Harrison Hurwitz Talks Film With Adorama

In an age where digital has all but put film in the grave, commercial and wedding photographer Harrison Hurwitz has continued to build his business around the organic medium. As a young photographer knowing only digital imaging, I always find it interesting and enlightening to hear from the older pros who may have started with film or actually prefer still shooting film. The argument Harrison makes about film already being color corrected resonates well with me since I'm a jpeg shooter and prefer the color/tones my camera burns into the files vs digitally manipulating it. I can only imagine how much more expensive it is to shoot film and pay for the processing/scanning compared to the digital alternative; that aspect I do not miss. Are any of our readers also film shooters who have a perspective on this and if so we'd love to hear from you below.

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piet's picture


Philip Wilkerson's picture

I still shoot with film, but its more for pleasure not business. However; I do bring my film cameras to weddings and other photo shoots but I'm not dependent on film anymore. My portfolio is mostly digital, but my best work is still with film. I shoot with a Mamiya C330 TLR and a 35mm Konica Autoflex TC. My film of choice is Kodak's Kodachrome (R.I.P.) and Portra VC. I'm currently working on a Kodachrome project, my last two rolls of Kodachrome. Maybe I should do a BTS on my film project ;)


Chris Boyd's picture

Although I'm a younger photographer (23) I trained on film, and am still in love with it. All be it I shoot 99% of my commercial work digital, I love going out and shooting film. Although I don't feel the "magic", I do enjoy the wonder of the chemistry. The feel and sounds of the film turning and the heavy bulky mirror slapping up and down... I would consider it my hobby, with digital being my work.

jason kessenich's picture

That was excellent. I love videos like that. Thanks for sharing.

Thomas Woodson's picture

I love and hate film at the same time. Film photography really is so much more of an art form, physically processing the film yourself, making test strips in the dark room, dodging and burning enlarged prints. In the end the print you made is 1 off, and that feels really good. I am shooting a series on modern architecture using a 4x5 camera for a school project, I think it will make it much nicer than digital because the aesthetic of it and the process.

Something I shoot digital just seems like money, but film seems like a work of art (thats a hassle though)

david joseph's picture

A film camera in the hands of somebody who knows how to leverage it blows digital out of the water. If you live close to a decent processor with minilab scanning thats cheap it works out cheap to give it a try and see for yourself. Best paid wedding photographer in Spain is 19 years old and shoots film. Best paid wedding photographer in london , 24 years old shoots film.

david joseph's picture

oops should have said 29 and not 19.

James's picture

I think it's in fashion to charge way more because you shoot film too. In my eyes it seems like film photographer should charge more because they aren't going to eat the developing cost. If they shoot roughly the same number of photos a digital shooter would (let's say 2000), that's 84 rolls of film which could easily cost over $1000 not to mention processing.

zoolkareem's picture

I use films now because I don't have the privilege to use them before.I use film mainly for my street shoot project.

Max's picture

I think film has something special to it. I can't even say what it is, but there is something inside the picture that is somehow different. It seems like there is more depth, density, soul in it. I don't know why. I'm 22 and on my way to become a professional one day. I started taking photos with 16 and all I had was an old Fujica SLR camera with a 50mm/1.4 Lens, that once belonged to my father. Now I bought the whole lab from my Photography Professor and I wanna learn the whole processing stuff. I think it is something we should not forget about. Analogue Photography is 200 years old. That is a bunch of time to develop. Digital Photography might be just as old as I am. That's not much. I think Digital Photography is in some aspects not as developed as Analogue Photography, because, just as Mr. Hurwitz said, you do things inside the camera and the film carries something inside, that can't be reproduced. I mean I can do that crappy Lomo Effect on any digital Photo on my Computer but it wont look exactly the same as a real Lomography. Same with normal Film Cameras. I love both ways of taking Photos and I think we should not just look at the financial aspect of it. Good Photos are worth the money.