How to Get Started in Film Photography

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

I felt the same way when I first started shooting film two years ago. I was lost as to what cameras to buy with a limited budget, what film stocks to purchase, and found myself especially confused when it came to processing my film after finishing a roll.

In the video above, I cover what type of film cameras I suggest buying when you’re first starting out, the film stocks that are both affordable and beautiful, and even what the numbers next to the names signify. And then I talk about a step that is often overlooked: how to process your film after you’re done shooting.

With the first category, my suggestion is always to start with a film point and shoot camera. They’re generally affordable, fully automatic (which takes all the guesswork out when first learning to expose images properly), 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, is getting more expensive, but these stocks are still going to be the most affordable bunch compared to others like Portra 400, Portra 800, and Fuji Pro 400H.

Finally what you want to look for in a lab, aside from ideally being local, is that they offer both developing and scanning services. It makes it much easier to go to a one-stop-shop and get it all done, opposed to sending your film to multiple places and having to wait even longer to get your scans back.

So that’s why I made this video. Not only 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 photographer, filmmaker, and YouTuber living in Chicago earnestly looking to create heartfelt work, and provide a resource for those looking to grow in their creativity in photography and videography. For more from Gene, make sure to subscribe to his YouTube Channel and follow him on Instagram.