My name is Robert Evans. I have been a professional photographer for over thirty years and I’m known mostly for my wedding photography. I also love sports, portraits, and commercial photography with a minor in video.
I worked in a color lab in Hollywood for one year, long enough to learn and understand color printing and to come to the realization that I did not want to produce other people’s images. I wanted to create my own.
I shot my first wedding on my own in January 1989, working for three photography studios before launching my own business in January 1994. Today, I have photographed over one thousand weddings and continue to appreciate that I get paid for a passion that still excites me every time I pick up a camera.
I am a proud Sony Artisan of Imagery ambassador. I have photographed some of the biggest celebrity weddings over the last twenty years, including Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, Blake Shelton, and Miranda Lambert just to name a few.
I have made a living solely as a professional photographer from the age of eighteen. I first picked up my dad’s Minolta cameras that he left me when he passed. I was aged around twelve. However, it was my junior high school teacher, Mrs Wallace who solidified my interest and passion in photography.
Main Gear Talk
I was a late adopter of the digital, shooting film until 2003. After starting with Canon I played with my first Sony camera in 2012. It was the A77, and within three months of shooting Sony I never picked up my Canon cameras again. I haven’t looked back since.
Currently, I am shooting with both the Sony A1 and the Sony A7III (soon to be A7IV) bodies throughout the wedding day. I usually run only one body at a time, changing lenses as I go. Shooting mostly with the Sony A1, except during the ceremony, where I sometimes want the ability to shoot different focal lengths simultaneously.
That’s where the second body, the Sony A7III comes in handy.
My go-to lenses for the “getting ready” are the Sony 50mm f/1.2 G Master and the Sony 24-105mm f/4.0 G.
The 24-105mm f/4.0 G is a great overall wedding lens, which provides amazingly sharp images. Generally, an f/4.0 aperture with around 800 ISO is a good place to start shooting in a bridal room, taking advantage of the available light. Great for when the girls are having their hair and make-up done.
I am often asked if I had to choose one lens to photograph the whole wedding what would it be? Definitely the 24-105mm f/4.0 G, thinking overall wedding coverage and affordability.
The Sony 50mm F/1.2 G Master is also one of my most utilized lenses throughout the wedding day.
The Sony 50mm f/1.8 is a great alternative choice – two fewer stops, but a bit easier on the wallet and a bit lighter in the bag as well.
My 90mm f/2.8 G Macro is always on hand for my close-up details such as the wedding rings. It’s really easy to use and the results are always crisp and clear. I usually only use the 90mm macro for the ring shot, however, it is also a great portrait lens, especially for the groom or the bride on their own.
One great tip is to ask your subjects to give each other a hug. This naturally brings out genuine smiles and gets people to relax. I put my camera on a medium shutter burst and click off six or seven images to ensure I catch the best smiles. Make it a spontaneous request while changing your voice inflection, using an excited tone.
Give them a few seconds to hug then fire away. This will produce the most genuine response.
The Sony 35mm f/1.4 G Master is a lens I like for larger groups. The 35 mm lens allows me to stay closer and engage with the group. Again, I like to use a fixed lens for these shots as I move myself in and out to zoom.
I make sure that I am using an f/5.6 to f/8.0 aperture so that everyone is in focus front to back, especially when I have several rows of people. I will often use stairs to stagger and separate the faces so as not to have everyone in a long line.
You have probably gathered by now I prefer a non-zoom lens for my portraits. So why am I including the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master as my go-to lens for family and bridal party portraits? Because it’s a great lens to capture candid’s during family portraits.
The 135mm f/1.8 G Master is another great option, especially in a dark church. The extra stops can really make a difference in very low light.
Just before the nuptial kiss, I attach my 24mm f/1.4 G Master. Then what I do is make sure my camera is set to continuous autofocus and set to capture the highest frame rate at 20fps.
For toasts, I like to shoot the reaction of my couples and their guests. With the A1 still in my hand and on the silent shutter, I will change to the Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master. This lens will allow more use of available light, which is never more apparent than when in a dimly lit reception.
I will use my Profoto B10 Portable Flash, especially on overcast days. I like to add a little light on my subjects to fill in any shadows under the eyes, often caused by subjects with deeper eye sockets. On sunny days, when I am shooting family pictures in the shade, it will also help with clothing color pops.
The flash makes the whites whiter, the blacks blacker, and the other colors richer and more vibrant.
