LET's START WITH WHY?
My great grandparents never saw a picture of themselves! Crazy, right? Not a single chubby-cheeked baby photo or a solitary elegant image from their wedding day. Nada. And if they wanted to relive their youth and their blossoming love story, they had to rely on their minds. They’d smile at each other, never quite able to conjure the details of their most special days.
I wish I’d learned from them. I wish I hadn’t waited until my thirties (seriously!) to start capturing images of myself. There are so many memories I’d love to look back on, and I can already feel my memory failing me sometimes.
And this my friend is why it means so much for me to be a wedding and a portraits photographer. (Confession: At the beginnings of my career, sometimes I'd even cry when I'd get a wedding booking!)
Knowing that I’ve been entrusted to document one of the most important days of their lives humbles me and fills me with profound gratitude.
And, so, today I pay back such deference by investing everything I have – mind, body and soul – into chronicling their love story with meticulous care and immense respect. Every single shot I take is deeply lived and considered. And every tool at my disposal, from lighting and positioning through to the equipment I use, is lovingly thought-out and prepared.
This is the difference Asia Pimentel Photography is happily known for. And it’s the difference I am proud to cultivate more and more with every wedding I document.
Now, I’d *love* to wax lyrical on each tool in my kit, but I know that not everyone is
as interested in the semantics of photography as I am.
So, today, I wanted to share just one of them with you: Film photography.
If Asia Pimentel Photography were a superhero, film photography would be the sidekick.
It’s the secret behind how I capture such soft, dreamy and emotion-rich images, and it’s how I stay grounded and immersed in the magic of the moment.
If you’re not sure what film photography is, imagine the old-school cameras that
literally use rolls of film that need developing.
That’s film photography.
But why would a modern wedding photographer use an ancient photography tool? Easy: The experience (and the result!)
There is an almost sacred feeling to creating images with film. Some of the greatest and most amazing movies ever made were shot on film. Most of the movies that are nominated for Oscar awards every year are still shot on film.
For me, film photography keeps me constantly evolving, growing, improving and inspired about my craft.
When I’m using my Pentax 645 or any other film camera, I’m wholly, wonderfully, in tune with everything; the interactions between my couples and their loved ones, the emotions swirling in the room, the light, the environment and how everything works in harmony to create the atmosphere and mood of the moment.
There is no second chance to capture an image.
In order to act as a visual historian, I have to honor the moment, put my all into it, be wholly present, and trust in the process and myself to create the image, knowing that I won’t be able to review every shoot on the screen of a digital camera.
I love sending off my rolls of film, waiting anxiously for the scans to arrive and having beautiful images (and sometimes unexpected surprises) come back to me. I am confident in saying that 80% of the images I receive a few weeks after the wedding are always better than what they were in my mind.
Shooting film also adds more value to the final product I deliver to my clients and injects new life and inspiration into my artistic process. Film is the easiest and the surest way to create a timeless, authentic and true to life look.
And the final product is not something that looks nice, it’s something that feels special too. But don’t get me wrong – digital photography still plays a very important role in my work. I do still shoot digital when I feel it’s the best medium for my work and my clients, like during the dark hours of an evening wedding reception. For those digital images, I use presets to keep my film look consistent throughout and keep my post-processing as simple as possible.
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“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” – Rumi.