What is hybrid wedding photography?

Apr 26, 2023 | Planning

When you begin looking for a great wedding photographer, you'll come across some who shoot digitally and others who favor traditional film, as well as those who use a combination of both - known as hybrid wedding photographers. Here at Wedding Sparrow we are known for showcasing film photography as we adore the beautiful authenticity but we appreciate that the convenience of digital has a place in capturing modern weddings too.

So what is hybrid wedding photography and how do photographers combine the two mediums to tell the story of your day in a cohesive wedding gallery? We asked Charleston wedding photographer and Fine Art Curation member Taylor Jordan to share her insight and expertise to help you decide if a hybrid wedding photographer is the right choice for you.

"When you're capturing one of the biggest days in someone's life, you have to be in a flow and being a hybrid shooter allows just that," explains Taylor. "It gives beauty, consistency, and reliability." Let's find out what's involved...

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What is a hybrid wedding photographer?

By the most common industry definition, hybrid photographers use a flexible work model that supports a blend of digital and film photography. It offers the autonomy to choose to work wherever and however I’m most productive, which is essential on a wedding day! It allows me to create the art and style I want and then replicate the look with digital images. It gives me the ability to capture beautiful art, but then also tell the story of someone’s wedding day as it naturally unfolds.

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How do you approach a typical wedding day?

On a typical wedding day, I will shoot the majority of portraiture with medium format film. It gives gorgeous, creamy skin tones, true and accurate colors, and retains beautiful highlights. I love the look of natural light and film, but with that being said, I'll usually switch to digital when it becomes dark or if I’m getting certain action shots.

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How are the photographs processed?

Once a wedding day comes to an end, I send the film to Richard Photo Lab to be processed and scanned. Then, once I receive the files, I use the film as a tool for editing. It serves as a fantastic reference for myself and my editors. There are amazing companies that specialize in matching film to digital such as The Find Lab, Photo Vision and The Ginger Lab.

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What are the benefits of hiring a hybrid wedding photographer?

The main benefit is getting to utilise the best parts of each medium to capture the story of your day in an artistic, intentional and reliable way. In addition to being a great emergency backup option, shooting some parts of the day in digital also allows the fine art film look to be more financially accessible. I would have to charge my clients way more if I solely shot film due to the cost of film rolls and processing.

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All images and copy by Taylor Jordan.


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