Orcun Yalcın

Hi, I am Orçun, I am an Ankara-Bodrum, Turkey based wedding photographer (for now).  I have been photographing weddings for more than a decade and shot more than 600 weddings so far.

I got into wedding photography not the same way as most people.  I used to photograph my friends’ weddings as a hobby and gave them a slide show set to music on a CD as a wedding gift. Then a friend of my friend asked me about hiring me for his wedding.

Well, I just said; “Why not!” Furthermore, I made some of my friends (who love taking photos as a hobby) captured my own wedding! I brought all these photos together, edited some photos with strange effects, made an album, and a slideshow. Then the magic started there.

Before I became a photographer, I obtained my Ph.D. in Statistics and I worked as a market manager in a big multinational company at my last job. I photographed my first weddings at the weekends and did editing at nights on weekdays while I was working at this company.

Cameras

I have been a Canon user for 11 years. My first DSLR was a Canon 400D and I started to shoot weddings with a Canon 40D.

During the years, I have had the chance to have all 5D series from Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 5D Mark III, and Canon 5D Mark IV, and all L series primes and zooms.

I could not leave any of my lenses behind even if I had the focal length covered with another. For example, I also added my Canon 135mm f/2, Canon 100mm f/2.8, and Canon 85mm f/1.2 even if I put my Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 in the bag.

However, I had Canon 16-35mm f/2.8, Canon 24mm f/1.4, Canon 35mm f/1.4, Canon 50mm f/1.2 in my bag, I always thought that I should have taken the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 in case. You can easily imagine how my case looks.  It was a big problem especially while traveling.

I have never complained about the image quality of my Canon gears throughout the years. Before using a strap I used to change lenses all the time. It was another big problem for me. Not only I missed the moments, but also it made me very uncomfortable.

My daily photography coverage at least was 14 hours and I felt totally exhausted the next day. I usually had constant back pains and also pain in my fingers from holding that heavy equipment for long hours.

Becoming a man with heavy equipment I also quit taking my camera while going on a vacation or special occasion. I have started to use my phone instead. I can easily say that photography became not a hobby for me anymore at these times. It was only a job.

Last year, I wanted something smaller for my travels and tried out the Fujifilm X100F. It caught me at first sight. Not only the size, discreetness, and retro style appealed to me, but also it has born with the focal length I am looking forward to all the time.

Then the second magic started to begin for me. I gained my hobby again. I have started to take the Fujifilm X100F with me everywhere. It was my camera choice for personal use, and I started integrating it into my wedding work.

Last November, I decided to make a dramatic change to my photography business. I owned a very well known photography and videography company in Turkey and had 8 employees which are photographers, videographers, retouchers, and assistants.

I sold my company’s shares to one of my employees and left all my Canon gears behind. This was an opportunity for me to switch to the Fujifilm system completely.

Then I started to search for the right Fujifilm camera for me. As I mentioned before, I really don’t like to change lenses during weddings. I always carry two bodies attached to my favourite focal length lenses with my strap.

I prefer rangefinder-style cameras, so I decided to use a Fujifilm X-Pro3 and Fujifilm X-T3 at the same time.

I do not prefer to have 2 Fujifilm X-Pro3 bodies because I sometimes do some videography projects for corporates as well. Fujifilm X-T3 offers much more videography features.

Besides, Fujifilm X-Pro3 has a hidden back screen, and taking videos with stabilizers is not easy with that. I always bring my Fujifilm X100F to weddings and I sometimes use three cameras with different focal lengths at the same time.

I love the size, the weight, and the dynamic range of the cameras. But what I like most about Fuji is its analogue handling. Especially the dials, wheels, and buttons which save me from diving into the menu all the time.

Moreover, they pretty retro look appealed to my aesthetic tastes and it is almost like taking pictures with an analog camera.

Having a 100% silent shutter has especially changed the way I photograph. It allows me to get closer to my subjects without disrupting the moments. Switching from full-frame to APS-C sensor also gives me more depth of field.

This is something that is really helpful when you want to show what happens in the background as I like to do these days. I can clearly say that it changed my way of shooting and I can see more clearly what I am trying to capture and it is much easier to reach different points of view like up and down.

To be honest, I can say that I am still getting used to the Fujifilm system. It is a work in progress and I am really enjoying it.

Lenses

Fujifilm 23mm f/2:  My favorite focal length is no doubt 35mm. I nearly shoot %90 of the wedding day with this focal length. I also shot an entire wedding with this length at once.

I choose Fujifilm 23mm f/2 (35mm equivalent) for my primary lens. This lens is almost the same weight as my ex Canon lens’ hood. It is extremely small, light, quiet, and sharp.

Another reason I choose this lens instead of Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 is the AF speed differences. If you love bokeh in your photos and don’t prefer to use flashes during the day you may choose this lens.

It is also much more good looking. Some may find your Fujifilm 23mm f/2  looks like a toy but these things are not my concerns anymore. I am happy with my toys.

Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2:  The lens attached to my other camera is Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2. The main reason I choose this lens instead of Fujifilm 50mm f/2 is I am not used to that focal length.

This lense’s 35mm equivalent is 76mm and the 9mm difference between these two lenses makes a huge difference for me. I am pretty used to shooting with 85mm equivalent and it has great bokeh when it is wide open. It is really great when taking portraits.

Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4:  I also have a Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 (50 mm equivalent) in my bag. I used to use this lens much more often. But it is not possible to add much context into the frame for me.

I use this lens if the subject is too far away from me to reach or the mirror is so wide to avoid reflection of myself during the preparations. When I attach this lens next to Fujifilm 23mm f/2, I also hang the Fujifilm X100F on my neck with a strap.

