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  1. #1
    omaha's Avatar
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    Film as a point of "competitive advantage"?

    I'm curious...

    I'm thinking about adding a "product line" of real, film portraits.

    Are there any photographers here that have done that? I'm curious how that has been received. Are their clients for whom the idea of a portrait shot on "real film" is taken as a point of differentiation?

    If I do this, I'd present it as a premium option. The message would be something like "Any hack can take a picture on digital, but the most discerning clients demand film", or something like that.

    Anyway, anyone here doing something like that, or know of someone doing something like that?
    I shoot digital when I have to (most of those shots end up here) and film (occasionally one of those shots ends up here) when I want to.

  2. #2
    cliveh's Avatar
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    I can see the point of using film as a personal preference, but there it ends as the viewer of the final image probably doesn't care or can't tell the difference. The end result is more important than the medium.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  3. #3
    omaha's Avatar
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    But if that were how consumers behaved, there would be no need for (for example) "organic" vegetables.

    I suppose the question comes down to whether or not people will prefer (and pay a premium for) an option if it is presented as more "authentic".
    I shoot digital when I have to (most of those shots end up here) and film (occasionally one of those shots ends up here) when I want to.

  4. #4

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    Interesting idea

    Some people love the "film look" but I guess the problem is -- WHAT IS the film look? If I were to undertake such a venture I would probably go for something that shot 120 film and would use a film that is kinda, sorta like Panatomic-X.
    I remember environmental portraits I did in the 1950s with my trusty Rolleiflex and Panatomic-X and they blew folks' socks off. They almost looked like 3-d. Chevy tarts up a car and calls it a Cadillac. You can do the same thing -- have a high priced option for the dude who only wants to buy the highest price item. That sounds a bit cynical but that's (show) biz.

  5. #5
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    You can do it with prints that are not possible with digital - like Bromoil, Lith, Liquid Emulsion ... Also with FB prints - just let them touch and hold the print in hand.

    I know a guy who sells photos to the tourists in Croatia - he always makes simple test to buyers: FB print, and inject print - and asks "which one you would like?". Answer was always the same. You know the answer.

  6. #6
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Yes, I suppose you are correct and my initial reply was rather flippant. There is a difference between the original and scanned and digital copies. In the same way there is a difference between an original painting and prints from the original. I apologise for my previous rather crass remarks.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  7. #7
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omaha View Post
    Anyway, anyone here doing something like that, or know of someone doing something like that?
    http://www.nicoleboenigmcgrade.com

    http://www.suzannerevy.com/Text_page.cfm?pID=4091

    ... are two I know of.

  8. #8
    Paul Goutiere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omaha View Post

    If I do this, I'd present it as a premium option. The message would be something like "Any hack can take a picture on digital, but the most discerning clients demand film", or something like that.

    Anyway, anyone here doing something like that, or know of someone doing something like that?
    I think it may be a good idea, done right. Black and white photos done with film and printed on real silver paper.
    I'd stress the positive about the process, like film is a more far more permanent base than digital....and it is!

  9. #9

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    cliveh, you should not apologize, there is an once of truth, there. If the producer(artist) can build value to the client AND the client can appreciate "this thing" then they will spend the money provided they have the money. Three things there: 1. many producers( photographers) CAN NOT build value, can not communicate with the client as to its "real value". 2. Many clients are "out to lunch", and 3. Many clients do not wish to pay. BUT sometimes the stars align AND you get that client, you show them, you "wow" them, and, and, and THEY BUY!!!! we all go home happy, Take the family out to dinner!!! so in short YES diffidently show FB, or something hand made, I.e Platinum. salt, Kallitype, carbon, etc. . . Not all folks will bite but some will.....

  10. #10
    omaha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Yes, I suppose you are correct and my initial reply was rather flippant. There is a difference between the original and scanned and digital copies. In the same way there is a difference between an original painting and prints from the original. I apologise for my previous rather crass remarks.
    Nothing to apologize for! I agree completely with your assessment: The hard but true facts of life are that digital portraits are easier and, for the most part, are just as good in the eyes of 99% of consumers. Better, actually. People like it when I shoot tethered and they can see things immediately.

    But I do think (or hope) that there is a market for "real film" portraits. I'm thinking the prototype client is one that is (a) somewhat fashionable and (b) interested in leading a trend and (c) has money and (d) wants to stand out. The cardiologist's wife that wants to show her friends their new family portrait and have something to brag about. That sort of thing. I think if its positioned properly, the idea that a portrait was shot on film could be a powerful advantage. If nothing else, I can tell you from my limited experience doing this that people are quite impressed by the sight of my RB-67. Compared to the cookie-cutter DSLR's everyone else is using, the RB looks like a proper camera.


    Quote Originally Posted by David Brown View Post
    Excellent. Thank you for the references.
    I shoot digital when I have to (most of those shots end up here) and film (occasionally one of those shots ends up here) when I want to.

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