NAT’S SUPPLIER CHALLENGE – JULIE MICHAELSEN: FILM PHOTOGRAPHY
I’m really excited about this supplier challenge (I say that about all of them but); Julie is the loveliest person, inside and out, and I’m so pleased she has taken the time out to let me play with her very expensive and precious equipment. (No pressure Nat, just don’t drop the camera, don’t drop the camera!)
Julie is a fine art photographer, specialising in film photography, which creates the most romantic and soft images you just can’t achieve with digital. It’s a style of photography I am also very drawn to, so this challenge is going to be fun.
We’ve hired the BLOVED Hive for a few hours to provide us with a light and spacious area to shoot in. I’ve yet again overdressed for a sunny day and have arrived in London a little hot and flushed! After a girly catch up and removing multiple layers of clothing, we start the challenge.
I’ve made (I sound like a Blue Peter presenter – “here’s what I made earlier”) a small floral arrangement to photograph, brought some of Nat’s Paper Studio samples and Julie has brought her collection of velvet Mrs Boxes. How can a tiny ring box be so appealing?
Julie explains to me the whole process of shooting on film. You really slow down, take your time and appreciate what you are shooting. As each photograph costs, you don’t just click away as you would with a digital camera. Taking a light reading, in order to set your camera to the correct settings, so you get the right exposure. Standing still and focusing on what you are about to capture. It’s actually very therapeutic.
Holding a film camera is really giving me back ache! It is so heavy. But what I love is the sound of the film winding on when you click the button. It sounds like old fashioned mechanics; it’s a tangible thing and you know you are in the process of creating something real. The fact that you have to put the film roll into the back, listen to each photograph wind on and at the end, change the roll. That you have to send the roll off to a laboratory to be processed and you have to patiently wait for your product to return. The eager anticipation of the big reveal. In a world that moves so fast, this artistic medium is so refreshing and exciting.
Julie adores the whole process of film, shooting purposefully, more slowly and with more intention. She does photograph with digital camera too but tells me that as they are so fast, if you’re not careful you can overshoot and create so much more work for yourself after the wedding.
I love the passion that Julie has for her art. The fact that she carried around these camera’s (as well as digital as back-ups) on a wedding day must be an insane workout. But her belief in creating precious memories in such a beautiful from is exactly why she is regarded so highly within the industry.
“In my opinion Digital has become almost too perfect, with all the mega pixels you can see all manner of detail in the image, every single little pixel! Film wedding photography on the other hand has the ability to smooth out things, such as unflattering blemishes, leaving you with a decidedly dreamy and elegant finish.” – Julie
Yes, film photography is typically more expensive than digital however, there is an expense of processing the rolls of film, which you don’t have with an SD card. But on my opinion, if you love the effect of film and photography is an important element to your wedding, you should prioritise paying for a fine art photographer out of your budget. I would love to get married again (yes Ben, to you) and have it all captured on film.
Julie finishes off by telling me that she loves the idea that even in the 21st Century brides and grooms today can receive wedding images in the same manner as their grandparents. There is a romantic artisanship attached to shooting film especially in such a fast paced digital world.
I couldn’t agree with her more! So off I go on my merry way and sit and wait for the photographs to be processed. It’s only a matter of weeks, when into my inbox pops an email from Julie with our challenge photographs and my, not too bad attempt at film photography. The photo’s below will show you the challenge happening. And then I go on to show you my attempt at film. You can just see the difference between digital and film. And I’m a sucker for film.
Please do visit Julie’s website and instagram page and just fall in love with this fine art medium and celebrate a true artistic profession I just am envious I don’t / can’t do for a living….
My Film Photography
Before being shown what to do…
After a quick lesson …
More film photographs…
A film v’s digital comparison…