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The Timeless Magic of Film Photography: Why You Should Give it a Shot

Why You Should Shoot on FilmAre you tired of the instant gratification of digital photography? Do you long for the days when photographers had to slow down and think before capturing a moment?

Well, shooting on film might be the answer for you. In this article, we will explore the benefits of film photography and how it can improve your photography skills.

We will also provide insight on where you can buy film to start your own film photography journey.

Benefits of Film Photography

1. Slowing Down and Thinking

One of the major benefits of shooting on film is that it forces you to slow down and think before pressing the shutter button.

With digital photography, it’s easy to take hundreds of photos in a matter of minutes, hoping that one of them turns out well. With film, you have a limited number of shots, which makes you more intentional and thoughtful about each frame.

This process encourages you to carefully consider composition, lighting, and subject matter, resulting in more satisfying and meaningful photographs. 2.

Surprises and Anticipation

When shooting on film, there’s an element of surprise and anticipation that is absent in digital photography. You don’t get to see the image instantly on the back of your camera; instead, you have to wait patiently for the film to be developed.

This anticipation builds excitement and adds an element of surprise when you finally see the physical prints or negatives. The delayed gratification of film photography can be incredibly rewarding and adds a sense of nostalgia to the process.

3. Prints, Albums, and Wall Art

One of the joys of shooting on film is the ability to create physical prints.

Holding a tangible photograph in your hands is a unique experience that cannot be replicated by looking at images on a screen. Film prints have a certain quality to them the colors, sharpness, and overall feel are different from digital images.

They have a timeless quality that makes them perfect for creating albums or displaying on your walls. Film prints also have a different aesthetic appeal, especially when shooting in black and white or using medium format cameras.

The larger negative size leads to higher resolution and greater detail, resulting in stunning images. 4.

Fostering Creativity

Shooting on film encourages creative thinking as it requires you to work with limitations. You have to rely on your skills and understanding of camera settings to capture a perfect shot.

This limitation can be liberating, pushing you to experiment and explore new techniques. Film also has a unique way of capturing light and colors, giving your photographs a distinct look that may inspire new ideas and perspectives.

The process of shooting on film encourages you to think outside the box and approach your subjects with a fresh mindset.

Improving Photography Skills with Film

1. Learning the Basics

If you’re new to photography or looking to improve your skills, shooting on film is a great way to learn the basics.

With digital photography, it’s easy to rely on the camera’s automatic modes, but shooting on film forces you to understand camera settings and how they affect the final image. From learning about aperture and shutter speed to mastering the art of exposure, shooting on film provides a hands-on experience that develops your technical knowledge.

This knowledge can then be applied to digital photography, making you a more well-rounded and skilled photographer. 2.

Developing an Eye for Detail

Film photography requires careful attention to detail, as you don’t have the luxury of editing your images after the fact. This means you have to be mindful of composition, lighting, and subject matter while taking the photo.

Developing an eye for detail is a crucial skill for any photographer, and shooting on film forces you to practice and refine this skill. You become more aware of your surroundings, noticing small details that can elevate your images from ordinary to extraordinary.

Where to Buy Film

1. B&H Photo

If you’re looking for a wide range of film options, B&H Photo is your go-to destination.

Their catalog includes 35mm film, instant films, medium format films, large format films, sheet films, and even movie films. In addition, they offer a selection of Lomography films that add a fun and creative twist to your film photography.

With reliable shipping services, B&H Photo ensures that your film arrives safely and promptly. 2.

KEH Camera

KEH Camera is another reputable source for all your film photography needs. They specialize in analog photography and offer a variety of film options, including 35mm film, black and white film, color film, special films, medium format, large format, film sheets, and instant films.

With their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, KEH Camera is a trusted choice for film photographers. They also provide reliable shipping services to ensure that your film arrives in perfect condition.

In conclusion, shooting on film offers a unique and rewarding experience for photographers. It encourages you to slow down, think, and be deliberate with your shots.

The anticipation and surprise of waiting for film to be developed adds an element of excitement to the process. Film prints have a distinct quality that cannot be replicated by digital images, making them perfect for albums and wall art.

Shooting on film fosters creativity and pushes you to improve your photography skills. By understanding camera settings and paying attention to detail, you can capture stunning images that reflect your artistic vision.

When starting your film photography journey, B&H Photo and KEH Camera are reliable sources for purchasing a wide range of film types. So why not give film photography a try?

Slow down, think, and let the magic of film surprise you.

Other Places to Buy Film

While B&H Photo and KEH Camera are excellent options for purchasing film, there are several other reputable sources that cater to film photographers. Whether you’re looking for specific film types, searching for unique expired films, or seeking a vast selection of traditional photographic equipment, these alternative places have got you covered.

Let’s explore some other places where you can buy film to fuel your passion for film photography. 1.


eBay is a popular online marketplace where you can find a wide variety of film options. One of the advantages of eBay is the ability to search using specific parameters, such as film type, brand, or format.

This makes it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for. In addition to brand-new films, eBay is also a great place to hunt for unique expired films that can produce interesting and unpredictable results.

