I am Finn Mooney, a commercial and wedding photographer based in Ireland.
I have been shooting weddings nationally and internationally for almost 10 years, after turning a hobby into a profession and never looking back.
I also teach photography in a college and photography is a major part of my life professionally and personally.
I used to shoot with Canon DSLRs but switched to a mirrorless system four years ago. I chose the FujiFilm X-Series system as I felt it suited my shooting style and I loved the form factor.
The size and performance of the mirrorless system allows me to position myself closer to people and I find that they are less aware of me.
I also like the retro-style design of the system and I love gear which has manual-based operations. I really like the aperture ring being directly on most FujiFilm lenses as I only shoot full manual mode for everything.
The majority of the time I shoot with prime lenses.
Love the form factor. It has an excellent design combined with great performance and fast auto-focus, is very good in low light, and with the FujiFilm firmware updates has continued to improve over time.
The battery grip with two additional batteries helps performance and also allows me to shoot all day without changing batteries.
The inbuilt image stabilisation is a plus, as is the information display on the top of the camera. The articulating screen also helps a great deal when shooting at low positions or in tight spaces. It’s also excellent for video when required.
The big brother of the X-T2, very similar in terms of design and performance. The sensor is slightly better and lets in more light as its the CMOS version IV sensor versus III in the X-T2 and the BSI allows more light in also.
The X-T3 has a more advanced hybrid autofocus system and battery life is improved somewhat. All in all, it’s a slightly amped up version of the X-T2.
Fujinon XF 90mm f/2
I chose this lens as my long prime lens for the gear bag as it’s a very sharp lens even at maximum aperture, has beautiful quality bokeh and very fast autofocus.
The compression when using this lens can be a useful feature and I like the focal length especially for weddings and shooting documentary-style shots from further away. It’s very manageable to use handheld and the design is beautiful.
FujiFilm XF 50mm f/2
A mid-telephoto lens that is super sharp, has very fast auto-focus and a small and light design. The low F/2 aperture is a bonus as I tend to not use additional light sources and shoot wide open in churches for weddings.
This lens for me is one of the fastest autofocus lenses I have used and is a nice focal length with a wide range of uses.
Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4
I really like this lens: it’s a 1.4 and allows me to shoot wide open, plus it’s fast at autofocusing – not the fastest in the FujiFilm line, but fast enough. It also has beautiful out of focus bokeh and the focal length is perfect for many situations.
It has a standard focal length with the angle of view similar to that of the human eye which lends it a really nice composition and perspective.
FujiFilm XF 23mm f/2
This is a highly versatile focal length prime lens (35mm equivalent). It allows me to capture a wide range of subjects, it’s compact, has a lightweight design and high-speed autofocus (AF) capability, it’s sharp as a tack and the design is exceptional.
Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4
The widest lens I have in the gear bag, this is an ideal focal length for wider type shots and tight spaces. It offers a dramatic wide field of view and stunning optical performance.
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The F/1.4 maximum aperture delivers high image quality in low-light conditions and bokeh-rich macro photography with the minimum working distance of 15cm, which is a real plus when required. In addition, it has very fast autofocus and is weather resistant.
This is a 200w ‘pocket flash’ from Godox. It has exceptional battery life, is very portable and has a lot of modifier options. At 200w power, I use it generally for off-camera flash shots and it allows me to overpower the sun at higher apertures, triggered with the Godox X1T-F trigger.
Godox TTL Camera Flash TT685F
I don’t use much on-camera flash but when I do I use this one. It has a good guide number flash output with a reasonably fast recycle time. I generally use it in manual mode or occasionally TTL.
I also often use it as a light source off the camera, often combined with additional Godox light sources for creative or portrait lighting.
Godox Mini Camera Flash TT350F
A very small and portable light source. I often throw it into my pocket and use it for ad hoc shots when stuck for light. It doesn’t have a massively high flash guide number but it’s plenty for on-the-run shots and works really well in TTL mode on the fly.
Holdfast MoneyMaker Tan
This is the one thing I really couldn’t work without. I bought it a few years ago and use it at almost every job.
As I shoot prime lenses the majority of the time, having the ability to have two camera bodies with different focal lengths is a must. It also looks great and wedding guests often comment on how cool it is.
Billingham 335 Camera Bag (Khaki Canvas / Tan Leather)
It took me a long time to find the perfect camera gear bag where I could put everything I needed for a wedding day in one bag. This bag certainly fits the bill, apart from larger lights and stands it fits everything I need for a wedding or commercial job.
It has separators, pouches, and pockets aplenty for all the things I need for photography.
HoldFast Wallet for SD cards.
Manfrotto Compact Action tripod
Lightweight, compact, folds up very small and has a very ergonomic joystick head with scroll-wheel locking mechanism which is very intuitive and easy-to-use
Hardware & Software
I use a mix of Lightroom, Photoshop and Capture One. I cull and mass edit using Lightroom and sometimes Capture One to handle sharpening for FujiFilm files. I use Photoshop for specialist editing.
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I edit using a shuttle controller with programmed shortcuts and use a Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Creative Pen & Touch Display. I stopped using a mouse years ago for editing and the Wacom is amazing.
Apple MacBook Pro 15” for on-the-go editing, video editing and slideshow prep.
Apple Mac Pro for studio editing. I have 64GB ram built in to handle heavy editing and especially for video editing.
Apple iPad Pro with pencil – I use LR mobile for editing on it.
A Triangular Prism for creative shots; a small piece of copper pipe for creative shots; a small piece of glass chandelier, again for manipulating light and creating reflections.
I always have an isotonic drink and some protein bars hidden in the back of the gear bag to keep the energy levels up. I always carry business cards as well, for obvious reasons!
My advice to all photographers is to use the gear which suits your style most. Use of prime lenses makes us better photographers in my opinion, as you have to move your feet to get the right shot or composition.
In photography it’s important to always try new things, experiment and be daring, find your own style and be the best you. Its great to have inspiration but emulation is short-lived; find your own path.
Also know your gear inside out – better to utilise what you do have instead of being concerned about what you don’t have.