We’re Joel & Justyna (Bedford), wedding photographers based out of Ottawa, Canada. We photograph weddings locally and around the world, focusing on classic compositions, old school romance, and a cinematic take on documenting our clients.
When we started shooting, our gear was Canon, and still is. We’re really happy with our Canon 5D Mark III bodies, and photograph the majority of wedding moments with that camera.
Over the years, we’ve added other systems (Contax 645 with a PhaseOne digi-back, a Mamiya RZ67, Fuji x100s) and we’ve shot with film, but we prefer to use digital due to its capability to shoot volume and so we can deliver photos faster.
Joel is always much more cautious, researching, reading reviews, trying gear before buying it, while I (Justyna) get much more excited about wanting to buy a new lens once I’ve seen someone shoot something inspiring with it. At the end of the day though, we really end up using 2-3 lenses per wedding (35mm, 50mm, 85mm) with a few extras making a guest appearance here and there.
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Canon 5D Mark III – we have two MK III bodies, and each use one on wedding days. The autofocus is super fast and works great in low light situations. We’ve nicknamed them our work-horses.
Fuji x100s – our favourite discrete camera. This mirrorless offering by Fujifilm is completely silent in operation and is very impressive at capturing candid moments, guests during cocktail hour and getting ready. It isn’t as fast to focus as the MK III, but we love how unobtrusive it looks, and because it’s an F2 lens, we can confidently shoot darker situations without bumping our ISO too high.
Photographing guests with this one (and the beginning of the day), we find people much more relaxed and less intimidated vs showing up with a DSLR and a big lens. It’s a beautiful small set up, and great for those who aren’t used to being in front of the camera.
Switronix TorchLED – we discovered these great little lights after seeing them in action when we shot with a videographer who used them. They’re really inexpensive and for darker venues, they offer great constant light or a subtle spotlight for first dances. They’re incredibly compact and beyond easy to use and set up. We don’t use them at every wedding, but they’re a lifesaver in a lot of darker situations.
Canon Speedlights – while we mostly focus on using ambient and natural light to get that romantic, cinematic look, it’s harder to capture parties in darker rooms without speedlights. We use them in a bounce configuration, then straight on when shooting the dancefloor, combined with a second curtain sync for some blurry backgrounds but a sharp, focused subject.
Elinchrom Quadra 400 ELB with 2 action heads – These are more of a powerful yet portable solution for venues that require an extra pop of light (high ceilings, no windows, for example). We don’t use these too often, but bring them along with us in case we ever need them. We’ve got a few umbrellas to use with them too.
OTHER GEAR – Various other gear help us get our job done. Some of the other stuff we use include:
Lowepro 350 AW backpack which is really starting to show its age
Holdfast Money Maker – because they look slick, are really functional, and are a great conversation piece :)
Logitech MX Master mouse – 7 buttons, 2 scroll wheels. Customizable and ergonomic beyond belief. Has already saved me many hours whilst editing.
Adobe Lightroom CC – Still as slow as the day it was when it was first released almost 10 years ago, we use it because we’ve made custom presets, organized our photos in several catalogs and are too comfortable using it. We will have zero regrets switching to a better software when one becomes available (we have C1 but it’s too cumbersome for the 5K photos we shoot each wedding).
Adobe Photoshop CC – Necessity.
Epson V700 film scanner – For scanning (duh)
Sony MDR-V900 headphones – Joel’s tried-and-true headphones he’s owned since 2000. Comfortable to wear all day, without feeling too warm. Purest sound quality.
WD hard drives – Because Seagate have twice failed us and we can’t take that chance again. Your results may vary :)
Herman Miller Embody computer desk chair – A total splurge (for Joel), but when so much time is spent sitting at a computer, it’s easier to justify the long term benefits of a comfortable spine.