Capture and Create Artistic Wedding Portraits

Lesson 3/9 - What is the Film Look?


Capture and Create Artistic Wedding Portraits


Lesson Info

What is the Film Look?

I've been talking about this film look. What is this film look? So I think probably the most signature thing about it would be the Buttery Bokeh. Like I just love like that really out of soft, out of focus background that you get from it. And I think that's pretty signature with film and I think the reason is because most people if you're shooting color film, it's either ISO 200, or 400-ish, you know, and so the speed is not that fast. So as a result you have to shoot pretty wide open. And so you end up getting like a lot of really beautiful blur from it. The other thing that I, like I think part of my favorite part about film is the creamy skintones that you get. It just makes skin look so pretty. And like even with this, wait this newborn, you know, newborns tend to be like a little pink, but I think it just captures, it's like so soft on the skin and it's so pretty. And I think that's why it lends itself so well to the wedding world because it's very romantic and all brides want pre...

tty looking skin, right. And it lends itself, well to portraiture, because also everyone wants pretty looking skin. The other, I think characteristic of film is that there's highlight retention. You don't lose the background. So if you look at this here you can still see the details, the subtle details in her veil, and even in the curtains, right. So even though it's like completely all white in the background and I'm exposing for her, so this is really like blown out, but yet it still retained a lot of the details in that. And I think, you know, most wedding gowns are white, and so it's really easy to just get one big white blob, if you're blowing out your highlights. And so, with film it retains all that highlight and you're still able to get all the details, like if it's lace or beading, you're still able to retain all that detail in the dress for them. Here's another example. So it's like white on white, you know. And iI think white on white can be so difficult to shoot, but I'll show you some lighting techniques today too that will help you retain those details. And then I think the other beautiful thing about film is colors. Like I love the greens that film captures and I love pink and green together and I think that's a really common wedding combination that you'll see, right, like pink bridesmaid dresses against some garden green background (laughs). And so I just love how film captures that. And here's another example of like the greens. I think the greens are so pretty. And I think with the editing that's one of the challenges that I come across is how to make the greens look pretty, not look fluorescent, not look blue instead. And so, I'll show you how to edit those as well. And then I think the other thing that I love about film is like I said, because you're typically you're at ISO either 200 or 400, and if you're indoors you tend to be either wide open and, or at a pretty slow shutter speed as well. And so, I love it 'cause it looks organic. And I think I would also use the word organic to describe this film look. It's very real and authentic to me. You capture the movement. And here's another example. I put that one in on purpose, 'cause a lot of people will ask, "Can you, does this work "in artificial lighting or in reception?" Yes it does. So that one over there with Shev on film with an on-camera flash. So flash froze her but allowed the movement in her dress. And I love it because if you get really like detail in it, you do still see the pretty texture in this Vera Wang gown, but you also see the movement in it too. So I think that's like a pretty combination of still and movement.

Class Description

The classic, timeless look of film is making a comeback. Its popularity among commercial photographers is soaring, and it’s in particularly high demand in the world of wedding photography. But if you shoot digital or hybrid, how can you make your photos look like they were shot on film? Caroline Tran, a wedding photographer whose work has appeared in countless books and magazines, will teach you how to create the look of film through light, exposure and editing. Come along on a live shoot where she’ll show you how to find the light you need, expose to get 90 percent of the photo in camera, and use Lightroom® to achieve her signature look.



Caroline Tran is bursting with creative energy and enthusiasm! In this class she walks you through the little differences between film and digital that separate the SOOC of the two. She shows you how understanding what makes them different is the cornerstone to learning how to manipulate digital to mimic film. All you need is a working knowledge of manual mode, and a willingness to let go of go-to DSLR habits that keep your images distinctly digital. She finishes with walking you through the simplest post-production that doesn't even require a strong knowledge of Lightroom. She even sells her presets if you don't want to recreate them on your own. This class was wonderful and so much fun! Thank you Caroline!

a Creativelive Student

I really enjoyed this class and watching the process Caroline goes through from shooting, to cull, to editing to create her signature look. She shares the unique characteristics of film and how she aims to emulate that using DSLR as well as how to go about matching the film scans to digital images from the same session. This class is a good fit if you have basic knowledge on shooting in manual and want to emulate the film look in your work. I learned a lot and am able to apply some clear techniques to my approach and work flow to take it to the next level.