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 wether 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.
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!
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!