However, it’s important to note that ordering consistency can vary on eBay, so do your research and read customer reviews before making a purchase. Shipping costs may also vary based on the seller’s location.

2. Adorama

Adorama is a renowned photography retailer that not only sells a vast range of camera equipment but also offers a variety of film options.

They carry popular brands like Fujifilm and Kodak, along with specialty films such as infrared film. Adorama’s website features informative articles and reviews to help you make informed decisions about your film choices.

With their physical location in New York, Adorama is a great option for those who prefer to shop in-store. They also provide reliable shipping services for customers worldwide.

3. CatLABS

CatLABS specializes in traditional photographic equipment, making them a go-to source for film photographers, particularly those interested in large format photography.

They carry a wide range of large format cameras, lenses, film processing chemicals, and darkroom gear. CatLABS also offers a diverse selection of large format, medium format, and 35mm films.

Whether you’re a seasoned large format photographer or just starting out, CatLABS is a trusted destination for your film and equipment needs. They provide shipping services to ensure your purchases arrive safely.

4. Freestyle Photographic Supplies

Freestyle Photographic Supplies is a comprehensive source for all your film photography needs.

Their extensive catalog includes 35mm film, large format films, instant films, bulk films, chemicals for film processing, and darkroom equipment. Freestyle Photographic Supplies has been serving photographers for over 75 years and has earned a reputation for their commitment to quality.

Their worldwide shipping ensures that film photographers from all corners of the globe can access their wide range of products. 5.


Amazon, the world’s largest online marketplace, is another convenient option for purchasing film. While Amazon may not specialize in film photography like other dedicated retailers, they offer a wide selection of films for various camera formats.

Whether you’re looking for instant films for your Polaroid camera or large format sheet films, Amazon is likely to have what you need. As with any marketplace, it’s important to verify the authenticity of the seller and read customer reviews.

Amazon provides worldwide shipping, making it accessible to photographers worldwide. 6.

Japan Camera Hunter

For film enthusiasts who appreciate the nostalgic charm of film cameras, Japan Camera Hunter is a must-visit website. Run by Bellamy Hunt, an experienced camera hunter, this online store offers a curated selection of film cameras, including rare and unique models.

Additionally, Japan Camera Hunter produces their own film called JCH StreetPan, a black and white film designed specifically for street photography. The website also features a special section for disposable cameras.

With their worldwide shipping, Japan Camera Hunter caters to film photographers all over the world. 7.


Lomography is not just a brand; it’s a community that celebrates all things analog photography. Their website is a treasure trove of films, cameras, lenses, and accessories.

Lomography produces their own films, including 35mm film, 120 films, and 110mm films, as well as Fujifilm Instax films. Their cameras and lenses cater to photographers looking for innovative and creative tools to express their artistic vision.

Lomography’s commitment to analog photography shines through their products and their worldwide shipping ensures accessibility to photographers everywhere. 8.

Parallax Photographic

Parallax Photographic is a UK-based retailer that serves the film photography community with a wide range of products. They offer an extensive selection of color films, black and white films, disposable cameras, chemicals for film processing, darkroom equipment, papers, storage options, books, and accessories.

Parallax Photographic is a one-stop shop for all your film photography needs. Their website provides detailed product descriptions and information to help you make informed choices.

Shipping costs will vary depending on your location. 9.


Instant photography enthusiasts can turn to Polaroid for their film needs. Polaroid offers a variety of instant cameras, along with their own range of Polaroid instant camera films.

Whether you’re a seasoned instant photography enthusiast or just beginning your journey, Polaroid’s range of instant films ensures that you can capture and preserve moments instantly. With worldwide shipping options, you can indulge in the magic of instant photography no matter where you are.

In conclusion, there are several reputable sources where you can buy film, catering to photographers with various film preferences and requirements. From eBay’s wide range of film options to Adorama’s informative articles and reviews, you have ample resources to find the perfect films for your projects.

If you’re looking for specialized equipment or unique films, CatLABS and Japan Camera Hunter offer diverse selections. Meanwhile, Freestyle Photographic Supplies, Amazon, Lomography, Parallax Photographic, and Polaroid provide convenient access to a wide range of film types and accessories.

Explore these alternative places to buy film and continue your film photography journey with confidence and creativity. In conclusion, the benefits of shooting on film and the availability of film from various sources emphasize the enduring importance of film photography in the digital age.

Slowing down and thinking, the surprises and anticipation, the joy of prints and albums, and the fostering of creativity are all reasons why photographers should explore the world of film. Additionally, alternative places like eBay, Adorama, CatLABS, Freestyle Photographic Supplies, Amazon, Japan Camera Hunter, Lomography, Parallax Photographic, and Polaroid expand the options for film enthusiasts, providing a wide range of films and equipment to fuel their passion.

So, whether you’re a beginner seeking to improve your skills or a seasoned photographer looking for new experiences, shooting on film offers a rewarding and artistic journey worth exploring. Embrace the timeless magic of film photography and see where it takes you.