Elegant Nostalgia: Capturing Your Special Day with 35mm Film Elopement & Wedding Photography

If you’re captivated by the thought of immortalizing your wedding day with the iconic look of 35mm film wedding photography, you’re not alone. This timeless medium captures not just images but sentiment, atmosphere, and emotion in ways that digital can struggle to emulate. In this article, we’ll delve into why 35mm film can make your wedding memories even more precious, provide you with practical tips, and ideas, and help you decide if it’s the right choice for your nuptials.

Silhouettes on the mountain top in the sunshine, 35mm film photography Banff, Canmore Alberta

Key Takeaways

  • 35mm film photography adds a layer of timeless charm and authenticity to wedding memories, capturing nostalgic warmth with unique textures and tones.

  • Film photography for weddings and elopements is intentional and personal, creating distinct, curated images that truly reflect the couple’s love story and style.

  • I offers a documentary approach to capture spontaneous, genuine moments, ensuring each wedding photo tells an honest and heartfelt story.

The Charm of 35mm Film on Your Wedding Day

Mountain Lakeside elopement wedding 35mm film photography

The modern digital age has brought convenience and immediacy to photography, yet, there’s an undeniable charm in the resurgence of analog film photography at weddings. Akin to the revival of vinyl records or handwritten letters, 35mm film photography offers an inimitable sense of nostalgia and authenticity, bringing a distinct, vintage character to your wedding day memories. Opting for a 35mm film photography add on for your wedding allows you to create timeless heirlooms that will be loved for generations, given the romantic anticipation and physicality associated with film photography, something that modern digital images frequently fail to emulate.

The allure of 35mm film lies in the unique texture, tone, and character it imparts to wedding photos, capturing moments with a nostalgic warmth that digital photography may struggle to achieve. Each frame of film captures not just an image, but a slice of time, an emotion, a memory. The organic imperfections and grain of 35mm film contribute to the depth and emotion of wedding photos, enhancing the portrayal of your love story. A curated art piece that narrates the beautiful tale of your perfect day.

The Analog Appeal

The analogue nature of film photography has a profound appeal. In a world saturated with digital images, the distinctive nostalgic appeal of 35mm film photography harks back to the charm of childhood photos and creates standout wedding albums. Each roll of film captures not only emotional wedding moments but also ensures timelessness. I offer both black and white and colour film photography. It is completely your choice, which you would prefer.

Currently I am using Ilford Delta 400 professional Black and White film and Kodak Portra professional 400 colour film.

Tangible characteristics like dynamic range and grain texture inherent in film result in soft, dreamy images that are visually adaptable to various lighting situations. The experience of being photographed with vintage film cameras adds to the allure for couples, as it highlights the craftsmanship and nostalgic value of the process, making them feel special. With analogue film, you’re not just capturing images, but crafting memories that evoke a sense of fun, nostalgia, and a connection to the past.

Mountain 35mm film photography. Elopement and wedding Photography Banff Alberta

Crafting Memories on Film

Shooting with 35mm film for weddings involves the excitement of film development and the emotional impact of physical prints, adding to the images’ romantic nostalgia. Each frame on a roll of film is precious, encouraging a more thoughtful and deliberate approach to composing and capturing each shot. This often results in a smaller, curated collection of images, but each one holds a substantial emotional impact, becoming a cherished memory in itself.

A film photographer can select from a variety of film stocks and cameras to create a distinctive look that aligns with the couple’s personal style, each choice impacting the aesthetic result of the wedding photos. This level of customization ensures that your wedding photos will not only be unique but also a perfect reflection of your style and personality. Crafting memories on film, thus, becomes a collaborative process that combines the couple’s vision with the wedding photographer itself’s expertise and the distinctive aesthetic of the chosen film.

Personalizing Your Love Story with Film

Lauren Hollamby Photography 35mm film elopement wedding photography

Film photographs are typically shoot with purpose, taking more thoughtful shots that result in personal and artistic depictions of a couple’s love story. This practice, reinforced by the inherent nature of shooting with film which commands a slower pace, allows photographers like myself to truly immerse in the moment, connecting with the couple and capturing the essence of their love story with authenticity and depth. This intentional approach to photography ensures that your wedding photo album will not just be a collection of beautiful images but a narrative that reflects your journey together.

To ensure the narrative of the love story is interwoven into the photographs, photographers engage with couples in detailed discussions about wedding themes, personal style, and photography requests. This might involve using tools like mood boards and engagement sessions to build rapport and align vision. The emotional depth and atmosphere of the special day are encapsulated through the emotive qualities of film photography, which allows couples to relive their wedding day and the memories embedded in each image. With each click of the shutter, your love story unfolds, captured in the timeless elegance of film.

Tailored Prompts and Settings

A film photographer’s systematic approach and inclination to take their time yields images that genuinely reflect the couple’s individual dynamics and personalities. This focus on authenticity extends to how couples are guided during their photo sessions. Rather than relying on static, posed shots, I use tailored prompts and behaviors that allow couples to express their genuine selves. Whether it’s a shared joke, a loving gaze, or a spontaneous tickle fight, these authentic moments of connection and joy are captured to create images that are true to their relationship.

