Hi, I am Marie, a South Wales girl now living on the border between Cheshire and North Wales. I have been photographing weddings full time since 2009. I first shot a wedding as a second shooter and absolutely loved the happiness of a wedding day. It is infectious.
My interest in photography started when I worked with my Aunty. I started with boudoir, which was my Aunties focus. I completed a photography night school course and then moved into weddings. Before that, I had done a degree in Business with Marketing and then a post-graduate diploma in Marketing, which comes in handy for the business side of things.
I love to photograph emotions as much as I can. Hovering around people and waiting for that perfect moment when they belly laugh or cry. I also love portraits, still in keeping with a natural style.
I believe upgrading to the latest in fashion camera does not make business sense. You need to keep your costs low and invest wisely. I will upgrade to mirrorless, but I like everyone else to evaluate first, find and iron out all the bugs, then I will buy it when it has come down in price!
I use the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, with a couple of Mk III backups. The camera feels robust, like I can drop it and it will still work fine, although I have not tested the theory! The dual card slot is essential and the battery last’s me a full day at a wedding. I change it before the evening celebration, but that is just precautionary, not because I need to.
I am 90% a prime lens user. I have three favourite prime lenses.
The Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L is great for the morning. I love it for a photojournalism style, which is solely how I shoot in the mornings. Its framing is close to how you see a scene with the human eye and feels natural.
The Canon 50mm f/1.2 L is my most used prime. I use this at the front of ceremonies and for portraits. It focuses perfectly and feels fast and light to work with.
I adore the 85mm focal length, and this is my only non Canon lens. I currently use the Sigma f/1.4L but am keen to try the Canon f/1.4L. I always pull the 85mm lens out when I am photographing portraits.
Then I have one zoom. The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM aka ‘my workhorse lens’. It certainly is not my favourite lens, but when I am in a busy room with little space to move around, it is the best lens to be versatile with. I use it particularly in the gap between the day and the evening when I am maneuvering around a lot and taking a lot of photo requests from guests.
I will sometimes take out the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM. I also occasionally use the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, which is a good lens for picking off people and small groups outside.
Canon Speedlite 600 EX II-RT is fantastic. I have three of them and noticed a significant difference when we upgraded these from the older Speedlite 580EX II. They just seem to require less of my brainpower because their flash firing is so much more reliable and built-in radio is essential.
The Canon ST-E3-RT transmitter is great. It just uses normal AA batteries and convenience, and compatibility is a plus point. I use a lot of off camera flash from group shots to the first dance, so this is an essential piece of kit.
I use Westcott softboxes in a couple of varied sizes to add fill light during groups and portraits.
I use a Black rapid RS-W2 camera strap and carry a standard Canon camera bag that holds a lens flash and spare body. The strap has a nice cut-out shape to fit a woman on her chest.
Hardware & Software
Culling and edits are all in Lightroom. I also have Netflix on in the background when I am editing, an essential piece of kit to keep me motivated! I use my own preset; I have better consistency when I apply my default preset to all my images.
My husband is in I.T so he has produced a very robust backup system for me. The RAW images are initially backed up to a Nas and final JPG’s also get backed up to a 2nd Nas.
My husband also built my computer for me based on a Dell i7, and I use two Dell 24” ultra sharp monitors.
I am very prone to bites, so I carry bug spray and antihistamines.
I use MPOW disposable earplugs. I find them so helpful for the evening when I am near the music equipment setting up lights.
Water and a granola bar are always in my bag!
As photographers, we all can be followers and get seduced into a new shiny bit of kit because someone says it’s good. We need to take a step back and look at what is out there. If you are a Canon user they will often do a ‘try before you buy’, sending you out kit to evaluate for free, so look out for that.
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