Marianne-Sabado Photography » Los Angeles Wedding Photographer Specializing in Fine Art Film Photography

One Frame | Around

It took me a 3 weeks to write this post out especially since I feel like I don’t really have much to show for it and that I don’t even know if I’ll be able to transition my work to incorporate film AND eventually just start shooting 80% film. See, there I go doubting myself.  But, I know that everything is a learning process and I know I’m not one of those geniuses that after picking up a book and reading about film bamm!!! the results are swoon worthy. No, not me.  I have to practice, practice, practice. So let’s start off with why.

Why film? Why not. Ever since my photography business kicked off a couple of years ago I’ve been getting inspirations from the internet on composed shots and guess what, 90% of the time, those compositions and images were all from film photographers. At the beginning of my business I was in no financial shape to jump head first into film.  I knew the cost of the coveted Contax 645 and it’s Zeiss lenses, the cost of film, the cost to develop film, to scan it and keep on doing it all over again.  My head was financially unprepared, but my heart and passion was. So I waited and Texas came.

Here I am again looking and swooning and wishing that I was taking these amazing wedding and destination photos from film photographers I often followed.  So I took a leap of Google faith and Googled up Mamiya bodies.  B&H popped up and I popped out my credit card and purchased a Mamiya 645e.  I took the leap…finally. My rational side was still telling me to not go ahead with the Contax, it was telling me to build on a foundation first and hone in on the skill.  Simultaneously I opened up another window and ordered 2 packs of film on Amazon.  The minute I clicked on that “continue to checkout” button I knew that if I was serious in incorporating film into my work and get absolutely familiar that I needed to commit.  No half a**ing. Then I started with the Mamiya and loved it…but kept it for only a couple of weeks.  I started thinking that if I really wanted to get into film, I should start using a camera that I wanted to use during engagements, portraits and wedding and so, I returned the Mamiya 645e and purchased a Contax 645.

From here on out we’ll call this series The Film Experience. Because well, I’m experiencing everything in a whole new lens and light. Also, I believe in transparency.  We’re all learning here and I really don’t think that it would make sense for me to post about getting into medium format, learn about it without posting progress (or lack there of) and all of a sudden you see photos from my blog that are blow your mind beautiful. No, I want to share this experience. So to kick this of, here’s a photo taken with the Mamiya.


***One of my favorite test roll shots at the Texas State Fair.  Mamiya 645e, 80mm, f/2.8, Fuji 400. As you can see, the mamiya 645e is a manual focus camera and here it focused on the lower part of the photo. Manual focusing is one more thing I need to hone my skills in.***

I sent out 3 test rolls from the Contax and crossing my fingers that they turn out.  I figured that for personal projects I’ll be sending my films to Indie Film Lab and all professional work to Richard Photo Lab. For now, I’ll end the post here.  But I’ll be sure to blog about the progress and/or setbacks I come across along the way.

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