Why do I shoot film?

Often times when I tell people I shoot film they think that I am referring to video.  However, I am actually referring to the act of still image film photography; think rolls of film, developing in dark rooms, prints, etc.  The process has changed a little since the 90's when people would drop their film off at the 1 hour processing centers at Walgreens.  Now days, there are labs that do developing and then use computerized scanners to scan the developed film and turn it into digital files.  I use a lab in Utah called The Find Lab. I absolutely love these guys! They know my work, my style, and my preferences and they always make sure that my film scans (that's what we call the digital files) come back perfect every time.  

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So now that you know the "what" let's dig into the "why".  When I started photography, I surrounded myself with inspiration from several well known photographers.  I saw all types of styles- dark and moody, light and airy, flash vs. natural light, studio vs. on location, and many more! Photography is an art, and like all types of art there are rules and those rules are often meant to be broken.  Every photographer that picks up a camera seems to follow the same steps. We have to try everything to find our niche and then use all that built up knowledge to develop our own brand.  A brand is built of many attributes like our personality, our taste, our draw of inspiration, and ultimately that all creates our style.  The goal is to find clients who are drawn to that style, thus creating a successful business. 

boiseweddingphotographer
boiseweddingphotographer

So how did this all lead to film? I knew what style I was immediately drawn to, and I knew what I wanted my final images to look like. The problem was getting my images to look like those of the photographers I admired so much.  I tried every Photoshop trick I possibly could. I spent hundreds of dollars on presets for my editing software that promised me I'd have images that looked like film, but ultimately it never got there.  So I took a leap and purchased a 1980's full manual film camera off of Craigslist.  I went to Walmart and purchased some film and I just started playing.  I took a film course in high school, so I knew the basics of film photography.  My images came out horrible. Yep, horrible.  However, this didn't stop me one bit! I started doing more research, which lead to classes and classes lead to more studying.  Education is such a powerful tool and when I am passionate about something, I love to do as much research as I can.  I learned that the film you buy at Walmart is not professional grade film and does not have consistent colors or tones.  I also learned that while my camera was really cool and vintage, there are a lot better solutions for cameras available on the market.  I also learned that film is a respected art and only photographers who are truly confident in their skills are successful at. Knowing all of this, I took a second stab at it and purchased a Nikon F100 35mm film camera and some Portra 400 (professional grade) film and tried again.  I was confident in my skills of knowing how to work a fully manual camera, so my second roll of film turned out much better.  In fact, so much better that I kept shooting and that's where my love affair began.  I have since purchased a medium format film camera and several lenses.  The images in this thread are my medium format film camera. 

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You might still be wondering, "Still, why? I still don't understand why you would use film when there are so many digital cameras on the market." I want you to read a quote from one of the most famous film photographers, Erich McVey. 

Most of us would all agree that when we look at an amazing film image, there's just something special about it.  Film possesses an indescribable something that cannot be quantified.  You can't always put your finger on it, but you know it when you see it.  It's the grain in those black & white images that has so much heart and character.  It's the perfect skin tones that seem to make every subject look flawlessly beautiful.  It's the focus that seems to be simultaneously sharp and soft in all the right places.  It's the otherworldly colors that you can't quite replicate with digital images.  I love film. I love it because it helps me capture reality in the most beautiful way possible.  It's not a fad. It's not a trend. It is timeless, and will never go out of style.  For me, film portrays the most classic, honest, and beautiful depiction of a moment in time.  

 I want to show you some examples so that you can truly see why I am so drawn to film.  The next two images show you a comparison of two images that are very similar, one taken on my film camera and the other taken on digital.  In these images, no editing has been done.  These are both straight from the camera, or as us photographers call it SOOC (straight out of camera).  Digital is on the left and film is on the right. 

Specifically look at the tones and the colors. Also, look at the skin tones and the softness in the skin, while still being sharp in other areas of the image.

Specifically look at the tones and the colors. Also, look at the skin tones and the softness in the skin, while still being sharp in other areas of the image.

The reason I love the film image in this comparison is how well it softened the veil while keeping the shoes so crisp.  I also love the tones and colors.  

The reason I love the film image in this comparison is how well it softened the veil while keeping the shoes so crisp.  I also love the tones and colors.  

