So excited to kick off our very first vendor spotlight with Dana Fernandez Photography! Dana has been such an inspiration to me with her work, and I was so grateful to have the chance to chat with her about her business, as well as film photography! Dana and her husband Josh are both photographers for Dana Fernandez Photography, a fine art wedding photography company based here in Houston, Texas.
Dana and Josh’s passion for photography started when they were looking for photographers for their own wedding. While Dana was drawn to the design and emotion that was evoked in the photos she saw, Josh loved the candid and photojournalistic approach. Dana first picked up a camera back in 2010 when she started to photograph Josh, and their animals. Being a lover of the arts and architecture, she always had a passion for capturing the beauty in life. After a bit of time, she desired to shoot more than just her own family, and asked a fellow co-worker if she could photograph her 6-month old daughter. From there, they switched to shooting portraits, and inquiries for other events came flooding in! Weddings eventually became the focus of their business after shooting various events.
Now, they do anywhere from 26-30 weddings per year, shooting at favorite venues like Chandelier Grove, Houston Oaks Country Club, McGovern Centennial Gardens, The Bell Tower on 34th, Lakeside Country Club and many more! You can find their photo’s gracing the pages of The Knot Magazine, and multiple features on Style Me Pretty, along with various other wedding blogs and publications.
During my interview with Dana, I got to find out some fun details about their business, and what inspires them to do what they do. Keep reading to find out more about this amazing film photography team!
Q: What made you switch to shooting film?
A: I loved the clean and timeless look of film. When I started photography, I started following (unknowingly at the time) film photographers. I was constantly struggling to get the same skin tones and colors via digital, as well as computer editing to look like those that I followed. When I was at Barnes and Noble one day, I saw Jose Villa’s book on Fine Art Photography, and realized that he shot film! At that moment, it just clicked, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. This was when film just started to come back into style. So, I played around with it, and fell in love with it! I just really loved the skin tones that film had, and always tried to get my digital images to have the same feel, and finally realized that it was shooting film that made it look this way.
Q: Do you consider film photography just a trend, or do you feel like it will always be around like digital?
A: Hard to say exactly, but I don’t think it is a trend. It was around, and then digital came about. Maybe photographers were struggling with getting the images they wanted, or grew tired on un-life-like coloring, so film came back. Maybe it also has something to do with nostalgia. Either way, I don’t believe film will die because people seem to always come back to a timeless aesthetic. Maybe it’ll fade, but it wont ever go away; timeless will never go away. Plus film looks most like real life. The only way I could see film dying, is if digital technology was able to match the strengths, and look of film.
Q: What would you like couples who are hesitant in booking a film photographer to know?
A: We always hear things, or see articles that have negative comments about film photography. Things like what if something happened to the film while loading? It takes longer to load, shoot, and unload, etc. What if something happens to the film on the way to the lab? But in reality, there is the same chance for the memory card in a digital camera being ruined. There is risk in both places. As far as how many images you get, we still deliver the same amount to our clients. With digital, I may be shooting more, but with film we are much more deliberate when we take an image since each image is actually recorded, and cannot simply be deleted like it can with digital.
Grow Cabinets featuring the award-winning SuperCloset how to cast showbox to chromecastcome with everything you need to grow quickly, easily, and get your best yields ever
Q: What is your favorite Camera to shoot with?
A: For film we love shooting with our Contax 645, with the Zeiss 80mm lens. We also use Porta 400 film. This camera is our favorite, and the lens really lends the best quality to bokeh. For Digital, we use a Nikon D810 which we feel best emulates film photography.
Q: So you also shoot digital with film on wedding days?
A: Yes. We always bring along a digital camera, as we want to best utilize our gear based on the weather and lighting. For darker spaces, especially inside, we would only be able to shoot film in black and white, and we don’t want to limit our clients photos to only that option. Having a digital camera allows us to accommodate for various situations. At the end of the day, we want to provide the best images possible, so we use the best median in every situation to provide just that.
Q: What is your favorite place you have been to shoot whether it be for a wedding or personal?
A: That would have to be a tie between Cabo San Lucas, and Portland, Oregon. Cabo because they have dessert, cliffs, and the beach. It has the peach tones which really captures beautifully on film. And then Portland, because it is so diverse and lush with the mountains and hills, as well as all the trees. Both locations have so much landscape to photograph all in one location!
Q: If you could photograph anywhere in the world, where would it be?
A: I would have to say two places as well on this one. Greece because I love all the architecture, and the stark blues against all the white. The second place would be the countryside of Italy because I love all the rolling hills. They have the best of both worlds in design aesthetic and coloring.
Q: What photographers inspire you?
A: Jose Villa of course, for his color and contrast in film, and how spot on his exposure is. It always is so crisp while maintaining the film look. KT Merry as well. Honestly, I try not to follow too many wedding vendors as I don’t want to feel like I am copying someone. Instead, I follow a lot of fashion bloggers, interior designers, and architects to be inspired by the design and textures.
Q: You shoot sessions on your private property. Can you tell me more about the experience this offers to your clients?
A: We always give this as an option for clients to have their engagement sessions here. It benefits them to have complete privacy, and have a more intimate setting for these photos. There is also a place for them if they have an outfit change to transition comfortably inside. Not to mention it allows them an air conditioned space to get out of the Texas heat if needed during their session! Ultimately, it offers a more personal experience and authentic photos.
Thank you so much Dana for sharing your passion with us all! For more information about film photography, and to connect with Dana and Josh, be sure to visit their website to learn more about their business!