I’m Ian from the UK and I’m a wedding photographer, but don’t really see myself as a wedding photographer. I feel more like a street photographer that photographs weddings.
About 5 or 6 years ago I took the plunge and agreed to photograph a wedding. Before that I was doing family portraits in a studio and was going nowhere fast. I’d become bored and demotivated as my route into photography was through photographers like Elliot Erwitt & Martin Parr, I was unfulfilled to say the least.
So I did it, that thing that I said I’d never do, weddings. In my naive mind it was beneath me. I can’t say that I enjoyed it at first but as I shot more weddings I started to approach them more like a street photographer and was making images of real life, with all of its beauty and grotesqueness.
When I started I had everything, Canon 5D’s, Canon 24-70mm, Canon 70-200mm, Canon 50mm, Canon 35mm, Canon 85mm, multiple speed lights, backup drives, portable lighting and very large camera bag. But the more weddings I photographed, the fewer lenses I needed. I found that in time there were lenses that I just didn’t use.
My approach started to change from the more traditional (how I thought that it should be done) to a more documentary style. It was at this time that I really started to become a photographer. I was reading books like they were going out of fashion and consuming all I could on why these master photographers were so good and what it was that made them tick.
“Really, less than £400? So you’re not a professional then?”
“You determine whether I’m professional by how expensive my camera is?”
“Well, you need expensive gear don’t you?”
The conversation above is actually something that I said to a photographer about 7 years ago. Yep, I was that guy, but it was only information that was passed down to me by other photographers and the photography industry. I was told I needed all of that stuff and I didn’t know any better.
The camera is merely a tool, it’s doesn’t make photographs and it doesn’t make art. You do. I used to pride myself on how many lenses I owned and would lust after every new shiny thing that was being advertised to me. Now though, now it’s different.
So I have to tell you what’s in my bag. I’ll just focus on my wedding photography gear (I have a couple of film cameras but I don’t use them for anything other than messing about) so you know what I shoot with at a wedding.
In my quest to become more street photographer-like and to become more inconspicuous I essentially stripped my kit down to one camera and one lens, that covers me for about 90% of a wedding day.
Fujinon 18mm f/2
Then there’s the usual: a couple of 32gb SD cards and about 7 batteries – yes 7, Fuji cameras eat batteries.
On rare occasion I’ll switch to the Fujinon 35mm f/1.4
My backup camera is a Fuji XT-1 and it really doesn’t get used anymore. It’s literally a backup and I keep it in the car.
I use a Nissin i40 flash sometimes with a sync cable, sometimes on the camera. I like the retro point and shoot look it gives.
And that’s it, everything!
My main set up is my XPro-1 with the Fujinon 18mm f/2 which can be bought second hand for less than £400.00, so by my own reckoning, I’m no professional.
You can find me in all of the usual places should you want to be my friend.
Thanks for having me, it’s been a blast!