Fujifilm Velvia for Portrait Photography Is Apparently the New “It” Thing

·3 min read

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The past few years in photography have been a very eye-opening experience for us. I was taught that Fujifilm Velvia is terrible for portraits. And, through personal experience, I agreed. However, Fujifilm is softly promoting Velvia for by sharing photos from users who’ve used it for portaits. And believe it or not, the photos are actually great. This undoes lots of what the photo industry has preached. I’m not surprised, considering the current backlash against wanting to spend hours in front of a computer. Fujifilm Velvia for Portrait Photography is new combination that I never thought I’d see. But with Gen Z following Millenials’ work to stabilize the film community, it seems like the obvious choice.

Prime Examples of Fujifilm Velvia for Portrait Photography

The Fujifilm Pro Film Instagram account started sharing Velvia portraits not long ago. Earlier this year, Fujifilm discontinued PRO400H to the sadness of many photographers. What’s even worse was the reason: a major supply issue to make the film. So they’ve been using and experimenting with other options. With the pandemic creating so many new photographers, many had to get creative. And Velvia seemed pretty perfect for a few folks.

This photo above from @tituspoplawski is a prime example. If anything, it looks a bit like Ektachrome or Ektar. Of course, the output is a pretty simple lighting setup. We can observe a blue background with a large spotlight effect on the model. Because the light is most likely balanced to daylight, it works perfectly with Fujifilm Velvia for portrait photography. The model’s skin tones look a bit colder, which is a slap in the face to most modern photography.

Titus isn’t the only one, though. Fujifilm also shared the work of @willemdafilm. His work is more vivid. It’s also slapping every rule in the portrait world in the face. Instead of using contrasting colors, the entire thing is pretty much the same color tone. This technique has been used for years but was really emphasized with Steve McCurry’s work. Willem is using shadows to differentiate the subjects, background, and wardrobe. It’s masterful work from a technical standpoint. In the past few years, YouTubers and other photographers employed a neon light on the side to deliver more contrast. But that idea is being thrown out the window.

The New Trend?

Could this be a brand new trend? Since the pandemic started to get under control, the world became a lot more experimental. Even the NYTimes posted a piece the other day that included tons of film and experimental looks. I even thought some of them were considered illegal according to Photojournalistic standards, but that’s not the case.

This sincerely excites me for the future of photography. The past couple of years have been all about shooting to get a clinically perfect photo that you’d then refine for hours in post-production. And the idea of quitting your daily grind just to chase your dreams and hop into another grind is annoying. But lots of these photos are getting rid of that idea. We need to actively dismantle many aspects of the current photo industry for us to grow and evolve. We’re in a place where digital, mobile, and film photography can all coexist: we just need to think differently.

We reviewed Fujifilm Velvia 50 a while back. And honestly, I may consider revisiting it. Want some? Pick it up on Amazon.

All images in this blog post are screenshots. The original image is a screenshot of this post.

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