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Introduction to Film Photography

Lesson 20 of 20

Get Started Using Film

Sandra Coan

Introduction to Film Photography

Sandra Coan

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Lesson Info

20. Get Started Using Film


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:11:53
2 Why Film Duration:10:59
4 Importance of Metering Duration:04:08
6 Metering for Color Film Duration:14:31
9 Metering for Indoor Shooting Duration:18:39
10 The Differences in Film Sizes Duration:11:05
11 Purchasing Film & Care Duration:05:04
12 Professional Color Film Duration:16:39
14 Consumer Grade Film Stocks Duration:06:31
15 Pushing Film Duration:18:44
16 Know Your Lab Duration:03:41
17 What To Look For In A Lab Duration:25:35
18 How To Find The Right Lab Duration:13:10
19 How To Safely Ship Film Duration:16:46
20 Get Started Using Film Duration:06:47

Lesson Info

Get Started Using Film

This is the takeaway that I'm hoping that you got from today, which is that film is really easy, it really is. Like when I say, like, there are those three core things, like, I mean that, like, meter, you know, know your light, make sure you're metering properly. Error on the side of over-exposure, right? You want to meter for your shadows with your color. Meter for where you want your detail to be with your black and white, okay? That's it, super easy, you guys have got that. That is not hard to do, okay? Know your film, do your research, have fun with it, you guys, play around with it. Pick up some different film stocks, try something fun. You can start with the ones that I shared because you already know a little bit but do your research and there's a lot to choose out there, even though people talk about how film stocks have been discontinued, there's still a lot out there that you can play around with, so choose a stock that meets your artistic vision. Your work doesn't have to lo...

ok like mine. I don't want it to look like mine, you know? I want it to look like your work, so what does your work say? What are you drawn to, what are the tones you want? Do the research, find the stock that fits that vision, and, you know, have fun with it. And then of course, know your lab, this is so important. Your lab, like I said, is your creative partner. You are in this together, they are just as important as your metering, just as important as the film stocks that you choose. All right, so make sure that you, that your lab is your creative partner, make sure that you choose a good one. Make sure there's a good one out there. Don't send your film to some place, you know, cheap because they're cheap. (laughs) This is an investment, so treat it like that. And just remember that as you are learning accidents happen, they happen to me. They still happen to me, I've been doing this a long time and I still mess up, but sometimes, those accidents are really fun. (laughs) So this is an accidental, wonky, double exposure and I, you know, I've been asked like, "Well how did you do that?" and I was like, "I don't know, like, I don't even know what happened! "Like the film didn't advance, something went wrong, "there's a lot going on with this picture that's not right." But it's awesome, like I somehow ended up with this crazy double exposure with both of my kids in the frame, which, awesome, fun! Mistakes happen, light leaks. (laughs) Sometimes the back of your camera comes open. Sometimes, this was shot with a Holga, they leak light all the time. I was actually in the middle of a session once, and I just wasn't paying attention, and I opened the back of my camera, right? It happens, you know what I did? I shut the back of that camera, and I shot two rolls, I knew I lost three, but I was like, "Let's see what happens." You know, sometimes light leaks are really cool. That's what that red is, some people do it intentionally. You just never know, I mean, part of shooting film, is you getting really smart and really concentrate and do what you need to do, do everything you can, but some of it also is take the risks, have fun. Film is supposed to be fun. I always say, it's the number one cure for burnout. If you are burnout with your digital camera, pick up a film camera, it'll keep you on your toes, okay? So learn from those mistakes, and just have fun. I mean, that's really what it's all about. And, friends, I'm giving you permission right now to have fun in your job. If film, shooting film, if you're a professional photographer, you can have fun at your job too, that's okay. I have fun at my job every day, I love it, it's a blast. And part of what makes it so fun, is that I've decided to listen to myself and do what I love, which is shooting film. So, go out there and shoot film. If you do have more questions, or if you want to see my work, you can always follow me on Instagram. I try to post something every day. I try to have little tutorials on there. I love teaching, so I'm always giving little tips and tricks. I also have a section on my blog that's for photographers, where I have a lot of educational material, so I'll post about film, I'll post about lighting, so it's a great resource, so definitely check that out. And if you want just general film awesomeness, I also run a blog called Little Bellows,, and we share work from other film photographers, mostly family photography, or parents shooting their kids. I just really wanna celebrate this medium because I love it so much, and I wanna celebrate other people who are shooting with it, so we do that at Little Bellows, and then we also have, again, some tips and tutorials and things that you can learn there, it's a great site. Then, I just have things to share with you for days. (laughs) But if you are interested about the business side of it, because I know we didn't get into that here, teaching people how to run a successful and profitable business is a huge passion of mine. It's probably as big a passion as film. I think that as photographers, we are so lucky that this is our job, and that we can really make a fantastic living, provide for our family, and do it doing something we love, creating beautiful images that makes people happy. I just can't, I just love it so much. So, I teach an online class with a friend of mine, Elena Blair, and it is a business class, specifically for photographers, specifically for other creatives, and we call it Lady Boss Workshops, but if we have man-tographers, you're welcome too. (laughs) We include everybody. But, we have also, if you go to our website there, we have a lot of really great blog articles and a lot of free resources on marketing, so check it out and most of all, I just want to say, "Thank you!" Again, I know this was a big day and you guys came here to be with me, so thank you. Thanks for being with us and thank you Creative Live.

Class Description

Stop with the excuses, grab your film camera and get out there and make amazing images! If you’re comfortable with your DSLR and post processing, then learning to use your film camera is easier than you think! In this beginner course, Sandra Coan walks through how to shoot with film so that you feel comfortable, confident, and excited to take the best pictures! She’ll talk about choosing your film and how to find and work with a lab to process your images.

This course will cover:

  • The differences and similarities between film and digital
  • How a camera meter works and how to meter for film
  • The different film options and how they affect your photo
  • How to find the right lab to process your images

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of using film. Sandra will show you how to slow down during your photo shoot, focus on what you’re trying to capture, and ultimately get a great image straight out of camera.


a Creativelive Student

Sandra is a gifted teacher!!! I've been following her work for years and know what an incredible photographer she is - but to be able to teach the way she does is truly a rare gift! I've been shooting film on and off for years and was amazed at how much I could still learn from Sandra's class. She presented the information in a way that was so easy to follow that you couldn't wait to get started. It's wonderful to learn from someone who is clearly passionate about their craft - but who is also excited for others to succeed at what they're teaching.


Amy could not have said it better in her review of this class! I am also a film shooter (have been shooting film personally for 8 years and professionally for 4) and even as someone who understands a lot of what Sandra was talking about, I STILL found this class to be incredibly helpful and learned a lot. Sandra is such a great teacher and an inspiration to so many film photographers. Great class! Thanks Sandra and Creative Live for putting this together for us.


Sandra is not only an insanely talented photographer but she's a gifted teacher. I've been shooting film for weddings and portraits for 5 years and even studied it in photography school so I'm not new to film by any means. But I've allowed myself to be so intimated to create portraits with film using strobes for far too long. But not anymore. I'll be 100% honest when I say that the information she teaches in this course, to a seasoned COMMERCIAL photographer mind you, may be insanely simple. But that's the beauty of it!!! There is no reason to over complicate shooting film with strobes. It's the simplicity and straight forward, clear as day information that Sandra teaches that's essential to rejuvenate today's overly 'tech obsessed' world. Film is alive and well! Sandra's course is gold when it comes to getting that appreciation for our craft back! I'm jazzed and ready to slow my roll down! Thank you, Sandra and CL! The value of this class is far more than that of the strobe kit I finally invested in (HOURS after the class!). : )