How To Organize Film On A Shoot

The transition from shooting digital to mainly film has been one that has come with it’s own set of challenges. How many rolls of film should I bring? How do I keep it safe? And how in the world do I carry all of this around? With constant trial and error I am always on the lookout to devise efficient systems that get the job down while keeping my things neat and organized (with a touch of Ashley you know). When shooting film it’s important to have spare rolls handy to change out in the blink of an eye and also to keep the exposed rolls safe–and separate. This way you don’t misplace one or accidentally open a shot roll.

I keep everything organized with the use of a strategic system throughout the day (okay, mainly because of a fabulous assistant) and try to wear dresses with handy pockets. If not, for ladies a short waist apron will do (it may not be the most stylish, but man is it awesome!). Men, you always have pockets. You’re cool. Better yet having lots of spare camera backs with inserts (and an extra hand to keep them all loaded) is the perfect scenario.

My Film Shooting + Storage Set-up:

1. The night before I “shuck” (or unwrap) all the rolls of film I think I am going to use for the day (about 30).

2. I place all of the unwrapped rolls into an unmarked RUME quart size bag that’s attached to my camera bag via a gold chain. I have a second RUME bag also attached to the string, this one marked with a tassel designated for exposed rolls. I instruct my assistant to guard these bags with their life.

3. The day of I load up my dress pockets (or apron) with a few extra rolls of film for when I need them. I also load up any spare inserts.

4. I take some awesome pictures. When one roll is complete I hand it off to my assistant. They label it 1- (whatever) in the order the rolls are shot. (I later ask the lab to scan the rolls of film sequentially. This keeps photos in order of time taken and saves energy with organization later in lightroom).

5. Once a roll is numbered it goes into the RUME bag with the tassel, the “SHOT” bag.

6. If the “UNSHOT” bag gets low we open up some more boxes of film and fill it back up! Knowing how many rolls I have left helps me manage and keep track with shooting costs.

7. At the end of the night we count all of the rolls to make sure they are accounted for, high-five and head home.

Tah dah! Simple but effective. I’d love to hear how you keep track of all of your film!



December 5, 2014 - 10:11 pm

Liz Jorquera - Love reading your posts about film! And also love your vlogs :) Even though I shoot digital, I learnt photography shooting film and drool over wedding photographers work that shoot film and would love to dabble with film again! I’ve read you mentioned The Film Collective in a blog post.. is this a Facebook group or something? Can I join?

December 22, 2014 - 9:05 am

Ashley Goodwin - Hey Liz!
Thanks, what a compliment! + I have to get back to vlogging one day, huh? It just takes FOREVER!
Yes! The film collective is a facbeook group! I will try to add you now! xo

January 6, 2015 - 8:28 am

Alison at RuMe - Thanks for the shout out! The RuMe Reveal looks great with the tassels you added. Great organizational skills!


Oh, Herro!

Back on December 1st with a VENGEANCE + excitedly with some Cyber Monday deals. Am I the only one creeped out by the word “cyber”? Yes? Okay whatev.

Happily announcing 50% off ALL prints at, including client galleries, Thailand and even my favorite Hawai’i prints! All orders ship directly from my print lab straight to your door. Use the code “SPIKETHEPUNCH” at checkout all throughout the wee hours. Offer expires Tuesday, Dec. 2nd at midnight. Just added 10 new Waikiki beach photos, too, perfect to fill all those sale picture frames you snagged on Black Friday. Go check it! xo

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How different lighting effects the look of film.

Sometimes I see other film shooters get frustrated when their final images aren’t turning out exactly how they had dreamed, myself included. There can usually be a plethora of reasons the shots you dream of in the middle of the night aren’t being realized, one of them often being the lighting. Well, “doesn’t take a genius to figure that out” I’m sure you’re thinking but especially when it comes to film even the smallest shift in sunlight can change the look, feel and even color of your final image. When studying the works of wildly popular shooters it’s easy to notice a consistency within their style that others desire to emulate, the biggest constant being the lighting conditions they shoot in. It is something that strongly defines the vibe in an image. However as a wedding photographer fully dictating lighting of the day just isn’t realistic…unless you’re God. Me and the Lord (not Disick) are close, but we ain’t that close. In the fast-paced events of a wedding day there’s often going to be a part of the event that doesn’t have even, perfect light and you’re forced to be resourceful and straight up make it work…or at least shot through it leaving you wondering what went wrong when you get your film scans back. And I can tell you why your photos look different…it’s differences in lighting.

With the wedding I am currently working on  I had a stunning reception area to photograph before guests were seated and, not unusually, a limited amount of time to get it done. In addition, the florist Avery of Green Honolulu makes table scapes so lush and fantastically detailed that they are gorgeous (and different!) from every angle, needing to be shot at 360 degrees. No big deal! This is the part I love! However for the outdoor reception the setting sun was low in the sky and impossible to shield behind trees, creating harsh light if not kept to the side or back of the arrangements. This resulted in direct, sharp light and strong shadows in the photos where arrangements facing directly towards the sun.

In order to make sure I got images of all the arrangements in their curated glory I first photographed all the tables from every angle, changing my exposure when shooting in direct sunlight. My priority was to make sure I documented everything before the guests entered. After I shot all the tables several different ways guests were allowed to be seated and a few clouds passed over the sun. I quickly took advantage of the change in light and reshot details in a more subdued, even light.

In these images you can see how the sunlight (directly behind me, shining onto the image) isn’t horrible, however it does sharpen the highlights, resulting in shadows and adds an additional warmth to the scene. In the photos I reshot the details of the flowers are a lot softer and the colors more true-to-life with pleasing, even light.

I’m not one to travel with a production type set-up, I like to work creatively with what I have but in the future keeping a diffuser on hand for harsh lighting scenarios such as this would be super helpful. Having a scrim (on a stand or an assistant to hold it) may be more time consuming but would eliminate the need to shoot and then reshoot in better lighting. 


What are some of your favorite tricks to ensure fab lighting throughout a wedding day?

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Oh, Hello.

On the way to the beach park I convinced Marshall to swing by a secluded pull-off to stop by a cupcake truck (didn’t take much “convincing”, more like pedal to the metal). I loaded up on a variety of icing piled treats and we headed to Haleiwa to celebrate the baptism of not only one but four of my friends. While reveling in their declaration to the Lord I realized I, too, had much to celebrate. Yesterday was the two year anniversary of answering an alter call at church, boldly standing up to give my life to Christ, and as I spent most of my morning in prayer and thanksgiving (okay fine, anddddd emailing!) I took in all the other moments I’ve been working so hard for that almost slipped from my appreciative grasp. I’ve been quiet over here lately, and that’s not because I’ve been hitting the beach but putting in #werk. Sometimes we work so hard and put in countless many man-hours for our dreams that they develop right before our very eyes and wisp away without us even noticing. At the beginning of the year I took a nod from Pinterest and vowed to appreciate how far I’ve come in business, marriage and life and to document the little things, scribbling down awesome moments on post-it notes and storing them in a mason jar, never missing a moment to toast a job well done. And as I thanked the Lord for the luxury of doing what I love, and this home in Hawai’i, that one dinner at La Cocina I’ll never forget, and countless answered prayers I swore that no matter what I’d never let myself be too busy to be grateful for all the things, big and small. After all, you don’t gotta give this girl more than one reason to celebrate…or eat a cupcake! ;) To illustrate this point, here is a photo of a miniature piñata. Walked in for toilet paper, came out of Target with this.

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