Andrea Bagnasco

Hi, my name is Andrea Bagnasco and I’m a documentary wedding photographer based in Varazze, a small coastal town on the Italian Riviera. I’m married, father of a young boy and have an incurable passion for guitars.

My photography is observational and unobtrusive. My goal is to document the wedding day for my clients through images that are both aesthetically pleasing and emotionally engaging.

I am constantly looking to represent people for who they are, unique in their own normality, and to tell their stories – to use my own style to put my clients in the spotlight. My photography is inspired by the great street and documentary photographers: Cartier Bresson, W. Eugene Smith, Alex Webb and Salgado just to name a few and all the great photojournalists.

I like my pictures to be real, because the true story of the wedding day is to me by far the most important thing that I can deliver to my clients.

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I am image master for DxO Labs, member and multi award winner at ANFM (National Association of Italian Wedding Photographers), ISPWP (International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers) and Fearless Photographers, some of most popular and better attended international directories of wedding photographers.

2017 Wedding Kit – General Remarks

In my constant quest for a light kit I recently switched from my Canon DSLR’s to the Fujifilm X system for weddings. The game changer for me was the X-T2. I had been using a Fuji X-T1 for a couple of years but I could never get enough confidence in it to quit my Canons. So the Fuji was confined to the cocktail hour or reception, when action slows down and things are easier to keep under control.

As mentioned, the X-T2 has so many improvements over the X-T1 that make it a oh-so-much better performer in every respect, both in the field and back in the studio when the files need to be processed. The X-T2 feels a lot faster than the previous model. It doesn’t lag and the autofocus is quicker and more accurate. It was finally given a joystick to select focus points, a front wheel to adjust exposure compensation and double memory cards! That and the 24Mp sensor make it a great replacement for my Canon 5D Mark III’s.

Of course, the Canon 5D Mark IV today probably represents a technically superior camera, but the performance to size and weight ratio make my little X-T2’s the winners for me. What’s the point of having a superior camera at the end of a long working day if I am lacking the desire to use it because I had to drag it around the whole day? I much prefer to work with a smaller and probably less capable camera that allows me to get to the end of the day with the energy to be creative and take better pictures.

The point being: this last generation of Fuji mirrorless cameras are definitely good enough tools for my job, and much easier to carry around the whole day than my Canon kit.

So my wedding setup has evolved from two Canon DSLR’s + one Fuji to three Fuji’s. Right now, I bring two X-T2’s that I carry on me most of the day and a Fuji X-100F, mostly for backup. All cameras are equipped with Upstrap straps as I tend to wear my cameras over my shoulders, and those are by far the safest and most comfortable straps to wear that I have come across.

The whole kit fits into a Tenba Messenger DNA 15 bag, or Think Tank Street Walker backpack, or into a small Evecase messenger bag when I can afford to leave some pieces of equipment at home for smaller gigs.

2017 Wedding Kit – Details

Here are some details concerning each piece of equipment and why it found its place in my kit (from left to right)

Mineral Salts + Energy Bars – these are to recharge my own batteries, especially until we reach the reception and food and beverages!

Camera Batteries – I don’t understand people making a big deal about having to replace batteries during the day. Mirrorless need to go through three batteries roughly during a typical wedding. Just have spare charged batteries at hand and replace when needed, end of story. I use both Fuji original batteries and those EX-Pro Ultra Whites that seem to last just as long as the originals. Very happy about those so far.

Cactus V6 Transceivers – these allow me to use any flash (in manual mode) on my Fuji’s and to control power from remote. Sometimes I need radio remotes for specific stuff during the day (e.g. on the dance floor, with DJ lights). The V6s seem to work well so far – they don’t do High Speed Sync but I rarely need HSS, plus with the X-100F and its leaf shutter I can sync flash up to 1/1000th without HSS.

Rogue Flash Gels – I hardly ever need them, but when I do there’s no substitute for them. So they come with me.

Canon OC-E3 – the Canon flash cord works great with the Fuji’s (same pin layout)

Fuji XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR – 24 mm field of view full frame equivalent. I say field of view equivalent as optically this is and remains a 16mm lens. In my opinion, this is one of the very best Fuji XF lenses today, if not the best. It focuses so close that you can almost hit the subject with the front element. I love the contrast and definition that I get from this lens. It focuses quickly and precisely. Plus, it also seems to be weather resistant.

Fuji X-T2 – I have two of those, they are great cameras. It takes a bit getting used to the Fuji’s when coming from Canon or Nikon, but once you get there, it makes a lot of sense. I love the fact that the main commands are all accessible via physical dials, like it used to be on film cameras of years ago. They are very well made and seem to be solid performers so far. The electronic view finder also takes a bit getting used to, but again once you’ve spent some time with it, it makes for a completely new (and fun!) shooting experience.

