You arrive at your client's house to shoot their family session only to realize that the bright rooms they promised you are actually as dark as a church underground, and the walls are painted dark grey. The room is small, though stylishly furnished, but your meter gives you a reading of f1.4 and 1/15 at 400 ISO.
You sigh. If you're going to shoot film, your options are as follows:
A) Ducktape the kids to the couch and hold your breath while shooting....oh wait, your camera doesn't even go to f1.4 so you'll have to shoot at 1/8 and f2.0 and just deal with how blurry everyone's faces will be afterwards
B) Get a tripod, but the kids will still have to be ducktaped...oh, and the dog will be completely blurry
C) Go outside....but this client specifically asked for photos in their house, so you'll have to do some hard convincing there
D) Push the film, but you don't know how that will turn out exactly and you're pretty sure you remembered someone saying something about contrast getting even deeper in pushed film, which is no bueno because this room is DARK
Today won't be the day you shoot film. Too bad, you were really looking forward to it and you sold them on you being a film photographer. You'll just have to spend extra hours agonizingly editing those digital photos to look as close to film as possible.
Session is over, you've shot it all on digital and now you feel like you betrayed yourself and your client because it just wasn't as good as you knew it could be. But what could you do? There just wasn't any light.
But there was actually another option on the list:
D) Use lighting to either mimic natural light or to create a beautiful studio look
Using lighting with film has been done since the 1800's! It's incredibly easy, creates beautiful images, and there are a variety of ways to do it. My personal favorite lighting tool is this nifty light that can be either battery powered or corded and can be used with a variety of diffusers just like a strobe or flash. Here are a couple of examples of how I've used it:
Lighting can be scary for some photographers, but it doesn't have to be! It gives you the freedom to shoot when, where and how you want to without relying on your digital camera as a crutch when you really just wanted to shoot film. We go over multiple lighting techniques in depth at the workshop along with practice shoots where you can see the results from using them. If you love film, but feel stuck when shooting in less than ideal light, join us!
- Sarah Collier, Founder