Douglas Polle

Wedding | Last Updated: December 15, 2020

Hey! My name is Doug. I’m a wedding and portrait photographer from New Jersey. It all started for me when I was in Middle school. My Dad got me a Nikon N80  for Christmas at my request, and I started taking photos of everything.

My Interest in photography grew as did my lust for awesome gear. Fifteen+ years ago it was all film, so the sickest options were the Nikon F-100 and the Nikon F5; I had them both.

Photography has been a hobby for most of my life. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I met someone who believed in me more than I did.

When I met my girlfriend Jess, my life took an exciting new turn. This was a unique time when I was very open to love, she helped me realize how important intention setting was. Jess is by far my biggest inspiration.

In a short time I’ve dabbled in action sports, editorial photography, and product photography. All of these are boring to me compared to my lucky step into weddings.

There are millions of reasons why I love to shoot weddings. Out of all the genres of photography, weddings allow me to be the most creative for the longest duration. We get to spend anywhere from 8-14 hours with our cameras, shooting non stop. It’s really rewarding when I can make something from nothing and I love wowing my clients.

Through my life I’ve had so many cameras and lenses, all Nikon. Although there is much about Canon’s glass and image colors that I admire, I have never owned one.

My current setup includes:

Nikon D750 (review here)
Nikon D4
Nikon D4s
Nikon 24mm f/1.4G
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 art
Nikon 45mm f/2.8 PC
Nikon 58mm f/1.4G
Nikon 85mm f/1.4G
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VRII
Nikon sb-910
Nikon sb-800
Quantum Q-flash
Pocket wizard Plus III

The Nikon D4s is the camera for me. I love the files and the workflow. I don’t have to think to operate it, and it is simply an extension of my body.

Shooting sometimes 3 weddings in a weekend is what briefly brought me to the Nikon D750. The files that come out of the lighter camera are incredible, but I found myself frustrated with its button layout and buffer speed. This is why I keep it in the back seat as my backup, and sometimes it gets used for portraiture.

Although I have a lot of options, I prefer to keep it simple. Most of the time I shoot one camera with the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G, Nikon 45mm f/2.8 PC, Nikon 58mm f/1.4G combo. The Nikon D4s gets the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G; these two stay together all day. I could write a novel about this combo. I’ve had the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G for a long time and I’m still wowed by the character of this lens.

Sometimes I break out the Nikon D4 for a second camera with the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G and the Nikon 45mm f/2.8 PC tilt shift. I change these lenses around all day. The Nikon 45mm f/2.8 PC is an awesome focal length for family formals, but not for those that lack faith in their abilities to manual focus. Some give the Nikon D4 a bad rap, but it’s unlikely that anyone could tell the difference between that and the “s” model with the way I process my images. This is my go-to setup.

I recently acquired the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 art; it’s okay. It focuses fast but it’s kind of uneventful for me, much like the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G that I use as a paperweight.

The Nikon 85mm f/1.4G is awesome. This lens doesn’t get used as much as it should but it’s insane how sharp it is wide open.

I have the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VRII for the occasional large church, or for those creeper shots. I’m holding onto this lens until Nikon releases an updated 135mm G-series.

I’m mostly a natural light photographer. I have some speed lights for receptions, and sometimes I’ll throw some pocket wizards on them to get creative. I have the Quantum Q-flash because it’s small, and awesome for overpowering the sun.

All this fits in a Think Tank International roller. I also have a Think tank turnstyle 10 that I use as a lens changing bag when I’m shooting one camera. The Holdfast money maker is for those long weekends when it becomes too much for the big cameras.

I shoot on Sony XQD cards because of their reliability and speed. I edit in Adobe Lightroom on a MacBook Pro retina.

In the near future I will have a Leica setup, at that point my life will be complete.

In a nutshell you can buy gear until you’re sick and broke, but the most important thing to me is to keep it simple, have fun and love what you do.

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  1. Alexander on December 27, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Love the Nikon setup. It’s a bit over-complicated for me, but a great way to cover everything. The D4s certainly has it’s fans and appears to attract the more zen photographers among us – it’s a flawless bit of kit. Thanks for sharing…

    • Doug on December 29, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      Thanks Alex, it seems over complicated because I have options but ultimately I’m really only using two lenses to shoot a wedding. Sometimes even only using one camera; this is as simple as it gets. Since this shotkit was posted I’ve actually changed out a lot of the stuff I said I don’t use for a Leica M with 24mm and 50mm lenses. It was everything I hoped it would be.

  2. Dee on December 20, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Love your photography style and tone… keep up with the great work :)

    • Doug on December 29, 2015 at 11:25 pm

      Thank you!!

  3. Doug on December 4, 2015 at 5:48 am

    Thank you so much Deirdre!
    A big thanks goes out to Mark too!

  4. Deirdre on December 3, 2015 at 2:50 am

    A great guy and a fantastic photographer! Nice to see this article :)

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