Well, here I am. I’m a wedding photographer, but I will speak about my job only after explaining what I like to do when I’m not holding my cameras, so you can know me better:
I love cooking, so I like to watch all the tv shows that talk about food (from Masterchef to The Cake Boss passing through Hells Kitchen and so on…).
I love reading, so I read many books of various kinds from historical novels (I love the Middle Ages) to the biographies of the people I follow (chefs, photographers, reporters, etc.).
I love traveling. Unfortunately or fortunately, however, I no longer have the time to do it for holidays. But I’m lucky enough to do it for work.
I love to stay with my wife, Francesca. Through her continuous support that I do this job with passion, she encourages me, she gives me advice, she criticizes my work. I like to share with her what I do with so much passion.
I really love to play with my hairy dog, a 12-year old female golden retriever, that is almost like my daughter.
Ok, I told that I’m a wedding photographer, so let’s talk about my gear because it is an important part of my job. I always work with two cameras – sometimes with three – and prime lenses (I own only one zoom lens, the fantastic Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, but I use it very little).
A couple of years ago I switched from Nikon to Canon—yes, all my gear (cameras and lenses). I’m really happy about this choice. Why this change? Because the AF issues of my Nikon D800 never really resolved. I was curious, and these issues were the straw that broke the camel’s back, because I really was too curious to try “the other side.”
This was a great choice for me. My wedding photography has grown fast because of the new cameras. Maybe I was trying new things because I didn’t know the kit very well. It was like a challenge to myself, but made easier by the quality of the Canon equipment.
The Canon 5D Mark III seemed built specifically for a wedding photographer. Finally I know how an AF system is supposed to be! I loved it immediately. All of the AF points work well, they are widely spaced across the frame, and it is easy to move the AF point. The image quality also exceeds my thoughts. It has amazing color rendition, which was one of my targets when I changed from Nikon (so yellow…).
And what can I tell you about Canon prime lenses? Well, they are damn good. I still own the Canon 24mm f/1.4L II USM, the Canon 35mm f/1.4L USM, the Canon 85mm f/1.2 L II USM, the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, and only one zoom lens, the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. My preferred combination is almost always 35mm and 85mm.
What do I love about these lenses? Their mellow rendition! I’m not a pixelpeeper, I do not need maximum sharpness all the time. I prefer a shoot soft like a film shoot—grainy and soft, with tenderly tonal passages—and I achieved this with all the “old” Canon prime lenses.
My preferred one remains the Canon 85mm f/1.2 L II USM, yes, it’s heavy and slow, but man, what f****ng taste! Technically it has also some flaws like relatively soft borders/corners and high vignetting at large aperture settings, but maybe it’s because of these flaws that I love it. It has extremely sharp center quality and a superb bokeh.
The only lens not Canon is the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art. I use it mainly for the food shoots. I like his sharpness and his micro contrast.
I fell in love also for a little gem, the Leica Q TYP 116. I bought it only for my pleasure, but I’ve made a mistake: I carried it with me to a wedding today, and shot 30% of the event with this little, unobtrusive and quiet camera.
Today, after two years and 200,000 shots, I sold my two Canon 5D Mark IIIs and I brought home the beast: Canon 1DX Mark II, it’s really too early to talk with you about this camera, but I’m already in love with it. Autofocus, high ISO and speed… Test it, and your bank manager will be your best friend!
All this gear comes with me to weddings in a superb backpack: Think Tank Airport Essentials, so tiny but so spacious.
It can fit a lot of camera gear and is guaranteed to fit in the overhead bins on all aircraft. Not to forget, it will also slide comfortably underneath the seat in front of you. It is lightweight, sturdy and well designed. Overall, it is a fantastic bag that I have used on dozens of weddings.
The Think Tank Airport Essentials is built to last and while you pay a bit more, it has the features you need and the durability you want so that it still represents a good value. I carry gear worth a considerable amount of money and so a bag that gives to me the ability to comfortably carry it with peace of mind and protect it is worth it.
So, in conclusion, my combination for a wedding day is like a film: “The beauty (Leica Q) and the Beast (Canon 1DX Mark II)”. ;-)
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