I’m a full time reportage wedding photographer based in Wiltshire, UK. I’ve been shooting weddings since around 2008 and I shoot predominantly black and white, but always candid, storytelling photographs.
For me, it’s really important that a photograph is authentic, sympathetic and uncontrived. Whilst there are some superb artistic wedding photographers out there, I’m really only interested in the actual moments as they unfold. I don’t direct, move or prompt my clients in any way. I don’t ask the guests to “look at me” and I try and remain as unobtrusive as reasonably possible.
My primary objective is to give the clients a set of images that return them back to that very moment in time at their wedding. I concentrate primarily on emotion, eye contact, love, humour and the exhibition of humanity at weddings. A simple hand gesture or shift of the eyes can turn an otherwise uninteresting image into one that I (and hopefully the clients) will love forever. A look. That’s all it takes to make a moment right?
So, for me, I started my career with Canon 5D ‘s and they were and still are great cameras. However, as I progressed and my style evolved I found myself getting closer and closer to the subjects during the day. My big DSLRs were interfering with the way I could work. I simply couldn’t get the images I wanted, and in some cases the presence of me and my bulky DSLR actually interfered with the moment – and the dynamic of the moment changed, and almost always for the worst.
So, along came the Mirrorless revolution and from an early date I pinned my flags to the Fujifim wall. I’ve watched the cameras grow and evolve into a fully functional professional system that is pretty much next to perfect for the way that I shoot.
I travel light and work quickly. Size and weight are paramount. I also shoot with two focal lengths only. 35mm and 85mm in Full Frame terms. Even when I shot Canon I only used the 35mm and 85mm lenses.
Here is a breakdown of my wedding day kit:
I have two Fujifilm X-T1 ‘s. These are the latest in the Fujifilm interchangeable X range and, in my opinion, the best of the iteration to date. The amazingly huge viewfinder and excellent focus tracking make the cameras perfect companions for the lenses I use. Ultimately, these cameras are around half the size and weight of my old kit and I can easily shoot 12 hour weddings without any back or neck issues. Crucially though, they get me in close.
I also use a Fujifilm X100S. If I could only have one camera in the whole world it would be this. In fact, I’ve shot four or five weddings with just a couple of Fujifilm X100S ‘s. These cameras are deadly quiet (zero noise on exposure), they use a leaf shutter so you can shoot as fast as you can press the button essentially and they are almost invisible.
I’ve had several guests ask me which side of the family I’m with at weddings. That’s because they didn’t actually see me as the “professional” photographer partly because of the way I operate but partly because of the discrete gear I’m using.
My Fujifilm X100S is attached to my belt via a Black Widow Holster. It just hangs there throughout the day and I barely feel it. I unhook it and shoot extremely quickly. My Fujifilm X-T1 ‘s are on a pair of UpStrap straps. These are made of Kevlar rubber and are virtually not slip. They simply hang on my shoulder until they are required and I’m 100% confident that the strap will not slip off regardless of what shooting position I find myself in.
For the main lenses and the lenses that are housed on the two Fujifilm X-T1 ‘s, I use the Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4 XF lens and the Fujifilm 56mm 1.2 XF lens. These give a full frame equivalent range of 35mm and 85mm. The lenses are optically spectacular but are light and uncombersome in terms of size.
I attach to my Fujifilm X100S the WCL-X100 which is a wide angler converter. This gives me a 19mm range from the Fujifilm X100S rather than a 23mm. As I have the 23mm on one of my Fujifilm X-T1 ‘s it makes sense to have something a little wider here.
Spare lenses I take with to each wedding are the Fujifilm 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens and the Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 XF lens. I occasionally pop the 27mm lens on one of the cameras during the evening reception. With the flip screen deployed on the Fujifilm X-T1 and a tiny lens like the 27mm you can wander around looking for fun moments to photograph practically invisibly.
I shoot almost all of my wedding work using available light. I do take with me a little Fujifilm EF-X20 flash which is tiny and can be used as a slave from the Fujifilm X100S or the Fujifilm X-T1 ‘s. You can simply hold it in one hand and direct it whilst shooting with the other hand. The flash itself is around the size of two match boxes.
Backup gear in the car:
What you see in the image is what I will take in a small bag to the wedding. In the car, I also have a Fujifilm X-Pro1, Fujifilm 18mm f/2 and a Fujifilm 10-24mm f/4 Lens. A set of spare cards, batteries etc are also there. Up until the Fujifilm X-T1 ‘s came along, I used to shoot with a Fujifilm X-Pro1 and a Fujifilm X-E2 and they are both very capable cameras.
That’s pretty much it. Size, speed and image quality is all that counts to me.