I use film because it's where I began my photography. I still like using film and I develop film and print in a darkroom I have set up. I only do this for fun. There are some really nice people here on APUG and I enjoy reading and participating here.
Sorry to report to you, for my business I'm 100% digital. That's the way it is now. After working in another field for about 30 years, I started a photography business back in 2002 and it's been my full time business since then. I started with film and I thought it would work for my business until I no longer could breathe! Gosh, I was wrong!
I joined our local Professional Photographers Association in 2002 and 95 to 98% of the pros back then were making pictures with film. As time went on digital crept in and now 99.9% of pros are now using digital capture. In 2003-04-05 we would get a person putting on a seminar asking, "how many are film? how many are digital?" And back then clients would ask me which I used.
Today nobody asks. Matter of fact for the type of photography I do, which is people photography, they want digital as they can see some samples immediately and they know now all the things that can be done with programs like Photoshop. Of course these things can be done with film if you scan the negatives and/or transparencies. One of the options I offer to wedding clients is the ability to take photos from the time people are getting ready through the ceremony and into the receiving line and show a select group of photographs as a slide show at their reception.
At any rate, film is nice and this is a good place to learn about using film for your photography.
My suggestion, as far as a career is concerned, is have a day job and try getting your photography going and see if it's what you want to do as a career. See if you can earn any money with it. It is a very competitive business now, no matter what piece or pieces of photography you want to strike out on and possibly make a living.
If you decide to go the photography career path, please take classes on how to operate a small business, how to sell, how to market your business and how to live on a low income until you get your business up and running. The PPA (ppa.com) offers classes on this as well as classes on the various aspects of photography you will need for your business.
Good luck & welcome to APUG.
Welcome to APUG Katelynn,
I think a career in photography using the analog process is totally doable. You must understand that photography careers today are very competitive, weather it's digital or analog. It's hard work and requires more skill in handling budgets, clients, and marketing than making photographs. I have found that consumer clients really don't care that much about how you make your images, so portrait photography using film has been no problem with me. Commercial or editorial clients want a fast turn around but I have found that the lab is the bottle neck, not using film. Digi shooters are there own lab and deliver a file. I have found that if I am my own lab with my film my turnaround is more that sufficient for my commercial clients that I have. I don't have to do all the computer work with a film scan that I would normally do to a digital RAW image so that saves a ton of time too. For me film gets me there faster.
If I come across a potential client that want me to burn a CD right there after the shoot I don't take the job. That is not the type of client I want to work for. Be choosy who do work for and what type of work you do. People will hire you to produce work based on what you have done in the past. If you have to wait tables to pay the bills then that is something you need to consider.
I would start with a Business to Consumer model. That would be portrait work, wedding work, and fine art work. Then with a style and a portfolio of that work you can market it to commercial clients.
Hope that helps. Chase your dream!
THANK YOU SO MUCH! to all of you that responded to my question. That was fast haha. I read what all of you had to say and took it all in. I will definitely consider what all of you said. I wanted to say thank you especially to Matt King for recommending Cheryl's website. I looked her up and am truly inspired by her work and the fact that she uses film. I actually emailed her so I'm waiting to hear a response. Thank you, you guys are all so nice, I didn't think there would be any responses when I checked this morning!