time to hone their photography skills.
“I shoot film in the digital age to become more disciplined in my photography,” explains Images for Business Studio Assistant Connor O’Shea. “It forces you to learn every part of your camera and how to shoot all types of situations. It also imposes the discipline of framing and focusing each shot you take to be the best and shooting fewer images with more quality, making me a better photographer.”
Keeping the spark alive
While Images for Business exclusively use digital technology across professional projects, our photographers have a deep interest and unique relationship with film-based photography. Ultimately, our creative passion and drive to continually challenge ourselves enable us to deliver the best imaging quality to our clients.
We took a moment to share our insights on the revival of film-based photography and a few images we’ve captured.
Chris Shain, Director & Photographer
Favourite film camera: Nikon EL with 55m Nicro Nikkor
Image by Chris Shain
“There is a mystery about shooting with film – you have no idea whether the picture you’ve just shot will be what you think it is until the film is processed. It’s creatively very relevant today and an eye opener for a generation that never had to wait a day or two to see a picture!”
“I think the methodology, process and concepts around making pictures on film in a camera is very relevant today, and young photographers could learn a lot by waiting to see an outcome.”
Simon Anders – Photographer
Favourite film cameras: Olympus Trip 35, Pentax ME Super (43mm f1.9 lens)
Images by Simon Anders
“There is a pleasure and simplicity to be found in using a well-made mechanical camera and not being able to review the images immediately, sometimes making me feel more present in the moment rather than looking at a screen. The limited number of shots per roll is a lesson in restraint, a good reminder that a great shot doesn’t require 50 frames. Instead, I aim to return with every shot on a roll being great. It can be meditative to anticipate and wait for the moment to try and achieve that.”
Toby Shain – Time-lapse specialist & Videographer
Favourite film camera: Olympus 35 SP
Images by Toby Shain
“We are so spoilt for choice for almost everything in the modern age – TV shows, movies, music. Everyone has a digital camera in their pocket with unlimited storage space. It ruins the essence of capturing a moment. We spend so much time taking and retaking photos until we get it ‘right’, but I think the best images are the ones that truly capture the moment without being too staged, contrived or edited. Switching to film has made me slow down and consider the shot more.”
Connor O’Shea – Studio Assistant
Favourite film0 camera: Nikon L35 AF2
Images by Connor O’Shea
“The advantages of using film today lie in its limitations. Film is a process and discipline that forces younger photographers to master their trade and understand photography. It’s also beneficial at social events, as bringing a film camera rather than a digital camera limits you to taking a few photos and then simply enjoying yourself whilst also creating some memories to look back on.”
Browse Images for Business’s imaging services here.