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Photographing Families on Film | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer

Written By:

Maryam Salassi

Aug 5, 2020

Over the past year I’ve started shifting to photographing families on film. Film has such a gorgeous tone and quality that digital just can’t match. It’s partially the aesthetic that draws me to film, but there is so much more. There is a ritual in shooting with film. There is prepping for a session. Choosing my film stock and pre-loading rolls into my various cameras. After the session I label my rolls, pack them up, and ship them off to my preferred lab. I usually get scans back in a week to a week and a half and it’s seriously the best thing to see the results of my labor after a week of not knowing what I got! I kind of get the same experience families do when they get their galleries. Once I get the scans back, I tweak and prep them and then send them off to their family. I seriously love the process, and I’ve felt so much more settled into my craft since switching back to film.

When I am photographing families on film I primarily shoot with a Hasselblad H1 and a Canon EOS 1V. That being said, I also dabble in toy cameras like the Holga I got in college and even a disposable camera from time to time. I love the experimental aspect of film, it keeps me motivated and fresh which is always a good thing. As far as film stocks, I like to shoot with Kodak Ektar 100 on sunny days, Kodak Portra 400 pretty much anytime, and Kodak Tri-X and Ilford Delta 3200 for black and white. I’ve spent time shooting different stocks and figuring out which ones I like best, and those are the ones I’ve narrowed it down to. I mostly stick to Kodak because it tends to be warmer, and really looks very similar to the snapshots I have of my own childhood. The thing that really kicked me down the family photography path was looking through those photos of my childhood so being able to replicate those images even a tiny bit is just *chef’s kiss*.

If you love the look of film and are ready to talk about booking a session, get in touch! I’m here for you whenever you’re ready.

wide shot of mom and daughter in front of warehouse doormom wiping son's face a mother with dark hair and white headband squats down with toddler son in tee shirtcute girl with bob and floral dress mom and daughter laughing together family of four portrait family of four standing in front of blue wall dad kneeling and hugging young daughter toddler boy standing while older sister twirls young boy and girl standing in front of blue wall mom and dad crouching to catch running childrentoddler boy standing with twirling sisterdouble exposure of dad and daughter on kodak color plus 200triple exposure of familydouble exposure of mom and daughtertoddler feet in blue sandals on beach mother and daughter running towards ocean double exposure of daisies and a woman walking toward ocean holding young daughter's handfamily of four in the ocean splashing young girl splashing in ocean young boy in ocean with sister in background family of four out of focus in ocean vintage look couple photo double exposure of rainbow neon and two young kids in ocean double exposure of neon sign and two kids splashing in water

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