Soven Amatya

Hi. I’m Soven, and I’m based in Surrey, just on the edge of London. It means I can get into London quickly but also have access to the beautiful countryside of Surrey!

Before my career as a photographer, I graduated with an IT Masters Degree. My first IT job was for a very small software company, in a very old, and cold, jam factory.

I progressed to big multi-national, international companies such as Barclays Bank, IBM, and JP Morgan. I loved finding elegant solutions for complex issues for my users.

It was during this time I bought my first DSLR. It was going to be a Canon. However, a friend I worked alongside, and a fabulous photographer, said, “No way.” He is the reason my first camera was a Nikon.

My fascination with photography, and how to make good and consistent images, meant I started buying all the different lenses: from the 50mm f/1.4G Prime to the 85mm f/1.4G, zooms from the 24-70mm f/2.8G to the 70-200mm f/2.8G, plus a macro and wide lenses, for good measure.

This was even before I had shot a wedding!!!

Thankfully, since switching to Sony, I have streamlined my photography gear, and it really helped improve my photography, as well as my wallet.

My approach to wedding photography is to work closely with my couples so that I understand their vision and needs for their wedding. I try to capture the way the wedding felt, the emotions and moments of unscripted magic, in a fun, relaxed, and unobtrusive manner.

Cameras

Sony A7III – Small, lightweight, great ISO performance, and fairly quick autofocusing, although I have noticed it can sometimes struggle in very, very low light. The Eye-AF is amazing and definitely helped with getting more in focus images. With a lighter setup, I’m now less tired at the end of a wedding day.

Lenses

Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 – My favourite lens. Compact and lightweight, fast to focus, minimum focus distance of 0.22m, which means I can get in close. Does suffer from some CA though. I could shoot an entire wedding with this lens, if I had to. It’s the perfect focal length for the way I like to capture a wedding.

Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 – On my other body. Compact and lightweight (perfect for the Sony Mirrorless camera); fast and accurate focusing; and sharp. My go-to lens when there is space, and it compresses the background nicely.

Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 – My go-to lens for the dance floor and sometimes the first dance, depending if I can find an interesting composition. You really have to step in to fill the frame with this lens. It so, so lightweight and has a beautiful image quality.

Sony Sonar 35mm f/2.8 – Very, very compact and lightweight. Nice image quality and is my backup 35mm. It’s great for street photography when you’re typically shooting at F5.6 – F11.

Lights/Triggers

As an available-light photographer, I carry and use flashes to supplement the existing natural light, if needed.

Godox AD200 Pro – Lots and lots of power in a fairly small form. The amount of power produced means I can usually shoot at lower power, and the recycle time is high. It gets used most often during the reception, the speeches, first dance, and the party. I also use it for couple portraits, if needed.

Neewer (rebadged Godox) V1S – The V1S comes with a round head. I normally use this as my on-camera flash, and the design makes it easy to swivel the head quickly. I have started to use the TTL features, which, after a little tweaking, produces nicely exposed images.

Godox TT350N – This is the Nikon version of the lens. It’s small, and compact. The recycle time is slow though. I tend to use this mostly during prep, mounted onto the Tether Tools PowrGrip Kit. It can be controlled remotely by a trigger.

Flashpoint R2 Pro MarkII – Sony – Allows me to remotely control my flashes from anywhere in the room. This version enables me to quickly select groups and adjust the power quickly, as there are dedicated button for the groups.

Godox X1T-S – Allows me to remotely control my flashes from anywhere in the room. I can also fit an on-camera flash if needed, to mix off- and on-camera flash.

MagMods – Grips, Gels, Bounce. All are easy to use.

Hardware & Software

I use a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop to post-process the photos. I have recently bought Capture One 20 as I’ve heard great things about it.

Misc.

Happy Socks – After my 35mm, my most important part of my kit, for a wedding. Sometimes, the wedding party can be a little nervous and tense having their photos taken. The socks are an ice breaker, and I find the nervousness and tension usually disappears after much laughter on seeing the socks.

Tether Tools RMPG45KT RapidMount PowrGrip Kit – The Grip securely mounts flashes to any non-porous surface, such as glass, mirrors, etc. I find it useful during bridal prep when there is a mirror or some reflective surface I can attach the mount too.

G-Cup EVF Eyecup – More comfortable than the one that comes with the camera body. Also, it means my face is slightly further away from the touchscreen, so it doesn’t accidentally move the AF point.

Iwata Pro GP-01 – It’s small, relatively lightweight, easy to use, and produces nice stable light. Perfect when flash is overkill. I tend to use it for details.

Rechargeable Work Light – Great when you need a small kick of light for small details.

Putty – You never know when you might need it for propping details up.

Earplugs – It can get quite loud on the dance floor, and this is the perfect way to enjoy the music while shooting the party.

Plug with USB – Essential as I can charge my phone. The pins fold away and make it easy to transport. Newer version also has USB-C port.

Pixel TF-334 Hot Shoe Adapter – I carry a spare Nikon flash as a backup. This adapter allows me to fit the flash on the Sony camera.

Think Tank SD Pixel Pocket Rocket Messenger Bag – Holds most SD cards. I have over 30 SD cards. I will only reuse a card once the wedding photos have been delivered to the couple.

Final Words

Shoot more when the good stuff happens and with intention. Micro-compose as you shoot.

Find good light, compose, and then wait for the moment to happen.

Get up close and show how it felt to be there.

www.amatya.co.uk| @sovenphotos

Inside Soven Amatya’s camera bag:

Sony A7 III

Zeiss 25mm f/2

Sony 35mm f/1.8

Sony 35mm f/2.8

Zeiss 85mm f/1.8

Godox AD200Pro

Godox V1S

Godox TT350N

Flashpoint R2 Pro Mark II

Godox X1T-S

MagMod MagGrip

MagMod MagBounce

MagMod Gels

Think Tank SD Pixel Pocket Rocket

G-Cup EVF Eyecup

RapidMount PowrGrip

Hot Shoe Adapter

Iwata GL-01

Lightroom CC

Photoshop 2020

2 Comments

  1. Jason Livingood on February 23, 2020 at 4:31 am

    I switched from Nikon to Sony as well! It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I really enjoyed reading what gear you use. Do you highly recommend the 35 1.8? What would you say is the biggest con about the lens? I love the 35 mm focal length for weddings.

    Thanks so much! Beautiful work!

  2. Soven Amatya on February 14, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Im very excited to be featured on Shotkit ! Do leave a comment if you have any further questions !

Leave a Comment