The new 24Mp X-Trans APS-C sensor provides a lot of resolution to do all kinds of cropping in post-production and the latitude is really really good. I’d say better than what I was used to with my Canon 5D Mark III’s. Weight and size speak (I should say sing) for themselves.

Fuji XF 56mm f/1.2 R – 85 mm field of view full frame equivalent. This is a great mid telephoto and portrait lens. The longest lens in my Fuji kit right now, so I might try the 90mm in the future as sometimes I’m missing the reach of my old 135mm Canon (well, not only the reach). Anyhow, this is a really good lens and a must-have one in my bag.

Fuji XF 23mm f/1.4 R – 35mm field of view full frame equivalent. Very, very useful lens. This and the 35mm (50mm equivalent) is what I have on my cameras during cocktail and reception 90% of the time.

Fuji X-100F – such a fun camera. It would have been perfect if they gave it the second memory card slot. Other than that it’s just about the ideal backup to the X-T2’s. Same sensor. You can set it up to work the same as the bigger cameras, with the same commands layout. It’s got the focus point selection joystick and front wheel to control exposure compensation. It works on exactly the same batteries as the X-T2’s (yay!). Plus, it’s got the Optical viewfinder for yet another shooting experience altogether. Weighs next to nothing. Leaf shutter!!!

Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 R – 50mm field of view full frame equivalent. This is a great little lens that I really enjoy shooting. I don’t care if people say the new 35mm f/2 is a better lens and quicker to focus. This one is quick enough (I was used to the Canon 50mm f/1.2 which never came even close to being quick to focus) and for the way I work I’ll take the extra stop of light any day over a marginally better optical performance.

Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS – 18mm field of view full frame equivalent. This lens is an amazing value for the price. Ultra-wide is where I need to be for specific shots during the day, so I’d need one of these regardless. Manual focus only but 12mm allows to work without focusing as long as there’s enough light. For all other cases, there’s the focus peaking function of the X-T2’s.

Microfiber cloth, gaffer tape – got to be there for when you need them

Nissin i40 flash – compact and lightweight flash that I use either on the hot shoe or with the flash cord. Fujifilm’s TTL works fantastic and this little Nissin gets the job done.

Canon 580 EXII – I use this in conjunction with the Cactus V6’s when *way* off-camera flash is needed. When close off-camera flash is ok, I stick to the cord + Nissin.

www.andreabagnasco.it

Inside Andrea’s camera bag:


2016


Hi, my name is Andrea Bagnasco and I’m a documentary wedding photographer based in Varazze, a small coastal town on the Italian Riviera. I’m married, father of a young boy and have an incurable passion for guitars.

My photography is observational and unobtrusive. My goal is to document the wedding day for my clients through images that are both aesthetically pleasing and emotionally engaging.

I am constantly looking to represent people for who they are, unique in their own normality, and to tell their stories – to use my own style to put my clients in the spotlight. My photography is inspired by the great street and documentary photographers: Cartier Bresson, W. Eugene Smith, Alex Webb and Salgado just to name a few and all the great photojournalists.

I like my pictures to be real, because the true story of the wedding day is to me by far the most important thing that I can deliver to my clients.

I am image master for DxO Labs, member and multi award winner at ANFM (National Association of Italian Wedding Photographers), ISPWP (International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers) and Fearless Photographers, some of most popular and better attended international directories of wedding photographers.

Wedding Kit – General Remarks

Although the single most important piece of kit a photographer can rely on lays in the 12 inches behind the viewfinder (i.e. the photographer’s eye, imagination, education, culture, willingness to take chances, curiosity, background…) being able to count on a reliable wedding kit that feels familiar is of utmost importance out in the field, where you’re seldom given a second chance to get things right.

Since weddings have over the years been developing into day-long (sometimes even more!) marathons, the kit better be compact and lightweight. Through trial and error and an evolving back pain I’ve come to the point where my basic kit is the one pictured. It has been this way since a couple of years now.

I’m basically bringing 3 camera bodies with me. I used to bring 3 DSLR’s but lately I’ve ditched one DSLR in favor of a very compact and lightweight mirrorless Fujifilm camera.

During most of the day I’ll have 2 cameras on me and one in the bag, so as far as carrying my cameras I ended up settling with a Spider Holster to carry one DSLR (I use the holster on a Think Tank Thin Skin belt) and Upstrap camera straps to carry the second camera body over my left shoulder (either the second DSLR body or the mirrorless). This seems to be a good compromise as far as flexibility, ease of handling and weight distribution on my body.

The whole kit fits into a Think Tank Street Walker Pro backpack or into a Think Thank Streetwalker, when I can afford to leave some pieces of equipment at home for smaller gigs.

