Several years ago, I had a dream that I wanted to shoot in film, but I was terrified to make the jump. I didn’t know how to make it work financially, I was confident in my digital work, I didn’t know where to begin. I wanted it, but I didn’t want to “start over.” However, the more I photographed weddings and learned about photography, the more I fell in love with the look of film! The dreamy, jaw dropping, color-popping creamy skinned look of film that I just couldn’t shake. As an artist, I wanted to go for it. As a business woman, I was nervous.

Want to know how I did it? I’ll tell you my secret:



I began by taking 1-2 rolls of film to every wedding I photographed. I borrowed film cameras, I tried several different labs, and after a season of practicing shooting film at every wedding and session, I made the jump.

I decided to call myself a film photographer!

I was scared, and I felt a bit like an imposter if I’m honest. But I was staying true to myself as an artist, and I was walking forward in the direction that I knew I wanted to go in my business.

Here’s a brief timeline that breaks down the milestones of shooting in film. I personally felt this was the wisest way to go about it for me, so I could grow in my confidence and skill and serve my brides well!


The NRP Timeline: Transition to Film

– Nancy buys a Canon 1V and began shooting at least 1 roll of 35mm film at each wedding – sometimes never making it to the end of the roll
– Nancy borrows a Contax for a Southern Weddings V5 Magazine Editorial Shoot and shoots a few rolls of film

-Nancy buys a Contax 645 and had a film mentor session as a team with a renown film photographer
– Nancy sets a personal goal to shoot 5 rolls of film at each wedding with her Contax
– Nancy shoots a Southern Weddings V6 Magazine Editorial Shoot exclusively in film and freaks out when she sends it in the mail because she didn’t take any shots in digital!
– Nancy and team raise their prices
– Nancy announces that moving forward she will be shooting in film

– Nancy’s team begins taking 1 – 3 rolls of film with the Contax at weddings
– Nancy and Callie have film work featured on Style Me Pretty and Southern Weddings Blog
– Nancy confidently shoots a Southern Weddings V7 Magazine Editorial Shoot in film
– Nancy shoots Callie’s wedding in all film and lands a Real Wedding Feature in Southern Weddings V7 Magazine
– Callie has real wedding features in Trendy Bride Magazine and The Knot The Carolinas 2015
– Hires a 3rd team member and trains her on film first
– Rebrands the Nancy Ray Photography website and Nancy and team raise prices – again

– All 4 members of the NRP team have film work featured in Southern Weddings V8 Magazine – Nancy has a real wedding feature in Weddings Unveiled
– Callie has one in Trendy Bride Magazine


If you have any questions at all about our transition to film, I’d love to hear them in the comments! I’ll jump back in and comment myself to answer!

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The more you share your story on film, the more you are convincing me to pull the trigger and give it a shot! I love the look of it, but I haven’t worked up the courage to learn how to shoot with it. Decisions. Decisions.

This was so helpful! I used to follow your blog back in 2010 until 2012 so I’m kinda glad I stumbled upon your blog again and that you’re an exclusive film photographer!

Such a brave move to make – but I can tell you are stoked about it! I love the go-slow approach. Can’t wait to see more film photography!!!!

Nancy, this is so encouraging, thank you for sharing! I’m new to film so I was wondering what can I do when shooting to get that color richness in my photographs?

Your work is so inspiring! I just took the leap and purchased a Pentax 645n. Can’t wait to slowly transition my newborn sessions into film. :)

I’m so glad you followed your dreams! You’re my favorite film wedding photographer :)

Thank you Kiyah! You are the sweetest!

We are so glad you are here!

Welcome to the NRP Blog! Enjoy getting to know our hearts and our work. We are so grateful you stopped by!