I have GAS! No don’t panic, it’s ‘Gear Addiction Syndrome!’ With over twenty years as a professional documentary wedding photographer and a long standing partnership with Nikon, including being their ambassador for wedding photography in the UK, it’s not surprising that I have a serious amount of kit.
Every wedding is a unique day in a couple’s life and that’s why for me documentary wedding photography is the key to recording natural, candid storytelling images that capture the true emotions and spirit of a couple’s day. I am predominantly known for my black and white images and Jewish wedding photography.
It’s all about catching those spontaneous moments and not staging endless orchestrated poses that take a couple away from actually enjoying their wedding. For me, it’s the interaction between the bride and groom and their guests that create stunning images that show the love and happiness of the occasion, but also what can be deeply intense and emotional moments.
Apart from weddings I shoot lots of personal reportage projects and street photography and this has led most recently to getting back into film, so obviously, cue more kit!
And it’s not just the camera kit, I have amassed a huge collection of photography books, inspiration and a bit of hero worship as a fellow photographer! But for me photography isn’t my job, it’s not even just about a passion, it is who I am and a camera just feels like a natural extension of my hand and eye.
For weddings I have a core kit of camera and 3 lenses, although I do take back-ups of the body and lenses just in case – be prepared like any good boy scout!
I have been a Nikon man since becoming a professional photographer and my camera of choice on a wedding day is the Nikon D4s. Why? Well quite simple for me it is the best professional body, it is reliable, solid, and robust, actually it’s built like a tank, no exactly pretty but damn hard working. Technically it’s fast, has the highest ISO and great for low light shooting.
Alongside the body I use three Prime lenses; 28mm 35mm 85mm:
Nikon 28mm f/1.4 allows me to story tell within an image, a wide angle that encapsulates the whole scene.
Nikon 35mm f/1.4 I shoot about 70% of a wedding with this lens, and it is a class lens for aimed at photo journalism.
Nikon 85mm f/1.4 mainly used for the bridal portraits.
Apart from the camera and lenses I use LED lighting supplied by sponsor Manfrotto.
I am known for my Jewish wedding photography and most of the images shot at these weddings will be at the reception where dancing takes over and money is spent creating beautiful ambient lighting which is great for the atmosphere but not for a photographer trying to capture the bride and groom amongst their guests.
The solution for me is LED lighting, it allows me to capture the beautiful ambient light whilst adjusting the contrast of colour onto the skin of the bride and groom.
In addition to the LED lighting I have a Nikon SB-910 flash that attaches to the Nikon D4s body but I hardly use this, it really is a back-up plan. I also take off camera Nikon flash for some bridal portraits.
I will take my Apple Macbook Air with Lightroom, if I know there maybe chance to download some images, but this mainly occurs in Christian weddings.
Practicalities include a kippah; the Jewish skullcap worn by men, change for parking, plasters, chewing gum and water.
Other camera kit; I have to say the camera on my Apple i-phone 6plus is incredible, and perfect to have to hand when you’re on the move. My other camera of choice is the Nikon D750, a smaller body that is great for street photography.
The other items you see here tell you a lot about me as a person
I love my cowboy boots bought in Dallas when on The Foundation Workshop along with the bronze statue that reminds me of the many nights spent listening to jazz at Ronnie Scotts in London’s Soho with a glass of Jack Daniels . A coffee from a Illy Sebastiao Salgado coffee cup helps me unwind and relax listening to my Vinyl collection.
I love Black and White photography and still shoot occasionally on The Nikon FM3a with a roll of Tri X film and my inspiration comes from the likes of magnum photographer Larry Towell, Ernesto bazan and the great story teller Eugene Smith.