Setting a casual tone for the photography session helps couples relax, making it easier to capture candid moments after the formal poses are completed. By working with natural light, I strive to enhance the composition and mood of the photographs, bringing out the uniqueness of each couple’s love story. These tailored prompts and settings combine to create a relaxed and enjoyable experience, allowing couples to be themselves and making each captured moment a genuine reflection of their love.

The Intimacy of Small Weddings

Film photography’s intentional nature harmonizes with the nuanced details and emotions of smaller, intimate weddings, capturing each facet with purposeful focus. The grain and organic quality of film photography amplify the warmth and authenticity of micro weddings, lending a nostalgic charm to the captured moments. Whether it’s a backyard wedding or an intimate gathering at a local chapel, small weddings offer a unique opportunity to focus on the connections and interactions between the couple and their closest loved ones.

Film’s unique rendering of light and shadow is particularly adept at documenting deep connections and the emotional richness of intimacy at small weddings. The closeness afforded by a limited number of guests enhances the opportunity to vividly capture laughter, tears, and genuine moments on film. By closely collaborating with the couple, I am able to craft a collection of images that are truly reflective of their relationship and personal story.

The intimate nature of small weddings, combined with the distinct charm of film photography, creates a collection of memories that are as unique and special as the love story they represent, capturing all the details.

The Elopement Experience: Film Edition

Waterfall, rainbow, 35mm film photography Alberta Canada

Elopements present a unique chance to craft a wedding day that is deeply personal and intimate, focusing on the couple’s most valued aspects. With 35mm film photography, the essence of these elopement experiences can be captured with a timeless quality that digital photography cannot replicate, enhancing the personal and intimate feel of the images. The subtle nuances of natural light in outdoor settings are particularly compelling for 35mm film, lending a unique charm to golden hour ceremonies often preferred for elopements.

As an elopement photographer, I provide:

  • Thorough planning support to ensure the best locations and vendors for an unforgettable elopement

  • Tailored photography packages

  • Capture every magical moment of your elopement journey

Whether you dream of saying your vows atop a mountain or in a secluded forest clearing, I am here to make your elopement unforgettable.

Hiking and Helicopter Elopements

For those with a sense of adventure, hiking and helicopter elopements afford the opportunity to capture stunning images from mountaintops, where the grandeur of the landscape amplifies the emotional resonance of the photos. As an adventurous photographer myself, I personally am more than willing to ascend mountains on foot, camp overnight, or employ a helicopter to reach remote locations, facilitating the creation of remarkable elopement imagery.

Elopement photography in remote hiking and helicopter settings captures the joy and stress-free moments of couples amidst the splendor of nature, providing memories of heartfelt intimacy. The unpredictable weather conditions of mountainous and forested elopement sites present unique challenges, with film photography documenting the evolving atmospheres and the couple’s engagement with their surroundings. Whether it’s a beam of sunlight breaking through the clouds or a sudden flurry of snow, these moments of unexpected beauty are immortalized on film, adding to the magic of your elopement experience.

From Canmore to the World: Traveling for Your Wedding

35mm film photography. Romantic, black and white film photos available for elopement and wedding packages

Based in the beautiful Canmore, Alberta, I provide photography services all over Banff National Park, Alberta and Eastern BC, bringing my passion for documenting wedding stories to any corner of the globe. For couples choosing to get married within a 90-minute drive of Canmore, Alberta, I offer a policy of no additional travel charges for their wedding photography, making it a seamless and stress-free process.

Using 35mm film for destination weddings allows me to merge the unique historical essence of the location with the couple’s own narrative, enhancing the visual storytelling. With a background that spans photography in Canada, the UK, and across Europe, I bring a global touch and cultural appreciation to each wedding I capture. Whether it’s a secluded beach, mountains in Patagonia or a charming vineyard in Italy, I am there to ensure that your wedding photos are as unique and beautiful as the journey you’re embarking on.

Favorite Spots and Hidden Gems

Throughout my career in photography, I’ve been fortunate enough to capture weddings in some truly breathtaking locations. Some of my favourite spots in Canada for wedding photography include:

  • Banff

  • Canmore

  • Lake Louise

  • Moraine Lake

  • Kananaskis

  • Jasper

  • Golden

Each of these locations offers a unique backdrop for your special day, from the majestic peaks of Banff to the serene waters of Lake Louise.

Further afield, some beautiful and varied photography locations include:

  • Venice

  • Patagonia

  • Almafi Coast

  • Santorini

  • picturesque vineyards in France

  • Paris

Whether it’s a well-known landmark or a hidden gem, I am here to help you find the perfect location for your wedding day.

