Hi there, I’m Paul Fletcher, a wedding photographer based in Brighton, England. I’ve been a full time photographer for 23 years and I’m at my most comfortable with a camera in my hand documenting weddings. There’s lot’s of love and light to come this season and by the end of it I’ll have shot over 600 weddings. I’d shoot more if I had time!
My Digital Cameras and Apparel:
To work comfortably I like to carry everything on my Holdfast MoneyMaker Strap. I use one large and one small Holdfast Explorer Lens Pouch and two Canon 5D Mark III’s at all times, a bag and a camera on each side of the strap.
The Holdfast MoneyMaker distributes this weight evenly and comfortably so that it doesn’t feel like a strain after nine hours on my feet. I occasionally shoot three weddings back to back in the summer months and only then do my shoulders feel like I’ve spent an entire evening in the gym. That’s pretty impressive when you consider I carry everything that features in my kit shot!
My Canon 5D Mark III’s are quite simply awesome, and combined with my Canon L series prime lenses and one zoom it’s an unbeatable system that works seamlessly for me. The resolution and ISO capabilities of the Canon 5D Mark III make it the perfect wedding camera and once you’ve set it up with your preferred custom controls it performs like a dream.
The only camera I would consider trading them in for would be the much anticipated Canon 5DX. I just want greater dynamic range and improved noise reduction and I’ll be very happy!
My favourite lens has to be the Canon 85mm f/1.2L, a recent purchase due to my love of the Canon 50mm f/1.2L and my Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L. Now I have one lens that almost does away with both those lenses.
The Canon 85mm f/1.2L is super sharp, has stunning colour rendition, gorgeous bokeh and it’s the perfect lens for picking out a subject in a crowd or for creating stunning portraits. Will I use my Canon 50mm f/1.2L again? Occasionally I suspect!
The Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L has always been my get out of jail card, bagging me those all important moments from viewpoints that other lenses just can’t reach. It will be with me in the car, but may not see the light of day at every wedding!
On my second camera I have my Canon 35mm f/1.4L attached and primed ready to pull in those crowds during drinks or those all important landscapes that I love shooting. Once again it’s my lens of choice for the majority of the time, however when it’s not wide enough, out comes the Canon 24mm f/1.4L, another cracking super sharp lens that I love. I often stop it down for my landscapes to guarantee the shot, but for me this focal length is pretty much as wide as I’d want to shoot.
I don’t believe in scrimping on lenses, from an image perspective and from a build quality perspective. I’ve had Canon non L series lenses before and they just can’t take the punishment, especially when dangling from cameras on my Holdfast MoneyMaker Strap!
If I have to bounce a flash it’ll only be due to low light during the wedding breakfast, however the only light I really like is natural light or off camera flash for creative lighting.
I’m fairly new to off-camera flash. Only last season did I buy my Phottix Odin Trigger and Receivers. They opened up a new world of opportunity and I’ve put them to good use on many occasions without any problems.
Despite this I recently decided I needed to get the perfect lighting kit, so made a few purchases in succession, a second Canon Speedlite 600 EX-RT, the Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT and a whole caboodle of MagMod gear: two MagMod Basic Speedlite Modifier Kits and a MagMod Snoot. The test shots have proved how awesome the system is and I’m looking forward to using them from now on.
Lighting Attachment Accessories:
I carry two clamps for off camera flash, the SMALLRIG Clamp Mount V2, and I find these really useful for speeches when I need them, but especially the first dance and general dancing.
I tend to use one mainly, shooting into the flash for flare and atmospheric shots, but sometimes two either side of the band. I can then switch to the other camera for the on camera flash for those swirly close up dancing shots. A great combination!
I also take a Manfrotto 5001B Folding Nano Stand so that I can backlight a couple indoors or outdoors without any assistance. These three items are invaluable pieces of kit!