Ash Imagery - Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

Philadelphia Wedding & Portrait Photographer

Ash Imagery is a film photographer based in Philadelphia and Upstate NY.  Ash Imagery will photograph weddings and elopements in Philadelphia, Lake Placid, the Adirondacks and around the world.  Ash Imagery also offers Boudoir photographer and commercial photography such as lifestyle sessions.  Ash Imagery is considered to be a Film Wedding Photographer and a Film Photographer with a unique style and vision.  Ash Imagery is owned by Michael Ash Smith, a portrait and lifestyle photographer based in Philadelphia using film as his primary medium.

Get Ready World.

This little thing changed my life.

Not too long ago I bought a digital camera.  A badass Nikon d70.  6mp.  Hardcore.  I taught myself photography with that camera.  I thought i was good - when i really wasn't.  In reality, i sucked.  Hard.  But I was all digital.  I loved it.  Film was stupid and digital rocked.  Who would want to use film anymore?  Film was for photographers that didn't want to move into the future.

I upgraded along the way a couple times.  A d300.  A d700.  Grabbed some flashes ... some gear.  A nice bag.  I was going somewhere.  I felt comfortable behind the camera.  I was happy with my vision and my approach.  I was happy with my business and where I was headed.  But deep down something was wrong.  I wasn't happy with was my processing and editing.  No matter what i did, I never felt 100% happy with how I edited.  Was it bad?  No.  But it wasn't up to my strict standards.  Some of you close to me know this.  I vented.  I was frustrated.  To me, my work was flat.  I kept telling myself it would go away.  And for a moment after each session, it did.  But then it came back stronger.

I'm an artist and I love what I do.  I know its cliche but there is literally nothing else I want to do in my life.  I photograph life.  I always will.  If you are an artist you  know how I feel.  Always searching.  Always striving to be better.  But never quite succeeding.

Enter film.

Roughly 9 months ago, a good friend of mine (you know who you are) pushed me ... well, guided me in the direction of film ... as i was very curious about it.  I tried film one time a number of years ago with a friend's camera.  Hated it.  At this point in my career I felt my digital images lacked soul.  I was happy with my compositions but felt at odds with my editing.  The atmosphere and emotion i was going for was present ... just not all there.  Something was missing.

And so I began my foray into film.  At first, as expected, I bombed.  Then again.  And again.  At one point not using it for a couple months because I was frustrated.  But i tried again, this time with a different camera.  And then it hit.  Hard.

In a complete 180, I now fully understand, love, trust, admire, and appreciate film.  In that 1" x 2 5/8" little roll lies an essence and beauty digital can't imitate.  Film has a soul.  An inner beauty.  It contains emotion, feeling and attitude.  When you nail a shot using film its perfection.  It's pure lust.  It leaves you wanting more.  Yes, I just said that ; ).  Its not the same with digital.  I'm not saying digital is bad at all, I still use it ... but it's not the same.  You don't get that ... well, I don't get that ... same feeling.  With film, its already there.  It's there before you even shoot.  Waiting in that roll is so much beauty ... you just need to know how to bring it all out.  That little roll is a thrill each time I break the seal.  Sending it off to be processed is wonderful.  Receiving the images back is even better!  Memory cards?  Blah.  Just a bunch of data ; ).

I'm definitely a novice when it comes to film.  I am still learning like crazy and have a ton to learn.  But I'm excited about it.  I was excited about learning digital, but not like this.  I didn't write this to try and sway people to use film.  There are lots of write-ups out there about why film is better and so on - just do a quick search.  It would be awesome if more photographers used it, but thats not the point.  I wanted to throw this out there for the world to see.  Just maybe, someone else out there is going thru the same thing and considering the switch.  The important thing is when you do something ... love it.

So I am now traveling down a path using film.  And for the first time in a while, I am 100% happy with the processing (much thanks to RPL) because it's "me."  I know see myself in each image.  I'm sure people will think I'm going backwards or something ... but that couldn't be further from the truth.  I am merely exploring and taking advantage of a different medium within photography.  I have a vision in mind which includes me, my clients, my 645, some film and a whole lotta emotion.

Get ready world.