Hey, I’m Pedro Bento, a documentary wedding photographer based in Lisbon, Portugal. I’ve been shooting for almost 20 years… photography is in my blood.
For over 10 years, I was a Landscape photographer and 7 years ago, I decided to trade my tripod and neutral density filters and invest in a couple of prime lens, venturing into documentary wedding photography.
I see in black & white, and my main goal is capture real moments that make my couples remember the magic and uniqueness of their wedding day.
My adventure in photography started when I was 20, with my father’s 35mm Pentax P30 that came from Macau (I still have this camera).
Later, I shot 6×6 with a Yashica Mat 124G (shooting with this TLR camera was such a nice ritual and every single frame needed to be so well thought and composed).
When digital photography became more accessible, I went for Nikon with the two weirdest cameras: first was the amazing Nikon Coolpix 950 with 2 MPX (wowwwww) and later, her sister, the Nikon Coolpix 4500.
At that time, I had all the freedom to create and explore more, since with digital there were no extra costs like on film days.
However, I missed the SLR, and my first DSLR was a Canon D30 (not the newer 30D, if you’re curious enough, you can go for a search and look at that amazing LCD). Since then, I’ve been a Canon user and had a few cameras (Canon 350D, Canon 20D, Canon 5D Mark II).
Right now, I’m a happy shooter with my two cameras: Canon 1DX and Canon 5D Mark IV.
Canon 1DX: I always dreamed of a 1D camera. I bought this one 3 years ago, on 2nd hand, and it’s been my main camera. People say it’s heavy and not a silent camera but it has other arguments that convinced me: great AF, 12 FPS, and extraordinary high ISO (for my black & white photography).
Canon 5D MKIV: This one comes out when I need silent shooting or composing through LCD.
Fuji X100T: This little “box” with its fixed 35 f/2 lens is the perfect camera for my every day and on vacations.
iPhone 7 Plus: A digital photo diary always in my pocket. I’ve so many nice photos and videos of my kids, concerts, football, street photography, made with this thin rectangle.
Agfamatic 55C: The camera my 3 year old boy uses to develop his skills when he “take” my portraits at home and says “Smileeeeee”.
Since I’m not a photographer that uses flash during the wedding day, and sometimes I work in really pitch-dark scenarios, my preference goes for prime lenses that open wide and, in combination with high ISO’s, can easily capture “impossible” light for human eyes.
Canon 35mm f/1.4: This is my main lens. I shoot 80% of all wedding days with this baby attached on my Canon 1DX. Fast, sharp , and without distortion. As the old adage says ‘the best 24mm is a 35mm a few steps back.’
Canon 50mm f/1.2: My portrait lens. This lens needs no presentations. It’s not about sharpness, it’s about the magic you can achieve from her.
Canon 85mm f/1.2: The bigger and heavier sister to the 50mm, with the same characteristics. 1 Kg of pure glass and magic!
Canon 135mm f/2: Probably the BEST lens Canon has made. Light, cheap, really fast AF, and super sharppppp. I use it when I want to give some privacy and space in those emotional moments during the day, like ceremony or speeches.
Canon 17-40mm f/4: I have had this one for 15 years or so. It was my main lens when I was a Landscape Photographer. This lens already caught with sand, salt water, rain, snow, and it’s still alive. Now I use it when the DJ starts the party and in combination with slow shutter speeds and 2nd curtain, sync flash, it’s really nice to capture closer action and lights on the dance floor.
Canon Speedlite 580EX II: Flashes are not my thing, but after the first dance and the party gets crazy this little friend does the job perfectly.
Lowepro Flipside 300: My old landscape photographer bag that easily can carry my 2 DSLR’s, 4 lenses, 1 flash, and a bottle of water.
Shootsac Lens Bag: You will not believe that such a thin bag can carry so much. This shoulder bag it’s really discreet, does not scream “photographer bag,” which is great for some works.
Think Tank Photo Camera Strap V2.0: These straps are small, thin, and much more discreet than the standard ones that came with the cameras. And it’s double side, non-slip is really awesome.
The Mini Strap from DeadCameras: Handmade with premium leather, a nice match on my Fuji X100T.
Hardware & Software
Photo Mechanic: A perfect software for faster culling process.
Adobe Camera Raw: Yep, never used Lightroom, and this is the tool for my editing.
Adobe Photoshop: For specific things, like layers or clean out sensor dust.
MacBook Pro Retina 13”: Small, fast and powerful for work everywhere.
BOSE QC35 II: These headphones give me the peace I need when I’m culling and editing. They block completely out the sound and I can hear with an amazing high quality my favourite soundtracks when I’m working.
Whatever you do, do it with passion and never stop following your dreams.
www.pedrobento.com | @pedrobentophotography
Check out the 11 essential tools and apps every wedding photographer should be using this year.
Includes limited time discounts.