Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

The further we’re removed from the age of analog film and move further into digital, the more shooting with film recedes into memory. Many photographers and iPhoneographers shooting today may not have ever shot with film.

There are many iPhone photo apps which attempt to recreate the analog film experience — Hipstamatic in full Classic mode and Thirty Six are two camera apps which come to mind. While shooting analog is a unique experience, apps like those attempt to remove some of the benefits of shooting digital, such as instant editing, complete control of the effects, and in the case of Thirty Six even the ability to see your photos until you’ve “shot the roll.”

Shooting film will make you a better photographer. Learning how to work within the limitations of shooting film forces you to look at a subject, a scene, or a moment differently than if you had an limitless supply of digital “film.” Learning these lessons can be applied to the photos you take digitally.

Stephen Dowling recently posted to Petapixel “8 Reasons Digital Photographers Should Try Film,” seven of which are applicable to iPhoneographers. It’s a great read that’ll give help you see better photos.

There are 8 tips and some great commentary. My favorite tip:

#1: It slows you down

A roll of film forces a different mindset – since you only have 12, or 24 or 36 frames before you need to reload, it encourages a sense of patience. You could blitz through a roll of film in a high-end SLR like a Canon EOS-1 or a Nikon F5, but why would you? If you want speed and catching a scene in a flood of split-seconds, then it makes sense to shoot digital.

Shooting film can be a more meditative experience. You might shoot that roll in an hour, or a day, or over a weekend. But the experience will be a world away from the snap-snap-snap style of digital shooting. And slowing down often makes you wait for an image worth capturing. Waiting can often turn an average picture into something more rewarding.

There are seven more where that came from. Head over to Petapixel to check out the rest. Even if you’ll never shoot shoot film, using these tips will help you grow as a photographer.