How To Shoot Kodak Portra 800 by Jessica Love

Shoot It With Film Jessica Love Portra 800 Review
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Kodak Portra 800 Overview: Kodak Portra 800 gives nice, saturated colors and loves to be overexposed. Try rating between 200 and 400 to avoid a muddy look. It’s also highly versatile and can be used indoors and outdoors, but preferably in lots of light. You can pick up some on Amazon here: Kodak Portra 800 in 35mm and Kodak Portra 800 in 120

Shoot It With Film Jessica Love Portra 800 Review

Kodak Portra 800 Film Review by Jessica Love

For me, choosing a film stock is like when you first get a digital camera and the number of POSSIBILITIES of HOW TO EDIT your photos hits you like crazy. In my first few months of shooting film, I shot and shot and shot, trying lots of different film stocks. I actually tried Portra 800 pretty early on and hated the results I got – muddy, grainy. I’ve since started rating it between 200 – 400 iso and love the results I get!

What To Expect From Portra 800

I find that I get super saturated colors and pretty great skin tones.

Shoot It With Film Jessica Love Portra 800 Review

Shoot It With Film Jessica Love Portra 800 Review

How To Shoot And Meter Portra 800

I meter around 200. I love it most on a sunny day and backlit. For some sessions, white balance and color tone are a struggle when shooting digital, but when I get my film back, I’m just amazed at how well this film does with light.

Shoot It With Film Jessica Love Portra 800 Review

Shoot It With Film Jessica Love Portra 800 Review

Where Portra 800 Performs Best And Where It Struggles

Portra 800 performs well in almost any situation. I shoot it inside on a bright day, outside in the sun, and backlit. I love it all!

It tends to struggle in low light. It isn’t a high ISO as the 800 might suggest. It needs to be overexposed quite a bit. Shooting it in lots of light will make you so happy with the results!

Shoot It With Film Jessica Love Portra 800 Review

Thank you so much, Jessica! Please check out Jessica’s work on Instagram and her website, and if you have questions about Kodak Portra 800, leave them in the comments.

Click here to check out all of our film reviews, and if you want to pick up some Portra 800 for yourself, click here to buy it on Amazon!

Blog Comments

What do you mean rate 200 or 400?

Like the opposite of pushing it?

Pushing film is done in the developing process by the lab (or if you develop your own film at home). It’s a way to compensate for under exposure by adjusting the time the film is in the developing chemicals, and will make the film appear brighter with more contrast and more color saturation.

Pulling is the opposite of pushing film, where you adjust the time in developing chemicals to compensate for over exposure.

Rating is done while you’re shooting. You can see the last comment for an explanation of rating film. 🙂 Rating is a way to under or over expose your image while shooting. Pushing/pulling is a way to adjust your exposure during the developing process instead of the shooting process.

Rating means what you set your ISO to when you’re calculating your exposure, either with an external light meter or with the metering settings on your camera. Portra 800 is ISO 800, so if you didn’t want to over or under expose your image, you would set your light meter to ISO 800 and then use the corresponding shutter speed and f-stop. But Portra 800 looks great over exposed, so Jessica will often set her light meter to ISO 200 or 400 instead of ISO 800. Does that make sense? Please let me know if you have more questions!

What about processing?

Gor, thanks so much for your comment! What is your question about processing? I’m afraid I don’t quite understand your question.


Your the best. This is the first article i’ve read on this blog. it’s a great blog and very imformative. I’m curious which camera you shot these pictures on. I’m currently using a Nikon L35af. I’ve been really into point and shoots lately. THANK YOU for the explanation in push/pull/rate. I always assumed those definitions and while they weren’t far off, it was nice to read them in cut and dry context. thank you!

Hi! Beautiful pictures – those colors are amazing! I found a few of these for dirt cheap, but I’m concerned as to how well they’ll perform with flash, indoors, in very low light. Do you think the photos will be overexposed?

I’d like to confirm one thing about the Jessica’s pictures, if I rate 200 or 400, and then develop film with regular process(No pushing or pulling), is it correct?

Yes! You got it! You can rate Portra 800 at 200 or 400 and then develop normally without any pushing or pulling.

It’s 120. Not 120mm.

Good catch! Thank you! We corrected it 🙂

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