Kristian Leven

Hi, I’m Kristian, and I’ve been photographing weddings now for almost a decade in a documentary/street photography style.

I got into it in much the same way as most people, I imagine – photographing a friend’s wedding! My style has evolved over time, starting off in a very pure documentary way – lots of B+W’s – to something more akin to street photography; so more humour, layering, and use of geometric patterns.

My camera gear has also evolved quite a bit. For the first seven years it was all about Nikon, until Fujifilm brought out the X-T2, which was an absolute game-changer for me. Being able to see the exposure and depth of field through the viewfinder or LCD screen meant shots were exactly how I wanted them, meaning less time in front of the editing screen.

Plus, it was quieter and lighter than my Nikon, and it had a flip-screen, so it was a no-brainer!

I now shoot with two Fujifilm X-T3’s with a Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4 on one, and a Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 on the other. I’ve been shooting with those two focal lengths for years now, and I can’t imagine shooting any other way.

I love that I know exactly what the shot will look like before I put the camera up to my eye, and which lens to use to get that effect. My issue with a zoom lens is that you might put the camera up to your eye and realise you’re at the wrong focal length, by which point the moment is gone.

Having said that, I do have a zoom lens in my kit bag! It’s the Fujifilm 16-55mm f/2.8 which is only for emergencies, so if one camera failed, I’d at least be able to shoot the rest of the wedding with one lens which has all the focal lengths I need, on one camera.

🌋 Related: Best Fuji Lenses of the year

Another lens that makes it in is the Fujifilm 16mm f/1.4, which I’ll bring out for an ultra-wide shot of a room, and sometimes for the dancing later on as well. But I may as well not have it, as I think I’ve only used it for one shot at one wedding all year!

Another ‘break glass in case of an emergency’ is my Nissin i60A flash, along with the Nissin Air 1 hot shoe. I prefer the rawness that the natural ambient light brings, with all its potential challenges, so it would basically have to be almost pitch black for me to bring the flash out. I haven’t needed to yet, but I’m all about planning for any eventuality.

On my Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4 I use a Black Widow Spider Holster, and I absolutely love the freedom it brings. You’ll often see me at a wedding shooting one-handed, before clipping it in and using my Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 which is on a leather strap around my left shoulder.

All my gear sits in a rather worn ThinkTank Retrospective 30 bag, and I also wouldn’t be leaving the house without a couple of Peanut Delight Nakd bars and Smints!! Can’t be having no coffee breath when meeting the bride…

www.kristianlevenphotography.co.uk | @kristianlevenphoto

Inside Kristian’s camera bag:

Fujifilm X-T3

Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4

Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2

Fujifilm 16-55mm f/2.8

Nissin i60A

Black Widow Spider Holster

ThinkTank Retrospective 30