How to get started in film photography

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We’re starting to see a resurgence in film photography and for those of you looking to get into it but have no experience, it can be hard to decide where to start.

I felt the same when I started shooting movies two years ago. I was at a loss as to what cameras to buy on a budget, what film stocks to buy, and found myself especially confused when it came to processing my film after I finished a roll.

In the video above, I cover the type of cameras I suggest buying when you’re just starting out, which film stocks are both affordable and good looking, and even what the numbers next to the names mean. And then I talk about an often overlooked step: how to process your film after shooting is complete.

With the first category, my suggestion is always to start with a compact camera. They’re generally affordable, fully automatic (removing all the guesswork when first learning how to properly expose images), easy to load, and have a built-in flash for darker scenarios.

When it comes to film stocks, I suggest film stocks like Kodak Gold 200, Kodak Ultramax 400, Ektar 100, Pro Image 100, and Ilford HP 5. Film, in general, gets more expensive, but these stocks always go to be the most affordable band compared to others like Portra 400, Portra 800 and Fuji Pro 400H.

Finally, what you want to look for in a lab, in addition to being ideally local, is that it offers both development and scanning services. It’s much easier to go to a one-stop shop and get it all done, instead of sending your film to multiple places and having to wait even longer to get your scans back.

That’s why I made this video. Not just to spread and share my love for film photography, but to provide a resource for anyone looking to begin their film photography journey. Film photography can be intimidating, but it really doesn’t have to be.


About the Author: Gene Yoon is a Chicago-based photographer, filmmaker, and YouTuber who earnestly seeks to create heartfelt work and provide a resource for those looking to develop their creativity in photography and videography. For more from Gene, be sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel and follow him on Instagram.

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