Hi, I’m Jamie. I’m a Nationally Accredited Documentary Wedding & Family photographer based in Burnaby, British Columbia.
I service the Greater Vancouver Region, Island, Interior, Whistler and beyond, and received my accreditation in Photojournalistic Weddings.
Documentary wedding photography is still quite a new idea here in North America and often competes with the more popular lifestyle or glamour photography (tips).
I started my career with a Canon 7D – my first camera that my dad helped me purchase.
A few years later, I’d outgrown the 7D and eventually bought myself a then-new Canon 5D MK III, one of my favourite cameras which I still use now from time to time.
When things in the camera world started to shift more towards micro four thirds and mirrorless technology, I experimented with a few brands.
I wanted something smaller for my travels and tried out the little Fuji X10 point and shoot. It just wasn’t quite there for me and shortly after I found myself with a Lumix G7X, then the Lumix G4H.
While these were great for video, I wasn’t happy with them on the photographic side. The Fuji XT1 piqued my interest and it soon became my travel camera.
The gamechanger was when the Fuji XT2 was released and I started my transition from the large Canon 5D MK III bodies for weddings to a smaller setup.
A huge reason for my switch over to mirrorless bodies is the strain that large DSLRs put on my back during a long wedding day. Switching to two small mirrorless cameras has changed the game for me immensely!
The second reason for the switch over is that having a silent shutter has changed the way I photograph. Being 100% silent allows me to get closer to my subjects without disrupting the moments.
I started to grow my collection of lenses and now primarily stick to the Fuji 23mm f/2 (review) and Fuji 56mm f/1.2 for shooting weddings. On occasion, I’ll pull out the Fuji 16mm f/1.4 if I’m in a tight space or want a grander view of a room.
This year I’ve upgraded both of my camera bodies to the Fuji XT3 and have really enjoyed photographing with these.
For lighting, I use 2 x Godox V860IIs mainly because I was sold on the lithium batteries. Replacing AA rechargeables was really not fun and missing shots because of misfires on the flash made for a very anxious wedding day.
I’ve been 100% happy with the Godox speedlites and have been considering the Godox AD200 Pocket Flash as well for portrait work.
Outside of weddings, I love bringing my Fuji XT3 as well as Fuji X100F out on travel adventures. The X100F is an amazing little camera and great for street photography.
For travel photography, it’s often a tough choice for me as ideally I have my Fuji 23mm f/2 but also want something with a bit of reach. Then I run into the issue of overpacking.
So far I’ve stuck to the Fuji 10-24mm f/4 for landscapes and buildings and the Fuji 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 for wildlife and nature. If I’m in a pinch, I use the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6.
In recent months, I’ve been dabbling more in video on the Fuji and have found my favourite pieces of equipment so far to be the Fuji 35mm f/2, Fuji 56mm f/1.2, Rode Mic, Rode Wireless Go, Rode Lav and Zoom H1N for recording simple videos.
Moving onto bags; my kryptonite. I’ve tried and sold so many bags over the course of my career and am yet to find the one bag that fits all.
Currently, though, I’ve settled on the Domke F-6 for short sessions such as documentary family sessions or sessions that don’t require a large setup and a lot of walking.
For long wedding days, I use my Peak Design Travel Pack (45L) and it is amazing. I switch between the Peak Design Large Camera Cube (Canon set up) and Medium Camera cube (Fuji set up) depending on what is required of me for the day and use the Small Camera Cube for travel.
I use a Holdfast Money Maker harness which works with both setups allowing me to carry two bodies at once during the day and thus minimizing the need to constantly switch lenses.
A great pairing with this is my PortaBrace Hip Pack – perfect for batteries, business cards, a pen, chapstick, 1-2 small lenses, my wallet, memory card case, phone, etc. The great thing about this hip pack is that it’s got a rigid lining so your lenses are well protected as you move around during the day.
For travel or shoots that require some gear as well as my laptop, I use my Wandrd Prvke 21L which has been amazing since day one and definitely a purchase well worth every penny.
The great thing about all these packs is the weather-resistant materials. I live in a rainy city so my gear needs to be able to stay protected and dry.
The decisions I make when it comes to my gear have to do with my style of photography, my clients, the city I live in and shoot in and my body size. I’m a petite 5”3 so the gear needs to be large enough to carry what I need but small enough that it works for my body size and height.
My gear and bags need to be weatherproof to stay in good condition based on where I shoot but also manageable for someone my size.
I hope that you take all these things into consideration when deciding what gear to buy. Happy shooting!