Hi. My name is Jacques Lloyd, originally from Cape Town, South Africa, now living in the UK.
My road to becoming a full-time wedding photographer started as a hobby and being that aspiring photographer at my mates’ weddings. I think that’s why, to a certain extent, I have more patience with “Uncle Bobs” at my own weddings now as that is where my journey started!
I went full-time in 2010, and about 5 years ago my style of photography changed, as I was just not happy with my work and knew, after finding some crazy documentary work online, that there was another path to follow.
I quickly realised that by not following a “shoot list” there is so much more happening during the day that gets me and my clients excited. I’m all about the unposed in-between stuff now, and I love it!
So on to gear: I was a Canon shooter until 2018 and I’ve now 100% switched over to Sony. It was a massive decision as my old 5D MKIII and IV served me so well.
Looking at upgrading, and getting away from some of the negatives, Sony just popped up on every bit of research I did. When Canon released their Mirrorless offering, it sealed the deal for me!
My main aim was to get a light/small camera system that was also up to the madness and pace a wedding can throw at you.
I want people to ignore that I’m there, and if everyone at the wedding thinks I’m just another guest, and not the “main photographer,” then my job is done!
Sony a7III x3 – I shoot with two bodies all day long, one with a 25mm prime and the other either 55mm or 85mm prime. I chose this model from Sony for a couple of reasons:
- Value: This camera body, for what it offers not only on paper but in practise, is just insane!
- Size/Weight: This was a big one as I was so tired of carrying a heavy system for approximately 10 hours a day. My back and I are now friends again!
- Performance: Easy one to explain. I used to miss key moments because focus was an issue on Canon; now 95% of my images are keepers!
My favourite features are:
- Tilt screen: To get those low and high angles previously not possible on my DSLRs.
- Eye AF: You have to experience it for yourself. Basically, I can get more documentary shots with this feature and it’s super accurate.
- Buffer: On these bad boys, even if you hit the buffer, they still allow you to take more frames.
- Dual memory card slots: A must for the job. In my opinion, backup is king!
- Live view exposure through LCD and EVF: This allows me to nail exposure every time.
- Customization: The endless customization these cameras offer is fantastic. You need a degree to set it up, but once done to your wants and needs, it’s heaven!
My not so favourite features are:
- Terrible LCD on the back of the camera. The resolution is so poor and makes no sense in 2019, but if you want to view in full glory, the EVF makes up for it.
- They are not built to last like my Canons were, hence I’ve wrapped them in an easyCover skin. This allows me to bang them around and not have to worry something will break during my weddings. If I do break one, the third body will step in to save the day.
Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2.0 – I came from a 35mm/85mm setup on my Canons and, when it came to switching, there was no 35mm available from Sony, and this was the only real choice. I’ve grown to love this lens so much that now that Sony has launched the 35mm f/1.8, I’m not even going to bother. I will shoot the bulk of my day on this lens and, again, my main focus here was a lens that is light and small and it can deliver the goods!
Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 – Do yourself a favour, google the value/performance offering from this lens; it’s super light and the images it delivers are just insane coming from the Canon L series. I use this lens mainly for couple photos and when I need some reach in the church. Again, I’m banging on about size and weight, but this lens takes the cake!
Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 – This is my go-to lens for my second body; I can still get close to my subjects and include more in the frame. Yes, you guessed, this bad boy is my smallest lens, so I’m sure you can see a theme developing here.
Godox TT350S x 3 – These have built in triggers, lithium batteries, and are the smallest and lightest wireless flash units I’ve ever owned. I use them only on the dance floor and for speeches if light is needed.
MagMod Basic Kit – I find this essential to control flash spill and for gelling the flash temp to my needs.
Two simple light stands – This is to mount the flashes and place where needed.
Lowepro PhotoStream SP 200 (or the previous version) – This is my main bag but, to be honest, I use it only for storage and it stays in the car at all times.
Lowepro Passport Sling III – This I carry with me all the day long; it holds one lens, a flash, water, snacks, extra memory, and batteries.
SpiderPro Dual Camera System – I bought this camera strap as it made my cameras strapless, giving me more freedom and also to put the weight of the cameras on my hips and not my spine.
Hardware & Software
Windows 10 PC, custom built and Dell 27 Inch IPS LCD – I’m a windows man, and the platform has never failed me.
Lightroom – This software is my go-to for all my editing; I use my own custom presets, as I feel the “off the shelf stuff” rarely works and goes out of fashion quickly. I like my images to look clean with minimal changes.
SanDisk Extreme PRO 128 GB SDXC Memory Card x 6 – I have only ever used Sandisk, a brand I trust!
Two boiled eggs and food for the evening – This is essential for me and allows me to focus on the job; too many times food is an issue at weddings for service providers or just the time you get served very rarely fits in with your shooting schedule.
It removes an element of stress and allows me to focus on the job at hand. The two boiled eggs idea came from a friend of mine, and I pop these over lunch time, and it’s a quick and mess free solution to keep me going.
Bow tie – It’s a wedding so I make some effort to dress up a bit and helps me to blend in.
If you are looking at getting into wedding photography, my advice is to do your homework well on the business side of things and figure out for yourself how much it costs to produce a wedding from start to finish.
Secondly, second shoot as much as you can, even once you get up on your feet, business wise.
I’ve made so many friends and by not having the pressure on the day, you can produce some of your best work. Don’t ever look down on being a second, it has helped grow my style so much!
www.realsimplephotography.net | @realsimplephotography