Hello, I’m Alexa Poppe, a Wedding Photographer from Cornwall, UK.
I always loved photography. My stepfather had a few classic film cameras to play around with and from an early age I was fascinated to freeze moments in time forever.
I studied design in Hamburg and worked for many years as a designer whilst still taking photos in my free time.Travelling to Southeast Asia and Australia in 2002 a passion for travel photography was ignited by the colours of these diverse cultures. So 8 years ago I set out on a new career in photojournalism and in the last 7 years wedding photography.
Today I live in Cornwall where I’m inspired by the scenery and outdoor lifestyle, I surf, mountain bike and go for endless walks with my dog Jed. I feel blessed for where I live and work.
My photojournalisic background has definitley influenced my wedding photography style. I thrive on capturing real-life, true emotions. I quietly observe and capture natural moments as they happen to tell the story of a wedding day.
A close relationship with my clients is key for great storytelling photos. I aim to blend in on the day and be as approachable as possible with everyone. It gives me the opportunity to be a part of the event and get a real feel of what’s going on.
Canon 5 D Mark III (x2)
I use 2 Canon 5 D Mark III cameras and a selection of Canon lenses. I’m using both cameras strapped to my harness. I use the same camera body as I love using them both equally and like the consistency. Using two cameras at once also gives me the opportunity to react faster for those candid shots. I want to upgrade to the Canon mark IV next season. I wouldn’t switch to another system as I have always used Canon and love their quality.
It’s just the best harness around in my opinion. The quality is great and it looks the part. It makes it possible to be able to switch in between cameras in seconds and to distribute the weight evenly, no more sore necks! Ok, it pinches my armpits sometimes, but I probably should have bought the slim version.
My go-to lenses are the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8, the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 and the Canon 35mm f/1.4. I love the felxibility of the zoom especially during the ceremony and speeches. If space allows and I don’t have to go wider I love to use my Canon 35mm f/1.4.
Canon 35mm f/1.4
For years I was shooting weddings almost entirely with this one lens. It produces incredible portraits and you can get up close to your subjects, which is key for my style.
It is also super sharp, fast and performs wonderfully in low light.
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8
I couldn’t live without it. It’s a must have for those moments when you need a bit of distance like natural shots during couple portrait sessions. I usually go for a walk with my couples and ‘let them do their thing’. This lens lets me be the quiet observer when getting up close is not appropriate. I find people act more natural if you don’t stick a camera right in their faces. Or during the speeches, some reception venues don’t allow you to get close to the top table, so having a zoom lens like this still allows me to get those close ups. Another example are ‘secret’ guest shots, I can just quietly observe people from a distance without them realising, children playing etc.
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8
If the Canon 35mm f/1.4 is not wide enough or not felxible enough I work with this baby. Sometimes ceremony spaces don’t allow you to move around, to stay flexible, I work with this zoom lens. This lens is also a great low light performer that’s able to make the most of any available ambient light.
Canon 50mm f/1.4
There is something about the 50mm that no other lens has. It’s excellent for those close crop portraits and with it’s lack of distortion a favourite for those decorative details. Also another great performer in low light conditions. I sometimes use it for sparkler shots etc..
Canon 16-35mm f/2.8
There is definitely a time and place in wedding photography when you just have to go wider, tight ceremony venues or small hotel rooms to list just a few…
Or you just want to capture a beautiful landscape with your couple.
A great companion for the dancefloor too, it let’s you get right into the center of the action, especially on a crowded dancefloor!
Canon 580 EX II
I’m a natural light kind of girl. I only use flash if absolutley necessary when there is not enough natural light available. Sometimes as fill light but most definitely on the dancefloor. For first dance shots I love to use OCF, mounted on a stand with the Godox X1T-C Wireless Trigger and Receiver.
To help diffuse the light I sometimes use the Rogue Flash Bender 2. It is a great accessory to have in your kit. It flat packs, weighs nothing and is completely flexible, you can bounce or curve the light with the reflector panel alone, use it as a snoot for spot lighting, or slip on the diffuser and use it as a softbox.
Macbook Pro 15 inch
I love to be flexible and take my work with me, the macbook let’s me do this. I work for myself and sometimes need to escape my quiet home office and work in a more crowded place like a coffee shop. Even though my dog Jed rather stays at home in his comfortable bed beside my desk. He is not a fan of hard floors in coffee shops!
With the smart perviews it allows me to bring my editing work everywhere. And the presets are versatile to keep my style consistent. I use Tribearchipelago’s presets and tweak them a little to my taste. And now I can even add the presets to my mobile app!
Clear Plastic bag and Rain Trousers
It’s important to be prepared for those sudden showers. I carry some waterproof rain trousers I can just stick over my camera and lens, with the velcro strap it is super versatile and protects my gear from rain. Ok, it may not look that sexy, but it does the job and protects my gear from getting wet!
The clear plastic bag saved my life when I photographed a wedding ceremony in a cave recently. There was literally no ambient light and no flash allowed because of breeding bats. So I had to improvise. I put my Neewer Bi-Colour LED on a stand and covered it with the clear plastic bag to protect it from the dripping ceiling.
I always carry emergency snacks and a coffee maker in my car. You never know at weddings, sometimes you don’t get a meal even if they promised you one and with being 10 hours plus on your feet, I wouldn’t survive without some food. Did I mention I’m a coffee addict too? Coffee keeps me going, but it has to be a proper one, not something out a of a sachet. So I carry a little camping stove and perculator with me in case I need that extra caffeine kick to keep me going.
Jed, my faithful companion
My lurcher dog Jed keeps me company during long editing days in my home office. He also comes along to meetings and engagement shoots. He is very charming and a huge help to ‘break the ice’, makes friends everywhere and always brings a big smile to people’s faces. He is also very well behaved and usually stays out of the way on photoshoots if I tell him so..