Behind the Lens: Meet Lauren Hollamby

Lauren from Lauren Hollamby Photography

Originally hailing from West Lancashire, I now reside in Canmore, Alberta, a place of stunning beauty that fuels my creativity. My documentary photography style is inspired by a blend of genuine, heartfelt emotion and international flare. As Lauren Hollamby of Lauren Hollamby Photography, I am thrilled to be the one behind the lens, immortalizing your special moments on your wedding day, whether it’s a local celebration, elopement or a destination wedding.

Wedding and elopement photography is more than my job, it’s my passion; I deeply cherish the privilege of sharing in your joy and capturing your unique story. Every couple I work with, every story I get to tell, adds to my journey as a photographer and enriches my life in ways words can’t express. For me, being a part of your special day is more than just a job – it’s a celebration of love, an exploration of human connection, and an adventure I am grateful to embark on.

My Documentary Approach

My photography style is recognized for its relaxed nature, specializing in capturing special moments as they spontaneously occur. This relaxed approach allows me to blend into the background during your special day, recording the genuine emotions and moments that make each wedding day unique. From the quiet anticipation before the ceremony to the joyful celebration afterwards, I am there to capture it all with authenticity and warmth.

The documentary approach is a hallmark of my work, focusing on the genuine emotions and moments that make each wedding day unique. This consistent ability to capture authentic emotions contributes to the intimate and personal feel of the film photographs taken by me. By focusing on the real, unscripted moments, I aim to create a collection of images that not only document your wedding day but also tell the story of your love in the most honest and beautiful way.

Grateful for Every Story

I am deeply thankful for my passion for photography and the joy that stems from collaborating with wonderful couples. Each couple I work with brings a unique story, a unique journey, and a unique vision for their special day. It’s a pleasure and a joy to be a part of these happy occasions, such as:

where I can capture the joy and unforgettable moments.

Every wedding, every elopement, every couple brings with them a treasure trove of precious moments, including:

  • amazing sunrises and sunsets

  • laughter

  • tears

  • incredible chapters in the lives of those I photograph

Each of these moments, each of these stories, is a gift that I am privileged to capture and preserve. For me, every story is a source of inspiration, every moment spent together a testament to the power of love, and every photograph a cherished memory that I am honored to create.

Pingvellier National Park Iceland 35mm film Lauren Hollamby Photography

Curating Your Online Gallery and Printing Rights

After your wedding day, the time comes to revisit the memories through your photographs. Understanding print rights is crucial for sharing and printing wedding photos without restrictions or additional costs. All of my photography packages include the rights for all personal use of your photographs. High-resolution digital photos are provided, enabling clients to print images in a range of sizes.

The delivery timeline for wedding photos typically includes:

  • Sneak peeks

  • Online galleries

  • Physical prints & albums

  • Complete digital collection

These are available within a maximum of 8 weeks from your wedding day.

All my 35mm film wedding photography add on’s include a selection of prints in a beautiful box as well as in digital format.

Connect and Capture

If my methodology and style resonate with you, I’d love to chat. You can send me a message through my website here, and I’d be delighted to set up an initial phone or video chat to talk about your wedding details. Reserving a wedding date with me involves signing a contract and paying a $500 non-refundable retainer, with the balance due 6 weeks before the wedding day. I am available for weddings and elopements in various locations including Banff, Canmore, Kananaskis and beyond.

On your wedding day, my goal is to make a positive contribution by offering practical support and expertise, ensuring a memorable and seamlessly executed day. Whether it’s helping to adjust your veil, capturing the perfect sunset shot, or providing a calming presence amidst the excitement, I am there to make sure your day is as perfect as possible.

Let’s connect and start the journey to capturing the magic of your special day.


From the nostalgic charm of 35mm film photography to the intimate and personal nature of small weddings and elopements, we’ve journeyed through the myriad ways in which your love story can be beautifully captured on film. We’ve explored the unique experiences of hiking and helicopter elopements, discovered some favorite spots and hidden gems for wedding photography, and gotten to know the person behind the lens. With an understanding of online galleries and print rights, and the knowledge of how to connect and capture your special day with Lauren Hollamby, you’re now ready to embark on your own journey to beautifully timeless wedding photography.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you buy 35mm film anymore?

Yes, 35mm film is still being produced by major brands like Kodak and Ilford, as well as smaller independent brands. It’s the most popular film format available!

Why is 35mm film so expensive?

35mm film is expensive because of the specialized materials and processes required to manufacture it, the unique aesthetic it provides, and the decrease in demand and supply.

Why is it so hard to buy 35mm film?

It’s hard to buy 35mm film because the metal canisters require careful and complicated processes to finish and package without light leaks. This leads to a limited availability of color 35mm film today.

What is elopement photoshoot?

Elopement photoshoots capture the intimate and unique wedding experience of a couple, taking place in small, serene, and intimate locations. It’s all about focusing solely on the couple. How amazing is that?

What is Lauren Hollamby’s photography style?

Lauren Hollamby’s photography style leans towards a documentary approach, focusing on capturing genuine emotions and moments, which makes her work really engaging and authentic!

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