When Mark invited me to share my kit, Apple had just announced the iPhone X, a powerful machine that apart from being able to communicate with other people, has two cameras, a portrait mode, lighting effects and image stabilization.
Other brands—even photo brands—have made alliances to put potent lenses on phones, and today we have cameras that can fly, GoPros and even cameras in cars. That is to say, almost every electronic device today takes photos.
What, then, will be the future of photographers, and wedding photographers in particular?
More than ever we have to think. We are not paid to push a button, we are paid to think. We are hired for having the ability to tell stories, to show feelings, to be skillful with our eyes, to understand the context where things happen, and to manage and understand the light.
For this, the camera is secondary. The most important thing is our visual culture, the photographers we have followed, the books that we have read, and the movies that we have seen. In the end, it is the mind that connects with the camera and makes us push the button that is important.
So, my first recommendation is not the cameras I use but the books that inspire me. The first five of these I consider vital.
Magnum Contact Sheets: I think this is the best of all my photography books; I have everything underlined with quotes and writings that have molded me as a photographer. It is a jewel! Its focus is on process, as it shows the contact sheet of the great photographers of the agency as they arrived at their iconic photos.
LIFE: Keeping a concept similar to the previous book, this tells the story of how some of the most legendary images of Life Magazine were made.
The Americans by Robert Frank: For me one of the most powerful essays in the history of photography, this book gets into the depths of the American Culture.
SUMO by Helmut Newton: Not everything is Street Photography. When I look at this great book by the master of fashion, I especially like his first phase, in the 40’s and 50’s, where he mixes fashion with street photography.
Workers by Sebastiao Salgado: Of all his books (I have them all) this is the one that I like best. His work has impressed me from the first time I saw it. His approach to humanity leaves me speechless, and his dramatic B&W has been my inspiration for many years.
The Suffering of Light by Alex Webb: My favorite photographer. The king of the moment—to freeze the moment of color—a modern Cartier Bresson. Just go and see his work.
And then the cameras. This is a kits website so I have to talk about my camera.
Well, I believe that almost any midrange camera can do a good job and is enough to cover any wedding.
I have been using the Fuji X system for three years, and I currently use the Fuji Xpro2 with 3 lenses and a Manfrotto light if I need to illuminate something.
Fuji XF 23mm f/1.4 R
Fuji XF 56mm f/1.2R
I love their colors and their film simulation. I am a jpeg shooter and I like my images to come almost ready from the camera, and make few adjustments in Lightroom. Even many of my B&W images are taken directly in B&W from the camera.
What I like most about Fuji is its analogue handling. The dials, wheels and buttons mean I almost never look at the screen. I love that it is almost like taking pictures with an analog camera.
And the most important reason to have a Fuji X-Pro2 is that it is a rangefinder. It seems silly, but with this camera when you take the camera to your face the left eye is free, and not covered by the camera. This allows me to see what happens and wait for the moment. I also frequently use the hybrid viewer when I want to think only in composition.
For me the most serious review of the X-Pro2 is the one focused on making documentary wedding photos by FUJI X ambassador Kevin Mullins.
Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 Smart Phone Printer: I carry a FUJI Instax Printer with me to give some photos on the wedding day. The couples love the detail.