Hi there, I’m Jimmy :) I’m a wedding photographer based in the sunny city of Perth, Australia. My wife, Shona, and I manage our studio, iZO Photography. We have a cute little four-year-old daughter named Sienna.
My start in photography wasn’t anything special. I don’t have an art background, and my parents weren’t artists either.
About twelve years ago, I happened to wander into a post office one day to browse their magazine aisle and stumbled across a photography magazine for enthusiasts. My wife was working as a wedding photographer at the time, but I had no interest in the subject. Somehow, the magazines with their colourful pictures drew me in, and I decided to have a go at taking photos. Yeah, pretty random.
I’m not really a half-baked kind of guy. Whatever I put my time and attention into, I tend to give it my all. In the months that followed, whenever I wasn’t working my day job, I was reading and learning all I could about photography.
I picked up my wife’s Nikon D200, as well as her Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5 and Sigma 50-150mm f/1.8 zoom lenses, and just started shooting everything I could. I experimented with different types of photography including landscapes, macro, portraits and events.
I soon outgrew the D200 and sold that for the Nikon D700. It was my first full-frame body and I was excited. Soon the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E lenses followed. The new gear was leaps and bounds more advanced than what I had to shoot my first few weddings with.
I transitioned to using only primes when we had a long trip to Europe. I didn’t want to lug the heavy zooms around for six weeks so I bought a Nikon 50mm f/1.4D to bring with us. That started my love affair with primes.
Ever since then, my collection of primes has steadily grown. The zooms still come with me in my kit for bigger weddings when I don’t have as much freedom to move but they hardly get used these days.
I quit my day job soon after that Europe trip and we dove into our business full-time in 2009. It’s been over ten years since then.
These days I’ve downsized the gear I bring so I can be more mobile. I have both of my Nikon bodies along with the Nikon 28mm f/1.8G, the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G and the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G. I also keep the Nikon SB-910 Speedlight Flash with Godox X1T-C TTL remote triggers by my side in a Shootsac in case I ever need to shoot some off-camera flash portraits.
Occasionally, I’ll break out the DJI Mavic 2 Pro for some aerial shots just to mix it up a bit.
The MagMod Flash Kit has also become an essential part of my gear. I use the MagMod Creative Gels and MagGrid the most, but also recently acquired the MagBox to bring some softer off-camera flash on locations.
One super essential thing I bring along on wedding days is a can of V Energy Drink. It’s like Red Bull but better! Shooting a wedding is exhausting even when things are going smoothly so I usually chug one of these down about halfway through the day. It’s a super quick pick-me-up and I swear my mind makes decisions a lot faster!
When I’m not shooting or editing, I’m an avid gamer and rock climber. So you’ll either find me carving up zombies in Dying Light or sweating it up in my local climbing gym.
Now on to the gear:
This body is a beast and I’ve depended on this for the last four years. With an outstanding ISO performance and 11 FPS, this will handle anything you can throw at it. It’s also a tank. I dropped this on concrete once and apart from a small chip on the side, it kept working like nothing happened. I’ve recently retired this for the Sony a7III.
This is my go-to body for stunning portraits and landscapes. The excellent dynamic range means it can handle extreme lighting scenarios with ease.
Nikon 28mm f/1.8G
This is my favourite lens that stays on my D810 all day. It’s great for getting up close to shoot candids because it’s so small and light.
Nikon 35mm f/1.4G
This was my main wide angle before I acquired the 28mm. This is a fantastic lens for photo journalistic moments.
Nikon 50mm f/1.4G
This is my main portrait lens. It’s a basic workhorse that never fails. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve dropped this thing. It just keeps on working.
Nikon 85mm f/1.4G
I pull this out when I want that special look that only an 85mm can give.
Nikon 45mm f/2.8D PC-E Tilt Shift
I bought this to add a little creative flair to some portraits. It also doubles up as a nifty macro lens.
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G
I shot most of my early weddings with this lens. The 24-70mm and the Nikon 70-200mm have sentimental value and their auto focus is wicked fast to shoot with.
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G
Although this lens doesn’t come out much anymore, it’s still king in my eyes. It is super sharp and extremely fast in focusing – I just wish it wasn’t so heavy.
Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC
Another one of my ‘special occasion’ lenses to use when I think the location warrants it.
Nikon SB-800 Speedlight
This is old but still very dependable. It’s also the brightest flash I own. The rotating head has broken but it still puts out light like a charm.
Nikon SB-910 Speedlight
This is the bigger, younger brother of the 800. I bring this along for when I need off-camera flash while on location.
I needed a third flash for receptions and this was an affordable option. It is equivalent to the Nikon version.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II, Olympus 45mm f/1.8, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 and the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 are all in my travel kit. I also bring the Olympus along to create multiple exposures in-camera. The Olympus has the ability to overlay an unlimited number of images in RAW.
Westcott Icelight 2
This has saved my bacon a few times when the reception was too dark and it is great for lighting speeches.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
This is another creative option when I want to shoot high. Also, it’s just FUN! 😊
The MagMod creative gels, the MagMod MagGrid and the MagBox, are a revolutionary system of light modifiers. It has made shaping and creating light so easy and I take it everywhere with me.
Copper pipe, prisms, coloured smoke bombs, and Atmosphere Aerosol are all tools I carry with me to expand my creative options while on location.
Finally to carry all this gear, I’ve depended on my Think Tank Photo Airport Takeoff. It’s gone everywhere with me, including all over Italy and Greece. Their customer service is also second to none. Through Think Tank’s lifetime warranty, I’ve had replacement wheels and straps sent to me all the way from the US. I definitely recommend it.
www.izo.com.au | @jimmy_izophotography
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