I set the flash on manual and set the B10 somewhere between 2.0 to 4.0 adding just a wink of flash. I personally do not like my outdoor images to look like I have used a flash. The main reasons I love this flash – it’s small, light, and portable plus I can adjust the output for a tiny bit of flash say at 1.0, or overpower the sun at 10.00 plus anywhere in between.
As I mentioned earlier, I do not like my images to look like I have used flash, so 90 per cent of the time I am using it to add just a touch of flash when shooting outside.
When I backlight my couples I can add the perfect amount of flash to their faces to make it look like natural daylight otherwise the skin tones come out looking muddy.
When I do use flash, I attach my Sony HVL-F45RM Wireless Radio Flash. It’s great for dance floor candid’s and maybe I’ll mix some flash with the ambient room lighting for my detail and décor images. I will also break out the 12-24 f/2.8 G Master for entire room shots, especially when I get up higher or above the room when shooting décor.
With camera straps, I use Peak Design on all my Sony camera bodies. With their brilliant anchor link clips, I can easily take off and add any of my straps to any one of my Sony bodies.
I own a Peak Design backpack – Duffel bag – 10L Every Day Sling Bag – a Tech Pouch for all my cords and accessories, and a field pouch for flying to hold headsets, air pods, iPhone charger. I keep all my SD hard drives in this pouch as well so they are with me at all times.
The Tamrac Roller Bag is my go-to case as I tend to travel for most of my weddings and commercial work.
I keep a MeFoto Tripod with me for the occasional motion blur exposure or I sometimes use it for detail and décor images inside my reception rooms. It’s small, very light, and easy to travel with.
Hardware & Software
I always make sure I have the essentials such as batteries and chargers. My Sony NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Batteries fit in all my Sony Bodies. I take plenty of SD Memory cards with a preference for the Sony Tuff cards – SF-G Tough Series UHS-II SDXC Memory Card.
I like the 64G and the 128G capacity with fast write speed so I can capture 20FPS RAW. These cards provide that extra assurance that if I happen to drop a card I know it will be okay.
Once I fill up a set of SD cards (I run one card in each slot recording RAW on both) I remove them from both slots and place them in my Thinktank memory card carrying case. I keep this in the inside of my suit pocket.
Tip – Keep your cards on you at all times. At the end of the night empty your cameras keeping all the cards on your person. Should someone try to take your equipment, your client’s wedding images are safe in your pocket.
I use Photo Mechanic to cull my work. I process my Sony RAW Files in Capture One 2021. I don’t use presets, I get it right in camera the first time and use Photoshop only to retouch the things I can’t control, such as an unwanted light switch in the background that distracts from an otherwise amazing wedding day moment.
I keep sunscreen and energy bars in my bag.
My wedding day tip to minimize sore feet – Double Socks! It really helps.
It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. Dress appropriately, you have been invited to a wedding.
I find myself travelling to most of my weddings so I try to keep my gear as minimal and light as possible.
AA Eneloop Pro rechargeable batteries for my Sony flashes (I have two, one as backup).
The piece of advice I’d like to pass on to other photographers is to listen to your inner voice when it comes to expressing your unique vision as a photographer. Throughout my career, I have always followed my heart and shot for myself.
Listen to your intuition, photographing the world the way you see it and feel it, without mimicking others’ work. This is where you will find your vision.
Don’t let your photography become diluted in the sea of images on the web because you think what other photographers are showing is what clients want to see. The clients that are right for you will want to see your vision. If you are excited about your work, others will be too!
Yes, I/we must listen to my/our clients to make sure I/we capture images that are important to them, through our own personal vision. Don’t be influenced by what others are doing.
By shooting this way over my career I have attracted the type of clients who appreciate what I do. It was my imagery and my vision that grabbed their attention.
I have always said when it comes to my celebrity clients “It’s a world that chose me, I didn’t choose it. It’s a little bit of luck and a-lotta-bit of skill.” It was my eye and my vision that landed me these types of weddings.
Integrity, honesty, and character factored in as well, but with every celebrity job I have photographed to date, it was my work that made them choose me. In most cases, I didn’t meet my celebrity clients until shortly before their wedding day. They had no idea what my personality was like, it was my work and my reputation.
If you do what you want and not what others do, the joy it brings will definitely shine through.
It will show within your work and enhance your success.
With one thought in mind, rise above the rest!
Go out there and shoot from your heart and make sure your work stands out and your dreams become a reality.
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