The Best Film Cameras for Wedding Photography

The biggest trend for weddings in 2024 is hands down going to be film photography. I started playing with film cameras very early on when photography was still just a hobby for me. I took a black and white film photography class in community college where I learned to develop and scan my own film, as well as just the basics of photography with weekly assignments. I made some of my best friends in those classes and clearly the love of photography remained.

That is until I misloaded a roll of film for a project I was very excited about and not a single image came out. I put away the film cameras for about a decade, I felt so burned by that moment. That is until I met my now boyfriend TJ who is explicity a street film photographer. I have since then learned how to properly load a roll of film to ensure I won’t miss out on important shots ever again and this year I’m looking to add film photography for wedding days and engagement sessions to really embrace the level of grit and beauty that only film cameras can offer. Truly nothing compares to the gorgeous tones of film photography.

So I wanted to share some of my favorite cameras and what photos with each set looks like so you can compare the aesthetic from 35mm to medium format to instant cameras. Yeah one does have it’s own aesthetic so if you’re looking to add film photography to your wedding day, it’s important to know what you might get!

*Please note: I have predominantly captured my personal life on film since 2020, that is why the majority of the examples I am showing reflect that. 2024 will be the first year that I am excited to offer film photography for my clients! As a result, I will periodically update the examples with real wedding day film images.

35mm Film Cameras

Olympus Stylus

This camera is a beauty! It’s a small point and shoot camera with a lot of versatility. This is a go-to for movement, low light situations, and just easy and quick grabs. This one has been my personal go-to for events, travel, and hanging out with friends. This is a great go-to film camera for weddings in low light situations or just to snag some casual candids.

Reto 3d camera

This one is a fun little camera, albeit it requires a little more work in post processing to create these dope little images. The Reto 3D Camera takes 3 images simultaneously, that you then put together in their Retrospekt app to create a 3D illusion as shown below.

Canon ae-1

The Canon AE-1 is a classic film camera for weddings for a reason. With interchangeable lenses, it offers more control of the aperture to create a softer focus and dreamy bokeh. This camera works great for more intentional moments of the day, getting ready images, portraits, etc.

Medium Format Cameras

Holga 120N Toy camera

This is the best bang for your buck of medium format cameras. You get the joy of shooting in high quality medium format but achieving some really cool and desirable lofi effects. You only get 12 or 16 shots per roll so you have to make each shot count. I’ve seen a huge surge in usage of this fun little camera for wedding days in particular and with good reason: you just can’t replicate the aesthetic like this.

Instant Cameras

Instax Mini

Instax Minis are so cute and my favorite thing is that you can buy all different kinds of different colored film frames. My go-to is usually the all black contact sheet aesthetic, but you can choose whatever strikes your fancy!

Polaroid

I am so glad that polaroids are back, baybeh! You have to love the classic instant gratification of polaroids.

Film Stock

Everyone has their favorites when it comes to film stock but I stick with the classics, and for good reason. Portra film is renowned for being the go-to for professional events and portraits for the beautiful tones that make skin-tones really pop. This is my go-to for getting ready moments and portraits.

Kodak Gold is another gorgeous that offers more vibrant, warmer tones. I think it offers some nice grit and really shines for receptions and dance scenes.

Cinestill is probably not the go-to for wedding days, but it’s a beauty for unexpected night shots.

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