After emerging from a camera break over the winter, I came lumbering out of my cave squinting my eyes ready to get back in the swing of things…I truly didn’t touch my camera for nearly two months. This is not something I’d recommend, as I felt very rusty diving into this little shoot. However, I tried to embrace my rested eyes as my tiny team and I drove out to the country for some simple bridal portraits.
Mamiya 645AF | 80mm F/2.8 Lens | Kodak Porta 800 Film | Scans by PhotoVision
These are some of my favorite scans I’ve ever received back from my lab. I’ve struggled to find the proper film stock and post-processing techniques to fight the very flat Pacific Northwest light. I used to believe that over-cast was a gift…and sometimes it is. However, as I’ve developed my style I find that I am drawn to rich color and slightly deeper contrast than I used to be. I just MAY have found the solution in Kodak Portra 800 Film. I love how saturated the colors are – but still dreamy and pastel like. Shooting Fuji400H doesn’t always render the results I’d like in our very green, gray climate. The 800 speed on the portra stock also allows for more flexibility on dreary Oregon days where light can fade so quickly.
The rich greens set against Alexandra’s red hair is such a delight to photograph. I love how the tones in these scans turned so emerald and deeply forest green. This was my first time shooting 100% film during daylight. When you have a successful film session, it’s so rewarding because there is very little post-processing needed. In fact, these photos needed nothing besides a little brightening on a few frames. Overall, I sent the film rolls off, got them back looking finished and am blogging them in record time. That experience is the one that every film photographer is after. It’s so peaceful and fulfilling when it works out that way – and saves you so much time and energy at the computer so that you can get back to the fun part, the actual shooting.
These images wound up looking like they could have come out of Europe and have a very “moody” quality that I’m really pleased with. When I see the cobble stone, ducks and water texture, I think of Jane Austen or the Irish Isles. The funniest part is I actually shot these in a combination of Laurelhurst Park and Milo McIver State Park. Who would have thought these simple park settings could look so elegant?
I’m learning to create a story while shooting and look for details that compliment the over-all tone and color palette. This becomes so important when walking into a wedding. As photographers we don’t always get to shoot our dream weddings in the perfect venue – but I’ve learned that every celebration has something special about it, something the camera can zoom in on and make shine. This shoot was a good practice in that.
Model Alexandra Hagel
Dress Cover “Duster” Forever21
Florals + Ribbon Pistil + Stamen
Assistance Ken Kupelian
Film Lab PhotoVision