Fujifilm 10-24mm f/4:  The last lens in my bag is Fujifilm 10-24mm f/4 (15-36mm equivalent) This lens is ideal for my corporate video projects. It also has an image stabilization system.

I use this lens if I am in a tight space or want a grander view of a room. This lens is also my first choice for the dance floor. The f4 is not a big deal for me. I often use off-camera flash during the party time and I usually use the aperture at f7.

I am also thinking to add Fujifilm 18mm f/2 (27mm equivalent) into my bag these days. I sometimes feel 35mm is very narrow while shooting in a wedding car or a tiny preparation rooms.

I am thinking that it would be better than 35mm for wider contextual shots and close up documentary work.  This is an old version lens and it’s AF makes me think that I just want to give it a try.

Lights/Triggers

I have noticed so many great photos taken during dancing, partying, getting ready, and portrait sessions, and also they are very different from my photos. At first, I thought that they were kind of editing magics!

Then I figured out that these photos were shot by using off-camera flashes. Then the third magic thing has happened in my life. I have been an ocf addict for nearly a year and a half.

I have been trying to get the best lights wherever I need it. This off-camera flash experiment has gained me not only some international documentary wedding photography awards but also gained me some artistic wedding photography awards as well.

I also found my name in the WPJA Artistic Guild TOP 100 International Photographers for 2019.

Godox AD200:  I used only Canon speed lights until I discovered Godox flashes. These Godox flashes are powerful, fast, accurate, and the recycle times are great. I don’t remember any time I missed a shot while recycling. I have two Godox AD200 and a Godox V860II.

I am also thinking to buy a Godox V350. But only TT350 is on the market here and it works with 2 AA batteries. But I don’t want to use any AA batteries any more.

I will buy a 350V when I first go abroad. Honestly, it is not easy to use Godox V860II on neither Fujifilm X-T3 or Fujifilm X-Pro3. Godox V860II has much more weight and it is bigger. This may cause balance problems when you are holding the camera and also you start to lose your practicality.

I have a Godox XPRO-F and Godox X1T-F. They all work very accurately. Both of them are mounted to my cameras unless I don’t use speedlites as fill flash.

I had some different brand’s light stands and they are ok, but I needed a much smaller size light stand to fit in my case. Now I have three Bowens BW6625 light stand in another bag.

This light stand is extremely compact and low weight. It is 1.2 kg and 48cm in length when closed. I also have another two taller light stands in my trunk.

Magnetmod:  I am a big fan of Magnetmod products. I have a MagBox, MagShoe, MagMod Creative Gels, MagGrip, MagGrid, MagBounce, and MagWallet. I am planning to add MagBeam and MagSnoot to complete my MagMod gear in the near future.

The MagGrips are always attached to my flashes and I always use MagMod modifiers when I use flashes. It has made huge differences in my photography since I started to use it.

Thanks to MagBox I can use two Godox AD200 at the same time like a big powerful flash. It is great when you need to photograph against direct sunlight.

Bags/Straps

HoldFast MoneyMaker:  I am getting very used to using two cameras at the same time. I have a HoldFast MoneyMaker. It is not only well built but it is very stylish and looks really cool with your outfit.

I don’t think that I have found my ideal bag. I am still looking to resolve this issue. But for now, I have a K&F Concept camera backpack. I chose this bag because it looks like much more a sports back rather than a camera bag.

It is also super lightweight. It has room for a 15” laptop, two big DSLRs, four lenses, and accessories. It is also waterproof and has lots of storage pockets for accessories.

Tripods

I have a Manfrotto compact action aluminum tripod. It is very super lightweight and small. I don’t use a lot of tripod during weddings, but I keep it in my trunk in case I need it for a long exposure creative shot or a composite group portrait shot with off-camera flash.

Hardware & Software

I use Photo Mechanic 5 for culling and Adobe Lightroom Classic for processing the images. I am not a fan of Photoshop and I don’t use it unless I have to erase an unwanted object in my photos.

I used to use some presets in the past but now I don’t use any presets. I do only some basic retouches. I adjust basically the exposure, highlights, shadows, and temperatures and I only do some adjustments with the curve.

I use an Apple MacBook Pro and I have some Lexar SD 128GB Cards and they are doing well. I used to have a Synology system to store my photos, but I like to keep it more simple at these days.

I have some Seagate External Hard Disks 3TB for storage and backup. I also carry my G-Drive External HDD 4TB in my bag.

Misc.

Food can be a real issue at weddings. You may be served properly sometimes if it fits in with your shooting schedule. But I don’t want to take that risk. For that reason, I always add a sandwich and a bottle of water to focus on the job.

I also add my deo stick and sunglasses into the bag. I always add extra sport shoes to my car’s trunk for the long weddings and to be comfortable at party time. I also take my sun-cream in summer outdoor weddings.

The last thing I always add to my bag is a Bluetooth speaker, Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A1. Sometimes the wedding preparation rooms can be very quiet and boring.

Moreover, the bride and her bridesmaids try to listen to music from their cellular phones. At these times, the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A1 makes a great impact and changes the mood. It is much easier to have great photos while the people around are having a good time.

I learnt that photography is a never-ending learning process.  It comes from experience. I think I have the gift of always wanting to learn, doing research, trying new things, doing new things.

I always listen to podcasts, behind the scene videos about wedding photography. I try to attend many conferences and workshops as much as I can. I also submit photos to the photography contests. They are not only very fun, but they also teach me lots of things and push me to become a better photographer.

@orcunyalcinofficial

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