I’m Adam Szczepanski, a wedding photographer and filmmaker based in West London, UK. Just 25 minutes on a tube from Oxford street and 10 minutes drive from M25.
I have been shooting weddings since 2007, with the first wedding shot exactly on 07/07/2007 – lucky number ! I’d describe my style as a creative reportage with a couple more formal portraits.
Which means I follow the day as it happens with the “fly on the wall” approach and, at some point, usually in the evening, just before the sunset (magic hours light) we may have some couple portraits session, which is more organised, compared to the rest of the day.
Cameras and Lenses
In terms of the camera equipment, I started shooting with a Nikon D200, which was producing beautiful skin tones. It was a great camera but soon was upgraded to a Nikon D700, which was also a very good camera, at the time, but loud, very loud!
You could hear it from the distance: clack clack! I didn’t like it that much, so I decided to jump the fence and try a Canon 5D MK1 and this was spot-on. This camera was helping to produce some magic images, great colours, had a great feel in the hand – I loved it for many years.
Then canon came up with the Canon 5D MK2, which I didn’t like because it had a strange magenta tint in the out-of-the-can images. But the next generation of Canon 5D MK3 was the one I fell in love with, and I actually still use it today.
Along with Canon lenses, it produces great colours, tonality, and it feels great in-hand. Battery life is very decent, and it also is good for video. It has some limitations, the AF is not the fastest in the world, and the dynamic range is not the best, but it is still my favourite camera.
In the meantime, I tried the Fujifilm X-Pro2, the Nikon D750, and the Sony A7III, but I didn’t like any of them for different reasons.
And if Canon does not come with with a new upgraded camera (Better AF, better Dynamic Range and 2 card slots), I will consider the Fujifilm X-T3, which seems to be a really nice camera, nowadays.
So what am I using when I shoot the video? Well, I still use two Canon 5D MK3’s, on tripods, and a Panasonic Lumix g80 in my hand. What a great little camera!
It produces amazing quality 4K video, and with my old manual focus Minolta MD Lens 50mm f/2.0 (which translates to 100mm on a full frame), I feel like I can tell the story using only this one lens.
So what’s in the bag:
Canon 5D MK3 (x2)
Canon 35mm f/1.4 – my most used lens, perfect range for reportage style photography.
Canon 85mm f/1.8 – portrait lens to get the action shots and portraits from the distance.
Canon 24mm f/1.4 – used mainly on the dance floor, which allows me to be close to the couple, right in the middle of the action.
Canon 50mm f/1.8 – best all around lens and I grow to like it more and more.
Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT (x2)
Yongnuo Speedlite Transmitter YN-E3-RT II (for Canon) – simply cheaper than the Canon equivalent.
Plus a set up for videos:
Panasonic Lumix G80 (beautiful colours and high quality 4K video).
Minolta MD lens 50mm F 2.0 with an adapter (allows me to stay behind and capture the wedding from a distance. Also, the shallow depth of field makes the footage look more cinematic).
Sony TX650 Voice Recorders (x4) – small and handy.
Zoom H1 (x2) – used as a back up and can be hooked up to the DJ console.
Lowepro Pro Messenger 200 AW
Manfrotto BeFree Aluminium Travel Tripod x2 – for video.
Manfrotto Monopod 560B-1 – light and handy.
Jie Yang fluid head – amazing, small, fluid head. Great for video.
Hardware & Software
I have been using Lightroom for may years, but recently I tried Capture One Pro and absolutely love it. It’s fast… really fast! The colour rendition is better than in Lightroom, and the UI and keyboard shortcuts can be well customised to allow for workflow.
For video editing, I use DaVinci Resolve Software. Very intuitive, user friendly, video editing software.
There are so many cameras out there, and the companies are coming up with new ones every few months. This can be a very pricey exercise if you decide you want to always have the newest!
Ye, its true that newer cameras usually have faster AF, better dynamic range, etc… but at the same time, there will be a better camera launched in a month or two, and then what? Upgrade again? :)