Wedding Kit – Details

Here are some details concerning each piece of equipment and why it found its place in my kit (from left to right)

Energade/Gatorade – can’t make do without. Just too important to have some way to charge my own batteries during the day. Most of the wedding season takes place during summer and I can assure you, in my black suit I sweat a lot!

Microfiber cloth – great to keep at hand in my pocket, you never know. Plus, it doubles as 18% gray card

Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket – this is where my CF and SD cards are kept. When a card is full, it goes back in the pocket rocket but flipped so I know exactly and instantly which cards are empty and which are full. It never (NEVER!) leaves my body – kept with me at all times.

Rogue Flash Gels – I hardly ever need them, but when I do need them there’s no substitute for them. So they come with me.

Spare batteries – spare battery sets, one per type

Gaffer Tape – just like for the flash gels

Glasses – these are to drive safely back home at night

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM – I love this lens and use it as much as I can. It always comes out during the reception, especially when the available light is very faint. Also a great getting-ready lens. Most of the time it will stay on one of the Canons from the reception until the end of the day, dancing included.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM – probably the best Canon lens that I ever had the pleasure to work with. Compact, lightweight, razor sharp, focuses instantly and precisely, stunning image quality, creamy bokeh. An absolute winner and a true classic.

I’m not much of a telephoto guy, in that my style tends to favor wide lenses. But when this one comes out, it makes me wish Canon made a wide lens just as good. Great during ceremonies, especially in big venues. Great for the bride and groom portrait session. When I know the venue is small and a shorter reach is good enough, I might leave this one at home and take a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM instead, which also works great as portrait lens.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III – I have two of those. Workhorses. Fantastic cameras and by this time, coming from the previous versions of the 5D series cameras, they feel as a natural extension of my body. On every new 5D camera that comes out Canon seems to improve on autofocus and ISO performance.

I’m pushing the Mark III’s as far as 12800 ISO and I’m still taking good pictures. I wish they would improve a bit on the latitude of the sensor on their next 5D camera. Anyhow, these are just brilliant cameras for wedding photography. Plus, I’ve yet to try a camera that can produce better files for color work. I’m just sold to the Canon look I guess. Oh, and the quiet-shutter mode is fantastic! Would never be able to make do without now.

Fujifilm X-T1 – this one gained a fixed spot in my bag to replace a 3rd backup DSLR body. As much as I’d love to rely on a compact and super lightweight mirrorless kit, I’ve not yet been able to go 100% mirrorless.

For the way I work, DSLR’s seem to be the only universal tools for me, for the time being. Still, it’s great to have this nice little camera that I can use when the action slows down. Typically while the reception is under way and the guests are enjoying their cocktail or meal. The Fuji is very small, quiet and unobtrusive and I can walk around snapping away without bothering anyone.

Fujinon XF23mm f/1.4 R – this lens never leaves the X-T1. It’s an awesome little lens, 35mm equivalent. Very, very useful and useable in all lighting conditions. Optically and mechanically great, a very solid performer.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM – as much as I think there’s a lot better out there in terms of image quality, this ultra wide zoom is a cornerstone of my kit. It allows me to do things I could never do with any other lens. From the confetti and rice throw at the end of the ceremony, to some parts of the bride and groom portrait session, to the late night dancing shots after the reception, this is the go to lens. Better be careful not to overdo with ultra wide, but still can’t make do without.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM – the all-purpose lens. If I could only bring one lens to a gig, it’d probably be this one. I used to own and use the previous version for years and years.

When this one (mark II) came out I wondered why I should spend all that money to replace the 24-70, but quickly forgot the price paid after seeing the files produced by this puppy. Workhorse or – better – thoroughbred.

Phottix Odin 1.5 TTL Flash Trigger – I try to use flash as little as I can, except on the dance floor at night with the band (or DJ) lights – when people drink and dance and couldn’t care less about my flash or me in general. When I need to use flash in all other situations, if the circumstances allow I like to have the option of going with off camera flash

Phottix Mitros+ TTL Transceiver Flash – this guide number 58 speedlight is a great, solid performer. If works fantastic with the Odin trigger and with its built-in receiver I don’ have to carry a TTL receiver with me to do off camera flash.

As mentioned, I try not to use flash at all during my documentary coverage. I do use a bit of flash if my clients want to take a couple of formals with the close family inside the church (where light is usually horrific) and always venture on the dance floor with the flash on my camera and 16-35 to catch some action with the shutter drag technique. Depending on the wedding, though (maybe no formals and no night dancing) I might as well not use the flash at all!

DxO ONE – this is the camera I used to take the ShotKit picture. It’s so small and light, it just makes sense having it with me – you never know during the day I might find a creative way to use it.

www.andreabagnasco.it

Inside Andrea’s camera bag:

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