Hello, I’m Nikhol Esteras, originally from California and living in Oaxaca, a beautiful city in Southern Mexico.
I am a photographer specializing in documentary wedding and family photography, and an avid street photographer.
After two years of second shooting, in 2014 I made a website and began photographing weddings on my own.
Up until early 2018, I used two Canon 5D Mark III bodies. However, the moment I bought my first Fuji X-T2 camera for street photography, I was hooked. The camera weight, the colors and the quality of the files are some of the things I love about it.
My husband, Roque Reyes, shoots weddings with me and we each use one Fuji X-T3 and one Fuji X-T2.
Since I am a very physically active photographer, these camera bodies have given me the freedom to move without the weight limitations I experienced with my Canon gear.
The only thing that weighs me down some are the batteries; we currently have 14 batteries and always end up charging them during the reception.
Roque and I each use one Fuji 23mm f/1.4 for primary use and one Fuji 23mm f/2 for back-up and for street photography, along with one Fuji 35mm f/1.4 that we use on occasion during the ceremony and speeches.
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These days, we rarely use our own lights, rather we use the ambient light and DJ lights present at the location to our advantage.
However, in challenging light situations, we do pull out our GODOX V860II-F speedlight that we use on-camera as needed and bounce the light.
We often travel for weddings, so fitting everything into one bag is essential for us.
When traveling, we carry our gear in the Think Tank Photo Airport Essentials Backpack with room to spare. When photographing a wedding, one of us uses the Think Tank Hubba Hubba Hiney Bag and the other carries our Airport Essentials Backpack.
Oaxaca weddings are unique in many ways, but one big component is the “calenda”, which is a wedding parade. The newlyweds and their guests dance through the city streets with mezcal in hand accompanied by talented traditional Oaxacan dancers and a local band. It’s beautiful chaos and having a light load to carry as we hustle has been a game-changer for both Roque and I.
We also each wear a handmade fanny pack type bag with multiple pouches that we found at a store in a tiny village in the Southern Sierra of Oaxaca.
These waist bags hold our Sandisk Extreme Pro memory cards and Fuji batteries for easy access.
Full memory cards we store in our Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket that is connected to our waist bag.
Hardware & Software
I do all of our post work in Photo Mechanic (culling), Lightroom (editing) and use the JPEGmini plugin when exporting. I use a preset I made a few years back. I make the slideshow in SmartSlides and the gallery via Pic-Time.
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We dress comfortably, in all black, and use Allbirds tennis normally, but if there’s a chance of rain we use our Blundstone boots.
The sun is intense in Mexico, so we use MyChelle sunscreen and I use a felt hat that I can easily fold in my bag when the sun goes down.
We always have “alegrías” on hand for a quick snack, which are bars found at local markets in Oaxaca made of nuts, amaranth and honey.
I have found that these small yet mighty cameras have led to results that I am happy to see in both my photographic work and my physical performance. It’s important to find the camera that works best for your unique needs as a photographer and I’ve found just that.
I am very happy with our gear and I wouldn’t change a thing at present.