Hi, my name is Anthony Lyons and I am a documentary wedding photographer based in North Devon, in the Southwest of the UK. I love everything about North Devon; it’s the most beautiful part of the country and where I love to work the most.
My business is named Special Day Wedding Photos, and I have shot weddings across Devon and the UK.
The first wedding I ever photographed was way back in 2002 with a Mamiya RB67. I have to confess, I hated it. So static. I vowed never to do it again.
But the digital revolution happened, I helped out at a wedding and loved it.
I have recently changed my gear!
I was a Nikon user but found the heavy equipment was really killing the back and the noise was just too intrusive, especially for church weddings; the mirror sounded like a thunder clap from hell.
My photography is all about capturing the moment unobtrusively. I really do not want to be seen or heard. Saying that, I loved using the Nikon equipment and still miss it.
With a lot of research, I decided to go for the new Fujifilm XT3’s. Not only are they lightweight but they have the silent shutter which really gives me the chance to be unobtrusive in the church and also get in close without the shutter sounds destroying a hunted down moment.
On the whole, I work in available light so it was important the Fujifilm XT3’s work well in low light. Thankfully they do! I use two Fujifilm XT3’s with a Fujinon XF 56mm F/1.2 R lens and a Fujinon XF 16mm 1.4 R WR lens.
I also have the Fujinon 18-55mm F/2.8-4.0 OIS XF kit lens, which only comes out of the bag for group shots if necessary, with the 56 and 16 being my go-to set up.
I love working with this combo, which is equivalent to using an 85mm and 24mm in 35mm or full frame sensor, as I know exactly what I’m going to see when I look through the lens, and I just love the field of view of both lenses.
The Fujinon 16mm is also a great lens for getting in close.
I am still getting use to the Fuji system and I would say it’s a work in progress. There are a few things I am still getting to grips with, but I am sure I will iron these out as I move forward.
The Fujifilm XT3’s are great to handle and I really like the retro dials.
I also use Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II, Lexar Professional 1000X, and SanDisk Extreme SD cards – I have never experienced buffering using the Lexar or SanDisk cards, which is great! Nothing worse than waiting for the cards to finish catching up.
This was actually a problem with my old kit. There were a few occasions, usually when capturing confetti or fun around the cake-cutting, when the camera would seize up because of buffering. Scary moments!
The Fujifilm XT3’s also go through batteries so I have a good supply of the Fujifilm NP-W126S and Baxxtar Pro Battery N126S. I also have a good supply of Panasonic Eneloop Batteries for flash.
One of my main aims for changing my kit was to find a system that was lightweight and the Fujifilms definitely tick the boxes.
I have reduced the weight significantly, and I now carry the necessary equipment in a small Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 AW. It’s great because when I need to move fast it’s not cumbersome or in the way.
When in action, the Fujifilms sit on the hip in Spider Black Widow Holsters. I found the Spider Holsters quick and easy to use and secure when needing to move quickly. It’s great and works perfectly for me.
I also use three Godox TT685F flashes for first dance and occasionally the speeches if the light is really poor.
I also use a Godox Xpro-F Radio Wireless Transmitter. The Godox flashes work wirelessly without the need for additional triggering systems.
I use Photo Mechanic 5 for culling and Adobe Lightroom for processing the images.
The images are stored on a Terramaster D5-300C USB 3.0 5-Bay External Hard Drive filled with Toshiba P300 3TB 7200RPM 3.5 SATA HDD. The Terramaster is a great storage system and works fantastically well.
I work from home, and it can be quiet at times so it’s great to have Timmy the Labrador on hand, for when I get bored.
A walk with Timmy on Exmoor each morning before I start work is essential to clear the mind and get ready to sit at the desk. He will also distract me throughout the day by dropping a ball on my lap for a play. Love it!