I’m Patrick from Engel I Wedding Photos and I’ve been in that business for more than five years now. I started with my first ten-hour wedding with zero knowledge and experience and thought ‘Oh my gosh…’.
I always was interested in photography, especially in people, and although my father very often tried to cite poems in front of his hobby lens, I think he was an important influence for me.
Since a few years ago, my wife Rosa and I photograph weddings as a team.
Most important: the gear has to work, even in postproduction. Meanwhile, I more or less gave up the attempt to try every new gimmick or camera – now I just want to make it easy.
I think I don’t use very much gear at all. Sometimes I think about a drone you know, but… (My wife is in control of the account.)
Canon 5D Mark III – My first professional camera, still in use. Reliable, came along with me to the US in the year I started my business. I had Canons before, so it remained Canon.
Canon 5D Mark IV – Successor of the Mark III: better in tones, quieter, love the look of the images, better display, reliable and would buy it again.
Sony A7 Mark III – My attempt to go for mirrorless. Still not my standard camera in use, but very good for absolutely silent shots and other perspectives because of the movable display. Sometimes I also use it for video, which is very good.
Canon 35mm f/2 – My most used. Love the frame and the image look; plus it’s light, easy to carry, smaller than the L-lense, reliable and has a moderate price.
Canon 85mm f/1.8 – Always on my second 5D. Mostly used if I’m too far away for the perfect shot or if I don’t want to intrude on a scene. Very sharp lens, nice bokeh.
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 – Always in my trolley. Super sharp and neutral images, beautiful bokeh; a real top lense.
Sigma 20mm f/1.4 – My party lense! Heavy as hell (I shoot parties with my camera in one hand) but really lovely in combination with short distance and flash on the combat-dance-field.
Sony 28mm f/2 – Simply because it’s a handy, affordable and solid lens. I tried other Sony lenses which were much more expensive but came back to that lens.
1 x Canon Speedlite 600 EX RT – Absolutely reliable, powerful, and yes, also expensive; but I prefer the quality compared with 3rd party lights.
2 x Canon Speedlites 430 EX RT – Same here, normally used as remote flashes on tripods.
2 x Canon ST-E3-RT triggers on my Canon 5D cameras, because I normally use the Speedlites off-camera and normally with Magmod gear. The only negative thing I can say about the Speedlites is the relatively long recycle time, especially for parties.
I normally use Magmod sets like gel, sphere, etc.
My favourite bag is the ThinkTank Retrospective 40! It’s the best bag I’ve ever had.
Sorry Holdfast, but I built my own strap for two cameras and love it. :)
Lowepro trolley for everything else.
Manfrotto BeFree tripods & Mettle 200 Lightstands.
🐙 Related: The Best Camera Tripods of the Year
Hardware & Software
I use an Apple iMac i7 Retina & an Eizo screen.
Sometimes I use Lightroom CC on my iPad Pro for minor changes when I’m not in my office (thank you Andrew Billington for this advice!).
I use 90% Lightroom Classic, even for my business clients.
Photomechanic meanwhile is a must for culling.
Of course several backup devices like a Synology NAS and external HDD.
Batteries, batteries, batteries
A bunch of SD cards (only Sandisk)
CD, mirror, glitter stuff, phone, money
Functional sports underwear!!! Nothing’s better!
It’s a hard business sometimes… but I love what I do. In the first year, I thought good equipment is what makes the difference. But when I see my first attempts now this is ridiculous.
I’m very happy that my profession, which normally is very different from a 9-5 job with colleagues, has offered me so many opportunities to meet fellow photographers who now are friends. I’m thankful!