These Patapsco Valley State Park photos were captured by Michelle Whitley as an organized group editorial project. Michelle is a Patapsco Valley State Park and Maryland film photographer available for weddings and portraits throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C., and beyond.
I discovered film in 2015 when I stumbled upon Mastin Labs presets. Mastin Labs presets emulate several real film stocks (Portra 400 and Fuji 400H are some of the most popular). I didn’t know my photography style yet and wasn’t open for business at the time. I wanted consistency to my images, but I was stuck and didn’t know where to begin.
Using Mastin has allowed me to fall in love with the look of film. Since shooting more film over the years, I’ve grown to love the process. Film allows me to slow down while shooting. Because each roll costs actual dollars, I place more value on every frame. I take my time picking and choosing what I will shoot, carefully deciding my angle and composition before clicking the shutter. Not every photo needs to be taken. When the timing is perfect and everything falls into place, I take the shot. Comparing digital and film side by side, the film photos speak to me more. I waited for the moment, rather than just snapping away a million frames on my digital camera.
Why not just shoot digital and be done with it? It’s more than just a photo to me. Film makes me feel a certain way when I look at a photograph. Frames are taken with a purpose, and often times I can remember exactly how I felt in the moment of shooting any particular photo on film. The colors and tones in film photographs are unparalleled, often impossible to match in digital photography.
Below are examples of what my images look like straight out of my digital camera (RAW photos) and what the same image looks like shot on film. The digital photos below are not edited in any way. The film images below were shot on Kodak Portra 400 and developed by Richard Photo Lab.
These next examples show a comparison between the RAW image (straight out of camera), that same photo edited with Mastin Labs, and the final film image on the far right.
See more of my film work on my blog!
If you enjoyed the location of this session, see more at Kirsten & Zak’s Patapsco State park engagement photos!
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