My name is Ash, I’m part of London wedding photographer – MIKI Studios which I’m one half of. MIKI Studios is a photography and film wedding studio based in London. Mick, my business partner, is the film guy and I am the photography guy, together we’re friends, fathers, and adventurers!
I am really passionate about everything I do and feel it’s the best way to live life. I love what I do and I put my heart and soul into it. It’s the only way I’d be able to do anything that inspires me.
I don’t do anything in half measures! When I set my sights on a goal I become a tiny bit obsessed to achieve it. I live it, I breathe it, I sleep it.
I think that’s why I gravitate towards capturing weddings.
The excitement of the day, the emotion of it all, the buzz, the details, that ‘live element,’ the thought that you get one chance to capture it, combined with that feeling as two people make one of the most amazing, exciting decision in their lives in front of everyone they love.
Gear isn’t important to me – it’s there as a method to capture and show what’s in my head or my imagination. If it gets in the way or gets too complicated, it’s the wrong piece of gear for me.
I like simple. I like things that I can trust.
For many years I shot Nikon D750s, and I loved them. I loved everything about them, the files, the ease of the setup, the simplicity of the camera.
However, over time, the one thing that started to get in the way was their ability to focus. I started to second guess my kit and put countermeasures in place just to get something in focus, that’s when I knew I had to change.
At the time, Nikon and Canon didn’t have anything within the Mirrorless range that would work for me as moving to mirrorless was paramount when we started the studios because no-one wants to hear the clunk (no matter how much I loved it) on the films we were producing.
So, Sony was the simple answer. However, I am not a Sony fanboy (AT ALL!). There is a lot of hype about the Sony line up and most of it doesn’t live up to expectations…
2x Sony A9 (MK1): Great at focusing and has a crazy shooting rate with almost zero buffer, but it just doesn’t feel enjoyable to hold and shoot with.
Sony 35mm f/1.8: My favourite lens – period! It never comes off my camera! I just love the files and the feel that this lens gives. I used to own the Sony 35mm f/1.4, it was heavy, big, and very expensive. This 1.8 fits all the issues I had with the Sony 35mm f/1.4 and I’ve never missed the extra stop of light.
Batis 85mm f/1.8: A GREAT lens. Very fast, small, and light. Lovely bokeh and the rendering is beautiful.
Batis 25mm f/2: Another GREAT lens. The Batis line up is awesome, I am in love with the quality of them.
Canon 50mm f/1.2: Not a native Sony lens, but with the sigma converter it works perfectly. The Canon 50mm f/1.2 is a slow lens to focus, but somehow the converter speeds up the focus and its very useable.
I only use this lens on pre-wedding shoots and during portrait time as I have a bit more time to play with the characteristics of the lens, especially shooting into the light at sunset.
Godox XPRO-S: They work seamlessly with the Godox V860II-S flashes and the Sony system.
Black Widow Holster: It’s simple, light, and perfect for the Sony system. I like the ability to hold the camera high and low, and as it isn’t connected to a strap, it quickly allows me to get into positions I couldn’t when I used the HoldFast system.
Hardware & Software
LaCie Rugged 4TB Hard Drive: Extremely reliable and something I can trust as a back up for my files. Plus, I love the colour as you can never lose it!
Everything gets packed away in my Think Tank Airport International. It carries everything I need to and from a wedding. As many of the weddings we capture are in London, it’s great to travel on the tube with, or for destination weddings as it is small enough for the cabin.
For all UK weddings, I have 4x Manfrotto 1004BAC Master Stands which are sturdy, simple, and very reliable. They rarely get knocked over, and even when they do, they are never damaged.
For destination weddings, I ditch these and take 2x Manfrotto Nanopole Light Stands.
Very light and simple to use, much easier to travel with, but they do introduce a small issue in that the legs are long and lanky which means they are more prone to being knocked over, so I always use bungee cords to tie them to a tree or fixed pole or something.
Photo Mechanic: Because it’s quick and easier than Lightroom in my opinion, but many others would disagree!
Adobe Lightroom: Mainly because there isn’t much competition for editing large amounts of files. I have a very basic preset, then colour correct, and most importantly CROP!
Alien Skin Exposure: Because who doesn’t love their sharpening tools. I also batch edit all colour images into black and white using Alien Skin. That way, the couple gets a full set of black and white and colour images to pick from. Saves the emails asking for colour or black and white images.