Hello world, my name’s Paul Jarrett, aka bomKnights Photography. I’m a Welsh chap living in Cheshire, although I don’t sound at all Welsh and I can’t sing for toffee. I stole the name bomKnights from my 6-year old daughter who made it up as a superhero name for her 3-year old brother – so that’s the kind of guy I am, I steal things from my kids.
My style of photography, I guess, is street photography at weddings. What the heck is street photography shouts 98% of the world? I guess it’s best described as photographing total strangers (that sounds really creepy now I’ve read it back), real people (not pretend ones…don’t even know what that means to be honest), real moments, in a fast paced ever changing environment.
The perfect street picture has a subject, context, realism, composition, great light and a real moment people can relate to – basically a single picture tells a story, or a small series of pictures add up to tell a story. So, I bring all that to weddings, being a street photographer really gives me a great advantage considering how hectic weddings are – fast thinking, pre-emptive photography. My full weddings tell a complete story end to end of a wedding day.
My approach is best described as “I get involved” just like all the other guests and taking pictures of what happens around me. I don’t guide or influence people on their day, preferring to simply be part of it, soak up the atmosphere and get the feeling of what it was like to be there in my pictures. I enter a wedding as a stranger and leave as a friend to a lot of people. I stay in touch with a lot of my couples and guests after a wedding, which I guess is testament to my approach and general easygoing nature.
I’m a bit of a social chameleon I guess, always myself but adapting my mannerisms and things I talk about based on who’s within earshot at the time! I like the fact people don’t often know I’m ‘the photographer.’ It lets me get pictures of them actually being themselves, which, for my clients, is the thing they relate to the most. It’s a very personal thing that’s completely unique to the people in the pictures. I’d say my pictures aren’t appealing to the masses from a marketing perspective, but rather they are a very personal insight into a fantastic day that only the people who were there can really relate to.
The kit I use is small and unobtrusive, which really helps me just blend in. I chose mirrorless cameras for this very reason; great image quality, light, and easy to use.
My main kit consists of:
Fuji X-Pro2 – It’s small and says, “I’m not a photographer.” The rangefinder style and handling are ideal for the way I work, as is the optical viewfinder. Image quality is superb, it’s got dual slots, it’s fast enough for my needs, and the files are very robust if I need to recover anything I messed up on the day, which to be fair isn’t often with liveview. I don’t use a strap, just carry it in my hand like normal non-wedding photographer type folk – again, it’s all about blending in.
Fuji 18mm f/2.0 – I love this lens. Technically if you read reviews it’s one of the weaker Fuji lenses, but the images it gives me are just fine. I’d say 98% of my pictures from a day come from this lens. I chose it because it’s small, light, and unobtrusive (I don’t use the lens hood, again to keep it as low profile as possible). The field of view is ideal for “in amongst it” pictures, reasonably close to how the human eye sees things, and not too wide but just wide enough to add context to images with a couple of steps back. All-in-all it’s a great lens.
Jupiter 8 50mm F/2.0 – My backup and occasional portrait lens. It’s an old Russian lens from around 1950, picked it up at a car boot sale for £15. Manual focus, very small and gives nice contrasty pictures along with some interesting lens flare when used in conjunction with direct light.
Fuji EF-X20 flash – Another dinky item. Really small flash I use only in the evenings when the partying starts. It’s not particularly powerful, but I’m in amongst it on the dance floor so it doesn’t need to be. I usually simply have it mounted on top of my camera so I can operate one-handed and have a good ole dance (and it leaves the other hand free for me to hold my beer). My technique varies between dragging the shutter or straight up simply direct flash. I don’t bounce it or use any kind of modifier, preferring to keep things as simple as possible (theme here I’m guessing).
Ricoh GR II – backup camera I can keep in my pocket. It’s got the same field of view as my X-Pro2 / 18mm combination, has superb image quality in a ridiculously small package and is whisper quiet thanks to its leaf shutter. I occasionally use it during ceremonies where absolute silence is required. It really is a fantastic little camera.
ONA Leather Bowery Leica edition – nice small stylish bag to carry it all in.
So that’s me – my website is www.bomknights.co.uk I’m on all the usual social media sites under bomKnights, thanks very much for reading.