So now let's talk about my process as a hybrid photographer.  I am hybrid because I actually always shoot film & digital at my sessions.  Think of it like an insurance.  Film is always my first choice, and I almost always prefer my film images over digital.  Just look at the images above if you want to see why! However, when I shoot film I cannot look at the back of the camera and see how the image turned out instantaneously while shooting.  I have to send the film to Utah and then have them develop, scan, and send it back to see how they turned out.  Therefore, I carry both digital and film and capture on both mediums.  Film also has its limitations. Without going into too much photography jargon, certain rolls of film can only be photographed in certain lighting situations.  I cannot shoot my normal film stock in a dark reception that is only candle lit.  In these situations I go fully digital for color and black and white film.  Then, once I get the film back from the lab, I pull the images up side-by-side and I match the film as closely as possible to the digital file to provide a seamless final gallery.  In the end, I have found this is the best possible way to give gorgeous film images, while not compromising any moments on the wedding day! 

The far left image is SOOC, the middle is my edit on the digital file, and the right is the actual film. 

The far left image is SOOC, the middle is my edit on the digital file, and the right is the actual film. 

In the end, my ultimate goal is to provide beautiful images to my clients.  The medium that I use to achieve that is part of who I am and part of the Brie Thomason Photography brand.  Those who identify with my brand will appreciate the art of film.  

If you have any questions on this please let me know in the comments and I will be in touch! I love to help others understand my art and educating others on film.  

Portraits of me by photographed on film by Liza James Photography 

Why is light so important? Advice from Boise Wedding Photographer Brie Thomason

Why is light so important? Advice from Boise Wedding Photographer Brie Thomason

You've probably heard me, or another photographer, mention how important that light is for images.  George Eastman, the founder of Kodak, once said, "Light makes photography.  Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography." I have always used this quote as a guide for how I approach wedding photography.  It is important for me to be able to know how to create great images regardless if it is sunny, raining, extremely bright, or hardly any light.  I have taken courses upon courses just on light so that I know how to handle every possible situation.  However, it should be noted that I do favor certain light over other light and that is why I am writing this blog post!

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How To Get the Best Getting Ready Images! Advice from Boise Wedding Photographer Brie Thomason

How To Get the Best Getting Ready Images! Advice from Boise Wedding Photographer Brie Thomason

As a Boise wedding photographer I love to give my couples insider information on what creates the best images on their wedding day.  This blog specifically focuses on the getting ready images.  

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Zach + Kaylee // Lindsay Creek Vineyard Wedding // Boise Wedding Photographer

Zach + Kaylee // Lindsay Creek Vineyard Wedding // Boise Wedding Photographer

Boise wedding photographer, Brie Thomason, traveled to Lewiston to photograph Zach and Kaylee's gorgeous Lindsay Creek Vineyard wedding. 

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Travel Journal // Boise Wedding Photographer Brie Thomason

Travel Journal // Boise Wedding Photographer Brie Thomason

As a Boise wedding photographer, I love where I live! However, I also love to travel! This January I got the opportunity to photograph a wedding in Maui for an Idaho couple who wanted a destination wedding.  I can't wait to share images from that wedding soon!  Destination weddings might just be my new favorite thing ever! We all got to escape this never-ending Idaho winter for a week and get some sun in Maui.  

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Muted Tone Fall Wedding Inspiration- Boise Wedding Photographer

This beautiful shoot took place in a very small town outside of Mountain Home, Idaho called Pine.  I had fallen in love with the location when my husband and I were up exploring the mountains one day.  I felt so inspired by the river, that I knew someday I was going to do a photoshoot there.  As a Boise Wedding Photographer, I am always watching the surroundings for what could be a great location for a shoot.  I love to have many options for my clients to choose from for locations. 

This shoot was such a fun project for me.  I had a vision in my head and an inspiration mood board, but I was still extremely challenged about how I was going to make it all come to life.  I met Kimi and Gabe, my models for the shoot, at a coffee shop in Boise.  I was the creep who gave them a business card and asked them if they'd ever want to do a photo shoot with me.  I saw their chemistry while getting coffee and knew that they would be so fun to photograph- and they were! These two were so madly in love, they made my job ridiculously easy! 

We were racing the rain, which is never fun! We knew it was supposed to be a rainy day, according to the forecast, but we saw that a little bit of a break was coming in the morning and we wanted to take advantage of it! It stayed dry until I was finishing up my very last roll!  Granted, I probably would have kept photographing them forever.  They were just too fun to capture! 

