Hi, I’m Nick, a wedding photographer originally from Liverpool although I’m now based out of Lincoln. I have been shooting weddings throughout the UK for the past two years.
I’m a self-taught photographer.
I became interested in photography about 10 years ago, shooting landscapes, cityscapes, long exposures, etc, and at the time I was still serving as a Royal Marines Commando.
As I was coming to the end of my 22 years in the forces, I decided to give wedding photography a go with the idea of it possibly becoming a second career.
So I second shot for another photographer until I thought I was ready to go it alone, and about 10 weddings later, with two years left to serve in the forces, I set up my business. As of January 2020 I will be full time.
When I first started shooting weddings on my own I did posed, set up, couple-only shots using OCF, but I just found it a pain in the ass lugging around extra kit and light stands.
A lot of couples were not really interested in being away from their family and friends for long periods of time, so I now shoot weddings totally unposed, documentary-style, with much less kit.
So, my first venture into photography was with a Sony NEX-5 camera and a couple of lenses (although I can’t remember which) but I soon felt the need for a proper DSLR. So I sold the Sony then bought a Nikon D7100 with a Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, Nikon 50mm f/1.8, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 and a Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6.
I used these for around two years and then I came across the Fuji X-pro 1 when it was released.
I liked the format of it, the way it looked, and the size. I purchased one with the Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 and the Fuji XF 18mm f/2 and then that was me, I was hooked.
I sold all my Nikon gear and went Fujifilm and slowly built my lens collection over the years.
I stayed with the X-Pro 1 until they released the X-T1 and then purchased that. Other Fujifilm cameras I have had along the way are the X-Pro 2, X-E2, X100S, X100T and X-T2s, but my wedding set up is this:
So, I currently shoot with 2 x Fuji X-T3s. I love the size, the weight, the form factor – especially the manual dials which save me from diving into the menu all the time.
The EVF is just amazing and I don’t think I could ever go back to an OVF these days, especially as you see the shot before you have taken it.
Lenses I currently use at weddings are predominantly:
Fuji XF 23mm f/2 – Sharp, fast, small, lightweight, and weather-sealed. I did try the f/1.4 version but I actually didn’t like using it. It could have been a poor copy but it just didn’t do it for me. This always stays on one of my cameras and is the lens I use the most.
Fuji XF 50mm f/2 – Again – sharp, fast, small and lightweight, and weather-sealed. I used to own the XT 56mm f/1.2 but for me I just found it was too slow to focus for moving subjects.
Fuji XF 16mm f/2.8 – I think this is probably Fuji’s smallest lens, very light and weather-sealed. I use this for when I need to go WIDE. Yes, it’s only f/2.8 but I’ve not found it to be a problem so far. I actually use this mostly for the dance floor shots in the evening with OCF flash and then I’m shooting at f/8 anyway.
Fuji XF 50-140mm f/ 2.8 – This is a fabulous lens, it’s stabilized and sharp. I only really use this if I’m only allowed to shoot a wedding from the back of the church or wherever the ceremony is taking place. Possibly going to change this for the Fuji XF 90mm f/2 in the near future.
Other lenses I own:
Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 – I have owned this lens since I owned the XPro1 all those years ago. The images it produces are amazing. I used to use this a lot at weddings but not much (if ever) these days. It’s very sharp and the bokeh from the f/1.4 is fabulous.
Fuji XF 10-24mm f/4 – Stabilized and very wide! I did use it at weddings for when I needed something that bit wider but as I have the XF 16mm f/2.8 now I hardly use it apart from when I shoot the odd landscape/architecture photos.
🌋 Related: Recommended Fuji X Lenses
So, for the first dance and for some of the evening dancing I use an OCF setup using 2 x Godox V850 flashes with a Godox XProF Trigger with 2 x basic air-cushioned light stands from Amazon (not shown in the gear image) and then for the rest of the evening dancefloor shenanigans I use a Nissin i60 on-camera flash and drag the shutter!!
Bags I use which are not shown are a Lowepro Nova-Sport 35L AW just to keep my cameras and lenses in and also a Lowepro Pro-Runner 300 for my flashes.
During a wedding, I use the Spiderlight dual holster system using a two-camera-two-lens setup. Easy and quick to use and saves me lugging around a backpack or shoulder bag.
Hardware & Software
As I’m a bit of an Apple geek, I use a MacBook Pro 15 inch. Software-wise, I use Photomechanic for culling as it’s lightning fast. Lightroom for editing, plus Photoshop (though I only really use it to remove certain things from images which Lightroom struggles with) and also JPEG Mini which is absolutely amazing at shrinking the image size.
🚀 Related: Best Free Lightroom Presets of the Year
Preset-wise I basically made my own and have tweaked it over time to a point where I’m happy with it. I did originally purchase some but just didn’t like the look of them.
Sun cream for my bald head (when we have sun in the UK), a few protein bars and water. Also, a small lens cleaning cloth and spare AA batteries.
Always remember where your spare SD cards are and keep an eye on how many shots you have left on your cards. I got caught out at one of my first ever weddings when during the middle of a ceremony I pressed the shutter nothing happened – apart from three little beeps and a bride giving me the evil eye.
Thinking what the hell is wrong it then dawned on me that my cards were full and I had to think where my spares where. Luckily, I remembered they were in my back pocket. From that day I started to work with two cameras instead of one (with a backup in the car) and always with larger capacity cards.