Belle Lumière – A Community for Film Photography Lovers

Film photography is something I’m dying to get into, but have yet to try it out. The beauty and benefits in being capable to shoot with only a roll of film and no delete button are like no other.

The closest I’ve ever come to shooting film was with disposable cameras from the corner store as a teenager. Those old 35mm cameras produced intense anticipation as you waited to be able to pick up your photos from the store after being developed. There was no digital way to preview the images. You couldn’t delete the mishaps. And I got a lot of overexposed, crummy images, and a handful of keepers.

When we got our first digital cameras, it was kind of like using a calculator for math. It alleviated much thought of ensuring we got the best possible shot. The ability to see your photo in a preview (and trash the ones that didn’t work) changed our industry. We settled for whatever came from that auto button until we realized we could up our game by shooting in manual mode. Even on manual, we can take a dozen test shots and it won’t matter, because you aren’t going to run out of space on your film roll.

Today, having a pretty good judgement on my camera settings before I shoot, I don’t hesitate to take some test shots to check my list or put my camera on continuous shooting mode to ensure I get the moment. This almost carelessness is actually reckless in our shooting skill. The truth is, by not caressing your vision for your final image with thought, intention, and even a little bit of technical anarchy, you can back yourself into a corner when you are put on the spot to shoot quickly. {who else is thinking, “nobody puts Baby in a corner?!”}

Our digital cameras and post-processing tricks can get us close, but there’s nothing compared to being able to shoot exactly how you were envisioning without the calculator. That’s film. It’s like the old saying, practice makes perfect. Film allows you to practice like we did in grade school math class, knowing every step intimately and with memory.

For all of these reasons, I’m a huge, huge fan of Belle Lumière! Take a few moments to see what they are all about:

film photography

Images of Belle Lumière Magazine in this post were taken by Kristen Lynne Photography


1. Tell us a little bit about your community.

Belle Lumière is a quarterly magazine and online journal that features talented photographers who shoot and capture images in film, and the artists that work alongside them.

2. What is the mission and philosophy behind your community (why was it started)?

Belle Lumière was created out of the love for film and education.  Our magazine and journal are meant to inspire not only creativity and push photographers to get out and shoot film, but to also inspire you as an artist to slow down and truly think about what you are capturing and what story you are telling.  When translated Belle Lumière means “beautiful light” in French.

3. What sparked the idea for your community?

The digital age and the idea that everything has to be available now. Film teaches us to slow down and think about what art we are creating. It teaches us patience.  When the end result is complete, we can be that much more proud of it. Our magazine is only available in print, not digital. We want our readers to step away from the digital world and tangibly enjoy beauty, art, and inspiration.

4. How can photographers contribute or be featured in your community?

We only accept and feature 100% film submissions, but we accept any and all niches.  Photographers can submit to both our journal and magazine via our website.

5. Do you have a signature hashtag for people to use on Instagram for possible repost features?

Our hashtag is #BelleLumiere and we do repost images we think are extraordinary.

6. For blog or magazine submissions, do you have special format requirements?

All the information on sizing and what is required for both our magazine and journal submissions can be found on our website.  Again, we only accept 100% film submissions.

7. Do you have a blog and accept guest blog submissions?

We do have a journal and accept session submissions to be featured, as well as DIYs, film stories, and educational posts that have to do with film photography.


Belle Lumiere Magazine

8. Who are the Founders/Creators and/or Organizers of your community?

Lexi Vornberg is the founder and editor behind Belle Lumière, as well as Lemonade and Lenses, another photographer’s community.  Lexi also owns and runs her own photography business in northern Kentucky. Lexi loves wearing dresses and skirts, spring weather, and the smell of coffee, even though she doesn’t drink it. When she is not photographing she enjoys riding her horse Lucień, working in her garden, and spending time with her three dogs and husband.

9. You can visit Belle Lumière at the following links:

Check out their website:

Facebook | Instagram

10. Anything else you want our readers to know?

Belle Lumière is also HUGE on education when it comes to film, and is open to any level of film photographers.  We post educational posts every once in a while and also offer educational workshops.  We truly believe in promoting film and teaching it hands-on so that others can learn to step away from the instant world and truly create art.



Author: MarieMasse
I help client documentary photographers fine-tune their workflow + marketing game, so their work is filled with sessions that represent their voice + client values while earning a living. I shoot undirected, off-beat stories that aren’t preserved often enough (like the story of couples before starting a fam or becoming empty-nesters – a dream project of mine), so my clients’ old box of photos is a meaningful, visual diary of their life + legacy to leave behind.

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