A great team of local Boise wedding vendors came together for this shoot! Please check out their information and websites below:

Gown: Wedding Gowns by Daci

Florals: Just so. Event Floral

Hair: Meagan Caudelle

Makeup: Ashlynn Cseh

Calligraphy: Inkling Calligraphy

Cake: Flour Child Boise

 

 

Austin & Whitney // Boise Wedding & Engagement Photographer

Aloha! I'm sure it seems silly to be reading that if you are in Idaho and freezing right now.  I am actually in Maui for the next couple of days.  I was hired to come out and shoot a gorgeous oceanside elopement! The wedding was stunning and I will share images with you as soon as I get them back from my film lab. 

As a Boise wedding photographer  I get the opportunity to photograph gorgeous Idaho weddings and a few weddings in neighboring states.  It has been such a treat to get to visit Hawaii and also get to photograph here.  

Enough about Hawaii, let's talk about Austin and Whitney! Gorgeous is an understatement with these two and their fall engagement session.  They told me they wanted fall colors and a cool location and I knew just the spot to take them! Fall is actually my favorite season, so engagement sessions in the fall just make my heart happy! It was such a treat getting to photograph these two. 

I hope you enjoy! 

Suzannah + Kelly // Boise Engagement Photographer

I'm sitting in my house literally snowed in right now! I always wondered what this would be like and now that it's actually happening I can report that it is very strange! All morning I didn't have internet and my phone was having to be used as an emergency hotspot at our coffee shop, so I spent all morning technology free AND snowed in at the same time! It shouldn't have been a big deal, but I cleaned the house and then felt a little lost.  

I'm happy to report that the internet is back and my phone is back in hand, so my life can resume like normal! Sad, so sad, but so true.  While I cuddle up in my blanket and watch cartoons with my nephew I figured it would be good time to share one of my favorite engagement sessions from this last summer! 

I think it goes without saying that Suzannah and Kelly are one stunning couple! I was instantly excited and inspired when they stepped out of their car dressed in the outfits that they chose! Suzannah's dress is exactly what I would dream that my clients would choose for an outfit for an engagement session.  The color was perfect for the location and her skin tone as well! I've had several clients ask where they can find a similar dress and I have found a similar one here.   

I am so excited to photograph their Boise wedding this summer! We are going to have so much fun together! 

 

 

Johnny + Jenny // Engagement // McCall Wedding Photographer

Johnny and Jenny; that just has a ring to it, does it not it? These two are seriously so adorable! I loved meeting with them in McCall to photograph their engagement images.  We started at one of my favorite river locations and then moved into my other favorite location, which is an Aspen grove.  These images demonstrate the sweet, gentle love that these two share.  We also included Johnny's Harley Davidson because it was one of their first dates!  I love when couples find a way to tell their love story in their images.   I absolutely cannot wait to photograph this wedding! These two have amazing style and their love is so genuine! 

 

Kyle + Kylee // Engagement // Boise Wedding Photographer

I am so excited to share Kyle and Kylee's engagement images with you all! Kyle and Kylee live up in Lewiston, Idaho and I am honored to be their engagement and wedding photographer this upcoming summer.  

Kyle owns a box van because of his motocross business and now I'm convinced that I need one for sessions! They had a built in changing room and places to hang their outfits throughout the session and I kept telling them how badly I wanted a box van of my own! Maybe down the road, right?? 

It had rained all weekend, but the sun popped out just in time for their session.  It was everything I could ask for as a photographer! The sun kissed the wet grass and there were still some clouds high in the sky that provided great light! I was giddy the entire time! I cannot wait for next summer to get here so that I can get my camera on these two again, but for now I just get to look at these images and remember how much fun we had.  

Kyle + Kayla // Big Sky Montana Photographer

Kyle and Kayla were such a blast to photograph! I grew up with Kyle all the way from elementary school, so the amount of inside jokes and memories that we talked about were unbelievable! We went to a really small elementary school so we knew each other really well.  Small world, when Kyle left elementary school he started riding the bus to junior high and rode with my now husband! In fact, the two constantly fought over their rivalry as diehard Yankee and Red Sox fans.  Kyle left Idaho and went on to play college football, where he met his sweetheart, at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana.  Kayla was a star athlete herself, playing basketball for Rocky Mountain! Needless to say, these two are super stars! 

We went for a weekend trip and stayed at their condo in Big Sky, Montana.  If you've never been to Big Sky, you have got to plan a trip! I had heard how gorgeous Montana is, but I was truly blown away when I got to see it myself! I am so excited to say that I will get to photograph their wedding in Montana next summer! It is going to be so gorgeous! 

Enjoy these gorgeous photographs!

