We are Hinterland Stills. We are photographers based in Seattle and we photograph adventurous people in love all around the world. Over the last year we’ve made the move from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest and couldn’t be more excited to work with couples who want to adventure with us.
We both come at the idea of gear from different perspectives, I (Kyle) want the “perfect kit” and am willing to keep buying things to chase my developing style, whereas Stephen is the cautious one always needing some convincing of the “why.” In the end, we both come out of the experience so flippin’ stoked on the new possibilities.
We switched from Canon to Nikon about 4 years ago for the low light capabilities, dynamic range and the elegance in the tones it gives us. We both use Nikon D750’s and think that right now, they’re the absolute best wedding DSLR on the market. We tend to keep getting darker and darker with our style, and the detail that can be pulled from the shadows is crazy good.
Only as of recent have I started using dual cameras on wedding days with the Holdfast Money Maker Strap and it’s just such a great system to be able to run around with 2 focal lengths at any time.
Leica M240 – I can’t talk enough about finding the camera that makes you feel good, and the Leica does just that. It feels like a tank, and yet also feels like almost nothing is between me and whatever I’m shooting. The files are stupid pretty and it just makes me happy whenever I’m shooting something with it. This has become the camera I use for engagement sessions, elopements and couples formals on the wedding day.
Fujifilm X-Pro 1 – Stephen has been using this camera as a smaller travel camera to document his family. It’s not the fastest or the most amazing camera out there right now when compared to the newer Fujifilm X-Pro 2, but for something quick and near point and shoot, it tends to be a good in-between.
Fujifilm Instax Wide – We’re not quite in the workflow to find ourselves shooting film, but we love to give our clients something tangible on their day. During formals or the reception we’ll snap a couple of photos and toss it into a thank you card for them to see the following morning.
So many times our couples email us or tag us immediately, stoked to have gotten something they really didn’t expect from their hired professional photographer. [Ed: Interested in instant? Check out the best instant camera.]
We use Nikon SB-910’s for our flashes but with shooting a lot of outdoor receptions and our love of grain, they see little use outside of shooting direct and zoomed with some long exposure. We use this in combination with the LitePanels Chroma & MeFoto Tripod for the occasional night time light painting shot. It’s not something we do a ton of anymore, but good and small to keep on hand.
Nikon 24mm f/1.4 – This is one of those lenses we either forget to pick up, or can’t find ourselves putting down at all. Once we start shooting with it, it’s tough to not shoot the big grand scenes as well as the up tight passionate moments. We’re really big fans of center point of focus shooting (see: Stanley Kubrick) and this is the perfect lens for that whole epic feel.
Nikon 35mm f/1.4 & Sigma 35mm f/1.4 – I’d be lying if I said we could pick a favorite between these two. Either could be on either of us at any time. I love how the Sigma has this depth and dramatic feel to everything, whereas I love the workhorse that is the Nikon especially shooting in direct sunlight. These are the lenses we use 90% of the day from getting ready, to ceremony shots and formals.
Nikon 58mm f/1.4 – There’s a ton of technical reviews that will show this lens is overpriced and not as sharp as some of its other competitors, but we don’t care about that. This is a character lens and has a ineffable charm about it. During couples formals this is almost always the lens on my second body for those tight shots while still pulling in the background for a great portrait mid set. We found ourselves both wanting to shoot it after getting one and comparing it to the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 so we snagged a second.
Nikon 45mm f/2.8 PC-E – This like the Nikon 24mm f/1.4 is a lens that once it lands on a camera body it’s tough to remove. The idea of a tilt shift lens for portraits adds such a neat dare I say ‘novelty’ shot to any given day or session. We find using it a lot in larger landscapes to pull in the subject or a moment they’re having.
Nikon 55mm f/2.8 Macro – This is strictly our lens for details and rings. For the price it’s a really neat little tank of a lens and it’s crazy sharp. I’ve heard of the Canon peeps liking it so much they’ll tear it down and make a Canon mount for it, which says a lot.
Leica Summicon 50mm f/2 – This was the first lens I got for the Leica system and it just doesn’t disappoint. At f/2 it’s sharp as a tack, the tones are incredible and once in a blue I’ll get the coolest red lens flare that will just take over an image.
Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 – This is a new lens for me, and quite frankly it’s a beast. It’s heavier than the camera body by a few ounces for sure, but shooting the fastest 35mm there is for the price is totally worth it. This in combo with the Summicron 50mm f/2.0 is a perfect travel/elopement/engagement combo.
ONA Leather Brixton – I can’t even put to words how much I love this bag. I’ve gone through 8 or 9 camera bags in the last 12 months, so it feels good to land on one that I not only like, but dang it looks better and better after each wedding takes its toll on it. I use this bag as a laptop bag with my Macbook 12” along with the Leica system. It happily fits my day-to-day use. I also slam it full with 2 Nikon D750’s, the Leica M240, 3-4 lenses and a laptop when I don’t feel like bringing a whole case of gear for a short travel trip/shoot.
ONA Leather Bowry Leica Edition (Not Pictured) – This is the bag I use for engagement sessions and elopements, or just running around with friends. It holds the Leica and both the lenses I have with ease, as well as making a dashing man purse.
Peak Designs Everyday Messenger – Stephen has been a huge fan of the Peak Design products since their first clip system. The bag makes a way rad travel bag holding a laptop, multiple camera bodies/lens and a really good tripod carrying system.
Pelican 1510 – This is our main travel bag for fights and day of. Admittedly we used to be really anti big bags and tried to carry everything we have in our two packs for the whole day. Forty weddings a year later we got tired. This is a fantastic case, and with the insert we have inside as well, we keep a ton of day of emergency items. (Ibuprofen, tums, granola bars, sewing kit, backup battery for phones, high heel wedges for brides).
We flipped from a ThinkTank International V2.0 to this recently after having a couple of flights gate check our bag. We never want it to happen, but if it does we fly a little less stressed knowing it’s all in a hard case.
Cotopaxi 36L Cusco (Not Pictured) – This is the bag I have managed to fit 15 days worth of clothes in on multiple occasions. It’s a roll top bag made of really heavy material with super durable zippers and it’s yet to fail me.
Tech & Other:
Apple Macbook 12” – This is my main travel computer. I got it on a recommendation from Sam Hurd, who got it only expecting to use it for internet/email. Being on the go almost all of the time, it’s delightfully small and lightweight, runs my Lightroom Catalog with close to 100’s of thousands of images and has the ability with the Anker Core 20100 battery to have a portable USB-C backup battery on me at all times.
Apple iPad Air – I can’t kid myself, this gets used for some consults, but probably 98% of the time it’s being used to watch a movie on the plane and not much else.
Kindle Paperwhite – In the middle of this busy wedding season while being neck deep in editing I decided I needed to find myself some type of hobby I could easily jump in and out of and find some “me time.” This helps reading on the go like crazy. I’ve probably tripled my monthly reading since snagging it up and reading on the plane when my mind just isn’t sharp enough at 6:00am for editing.
Sennheiser Headphones – Babies and airplanes, ‘nuff said.
Inside Hinterland Still’s camera bag:
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