Chris + Shanae //Still Water Hollow

Chris + Shanae// Still Water Hollow Wedding// Boise Wedding Photographer 

Chris and Shanae were the type of couple that reminded me why I am as passionate about my job as I am.  The entire day was full of nothing but love and respect for every person that attended the wedding.  In fact, during their consultation before the wedding they talked strongly about how excited they were to see all their guests and expressed their stress about how much they wanted them to have fun...and fun they had! In fact, after we all choked back tears from their ceremony and toasts, we all spent the day laughing and smiling ear-to-ear.  

Some details you should look for in this wedding: Shanae hand stitched Chris his hankie, Chris got a little emotional when his gorgeous bride came down the aisle, and the guest book for the wedding was vintage post cards collected by Shanae's grandparent's during their life's travels.  This day was full of little details that made an amazing overall wedding.  I was so honored to be a part of Chris and Shanae's wedding! 

Venue: Still Water Hollow

Flowers: Antique Vase

Makeup: Kristi W. of Kristi's Couture Style

Hair: Kristy G of TraK's Hair Salon

Dress: Margene's Bridal

Wedding Day Coordinator: Megan Worden

Catering: Kurt Wallin

Officiant: Scott Shaw

Mike + Makayla // Fourth Street Gardens, Emmett Idaho

Mike + Makayla //Fourth Street Gardens in Emmett Idaho //Boise Wedding Photographer

When I met Makayla I instantly knew that her wedding was going to be amazing.  Her clothing style, verbal description of the wedding plans, and her personality were all exactly what I expect the perfect wedding to have!

I had the privilege of photographing Makayla a couple of times before the wedding and her and I just clicked perfectly.  With Makayla being a photographer she understands my direction and posing and knows how to just react naturally in front of the camera.  She also trusts my lead and knows that if I ask her to do something random that it's for a good reason.

Makayla also chose the perfect vendors for her wedding, which makes a huge difference on the total picture of the wedding!  Her styling and coordination were on point, as Heidi from Ira and Lucy always does! Seriously check out Ira and Lucy to see her design and coordination for your own wedding! Her florals were to die for..I mean, peonies galore! Lemon Blossom Designs does an absolute amazing job in the Boise area!

Here is what Makayla had to say about her wedding:

As a bride who is also a professional photographer, I had seen hundreds of these "picture perfect" weddings by the time I was engaged. When the day came to start planning, I knew for the most part what I wanted in my dream wedding, I just needed to find the right people to make that dream come true! (And don't worry, my fiance was not forgotten- his only request was to get married to me, haha!)

My first tip for brides in the midst of planning right now: 

Get a wedding coordinator. 

Even though I had a bit of a head start in the planning process due to the fact that I knew lots of local wedding vendors and people in the industry, I could never have imagined how truly overwhelming it can all be! Just a couple months in, I realized that I there was no way that I wanted to do this alone (nor could I!) My fiance and I met with Heidi the owner of Ira and Lucy Wedding Planning and Design upon recommendation from our florist, and I am so thankful that we did. When we met her, she had this calming presence that I knew someone like me would need on our day. Being very type A and wanting to plan everything myself, I knew instantly that Heidi was probably the only other person in the world I would trust my whole wedding day to.

On the day of our wedding, I woke up knowing that everything was being taken care of. Not by myself, not by my family, but by a professional design/coordination team!

I literally cannot put into words how perfect our day was. How beautiful it looked, how it felt to see all that you had pictured come to life. Our photographer and her second shooter showed up early and were getting all the little details. Our videographer was seriously EVERYwhere, not missing a moment. The team at Ira and Lucy was setting up bright and early and making sure everything was running on schedule throughout the entire evening. Our DJ knew all the songs we wanted and did such an amazing job at keeping our guests entertained and the dance floor alive. And I was hanging out with my friends, family, and husband, not stressing, taking in every detail and not missing a single moment.

I think my favorite detail of the day was definitely our altar. I knew it would be incredible based on the sketches, but when I saw what Heidi and Laura had done with it I couldn't believe it. Blush draping on the sides with these amazing peony/vine floral pieces, and right in the middle was a wooden cross my fiance had put built and stained. A couple days before our wedding I was scurrying around trying to find something to drape over the cross, and at rehearsal Heidi told me not to worry about it. When I saw the beautiful greenery she and Laura had used to drape over it, that was really something that stood out to me. It seems silly, but that little detail just reminded me of how helpful having a coordinator was. it was just a weight off my shoulders to not have to worry about those little details and to see something that had been in my head come to life so perfectly.

All in all, my husband and I had the best night of our lives on our wedding day. Because we hired professionals to help us out, we were actually able to enjoy our big day and throw our friends and family basically just a huge awesome party. People couldn't stop raving about how gorgeous and fun it was, and really we couldn't take much credit! While it was inspired by my fiance and I, it only came to life because of our vendors.

After the wedding I honestly had post wedding blues. It was the best day of our life, and it was over! Then while my husband and I were on our honeymoon, we got a facebook notification that our wedding highlight video was up.

My second tip to brides- 

Hire a videographer.

I know that not everyone can have a big budget for a wedding. I know that there are certain things that seem unnecessary. But let me tell you- watching our highlight video brought my husband and I to tears. It brought a flood of emotions from our big day. It was like watching a movie! There were moments that I couldn't believe our videographer had gotten because he was everywhere yet remained invisible all day! And when the time came for our wedding video to be released, our family and friends were all dumbfounded at how spectacular it was. As a photographer, I know that a picture speaks a thousand words. But there is something so special that a wedding video can bring you that a photograph never can. The sound of your husband's voice cracking as he reads his vows to you. The joyful laughter of your guests as the toasts are given. The crazy jam packed dance floor as your friends dance like idiots. I'm speaking up for the videographers now because I feel like they are always overlooked but please- seriously consider getting one and making it a priority!

Thank you to everyone who was apart of making Mike and I's day so perfect. Thank you to our families who helped us out to make our dream come true. Thank you to our vendors who took such great care of us. We weren't just another summer wedding to you guys- we were Mike and Makayla and it showed ! The love and care that went into making sure everything ran smoothly is something we will forever be grateful for.

Vendors: Venue-

Fourth Street Gardens

Photography-

Let It Shine Photography

Florals-

Lemon Blossom Designs

Wedding Coordination/Design-

Ira and Lucy

HMUA-

Behren's Artistry

Catering-

Open Table Catering 

Videography-

Blue Chip Media

Bridesmaids Hair- Kayla Hoff

DJ- Jeremy Wilson

Officiant- Bob Grove

Dress/Veil-

LaNeige Bridal

Bridesmaids Dress-

Jenny Yoo

Cake/Macarons-

Le Bisou Bakery

~Makayla

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Brie Thomason Photography is Boise wedding photographer who travels the world photographing gorgeous couples and perfect moments. If you are looking for a Boise wedding photographer please contact me here.

Cliffside Proposal in McCall, Idaho

Brie Thomason Photography // McCall Idaho Wedding Photographer Let's talk about major goosebumps here for a second! Brennan and Jess live in Canada and came up to McCall, Idaho for the Fourth of July.  Brennan contacted me several months ago about him going to propose to Jess and he wanted to find a local photographer who could capture the moment! I felt so honored and so stoked to be that photographer! Because they weren't very familiar with the area, I suggested that Brennan take her up to Osprey Point inside of Payette National Park in McCall, Idaho.  I sent him a few photos of the area and he thought that it would be perfect! What we didn't talk about would be the exact spot that he would drop down on one knee, but can we all agree that he nailed it? Yes, Brennan, you boss!

So how exactly did we pull this off? My husband and I pretended to be tourists.  We took selfies, pictures of each other, snapchat videos, you name it.  We were trying to hard to act normal, but keep watching them out of our peripherals.  Thank goodness I brought my partner in crime because I wouldn't have been able to pretend as well as I did having him there! Having him there was also fun because he was able to snap chat and save the entire process so that I could share it with everyone and also send them the video too! So fun!

Guys, if you are considering hiring a photographer to photograph your proposal, do it! Don't even think twice.  It is so fun to have these photographs forever and always be able to go back and see how it all went down.  I would love to help you get something set up so please contact me if you would like to set something up!

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Willum // Boise Senior Photography

Boise Senior Photography // Brie Thomason Photography

Specializing in Boise senior photography, I loved getting the chance to photograph Willum.  Willum is a hockey star, so we absolutely had to capture that during his senior photos! I also wanted to capture him on his family's farm because that is where he plans to work after college! Will did an amazing job during his senior session and I was so thankful for his family hiring me to be his Boise senior photographer.

As a Boise senior photographer I love to capture my seniors exactly as they are.  I love to help them plan out their outfits and their locations in a way that will help make their images reflect them.

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Brie Thomason Photography specializes as a a McCall, Lewiston, Kuna, and Boise Senior Photography.