Hey, I’m Tony and I am a wedding photographer based in the southwest of Ireland. I studied photography in college back in 2007 thinking I would pursue a career in my other passion, music.
But as I studied I witnessed wedding photography changing from traditional to modern, creative, artistic and it just drew me in.
I absolutely love the photojournalism side to wedding photography, watching for those out-take moments that tell personal stories. But I am not a full-on documentary style wedding photographer as I love the creativity of playing with light, off-camera flash, natural, man-made or any light really, good and bad.
I was once told, ‘There’s no such thing as bad light unless it’s black’ and even that you can work with.
I like to finish my weddings with a night shot where I will set up anything from one to five, or up to seven flashes to create the final shot of the day that will hopefully hang on their wall and remind them of all the moments that day, that led up to this final photo.
Main Gear Talk
I love photography gear, the better it gets the more I want it. If I could do a follow-up feature in 2021 I’ll probably have two new cameras, a new drone, possibly one more lens as I’m pretty happy with my 35mm and my 70-200mm, a bunch of new flashes, definitely more MagMod accessories as I just love them and possibly a divorce after all that.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Not a huge amount of difference in these bodies but the biggest and most important feature for me in both cameras is the dual card slots.
Any wedding photographer’s worst nightmare is losing photos and just having the safety of two copies in each camera is a great ease, in case that awful C word ever happens to one of your cards.
Speaking of cards I use the Sandisk Extreme Pro 128GB CF Cards & Sandisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD cards. 128gb on all of these as I never want to run out of space and the file sizes on the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV are no joke.
Polaroid One-Step 600 Instant Camera – This is a great little addition to my bag and just a quirky idea on a wedding day.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM – I love this lens and shoot with it for a lot of the day. Its super-fast to focus, very versatile and is one of the sharpest non-prime lenses I have ever seen. Also, the image stabilisation is outstanding, making this a great lens to shoot in low light with slow shutter speeds.
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM – Some people swear by the nifty 50, others love the 35 and I’ve always been one of the others. Again super-fast in low light and amazingly sharp, it’s such a great lens for the documentary style. It’s nice and light and very rarely comes off my camera. All my night-shots are taken with this lens.
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – I have had this lens for a while and still find it very reliable especially when I’m in tight spaces. It has gotten me out of a few holes over time and I will always have this in my bag.
Godox AD200 PRO – What I love about this flash is it will give me about 500 flashes on full power and not always being used at full power I could easily shoot two weddings without charging or noticing a drop in the output. Has interchangeable heads for more shooting options and is part of the Pixapro One System.
Godox V860 II-C – I have four of these speedlights that come with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery which will give you 650 flashes at full power with a recycle time of 1.5 seconds.
Again I could easily shoot two weddings with these and know I have enough power. They have a zoom range for 20-200mm and high-speed sync of 1/8000. Trust me these lights are amazing and also part of the Pixapro One System.
Speaking of the One System, the trigger I use is the PIXAPRO PRO ST-IV which has a range of 100m. The Pixapro One System allows you to trigger different flashes from the one on-camera trigger. You can have PIKA200 Pros in one group, a bunch of speedlights in another group and even high power strobes all connected on the one trigger. The One system is just so versatile.
MagMod – Have an extensive range of flash accessories like colour gels, modifiers and Octa boxes. But the best thing about MagMod is its quickness and ease of use as it uses magnets on all its accessories so you can just pop them on and off each flash in a second. Anything that speeds up a process on a wedding day is a win in my book as time can be so limited.
My camera bag is the Lowepro Pro Runner BP 450 AW II, it’s a monster of a bag but I do have a lot of gear so it’s needed.
Last year I bought a double harness and I love it. The Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L on a Canon body can get heavy after 10 hours so this has saved my shoulders and back big time.
DJI Phantom 3 Pro – I actually won this drone about a year ago and I have learned lots from it as well as getting some unique wedding photos. It’s great to have in the back of the car when you have time on a wedding day.
I would possibly think of upgrading to a faster, unpack-and-fly drone. This takes about five minutes to set up and get in the air which is a long time on a wedding day. This can be cut down to less than a minute with some of the newer versions.
Hardware & Software
Dell PC XPS x8900 with Seagate hard drives for storage.
Lightroom for my main editing with my own custom presets.
Photoshop for cleaning and touching up.
Luminar 3 for epic sky’s.
Pro Show producer for slideshows.
Fundy for album design.
Studio Ninja for my booking management system.
Hahnel Pro Cube 2 Battery Charger – Very handy charger which charges two batteries at once and also comes with a car charger for when you`re on the go.
As you can see from my Shotkit photo I have a thing for straight cut ties and have been remembered in certain hotels just for my ties. I also wear Sketchers as they are the most comfortable shoe I have ever come across and you have to look after your feet, two or three weddings in a row and they will thank you.
I always have a chocolate orange Fulfil bar in my bag. I always eat light on the morning of a wedding and its good to have after the ceremony to keep the energy up through to dinner.
Always have a bag with a full spare change of clothes in the boot. You never know what will happen on a wedding day or sometimes where you will end up.
I never want to miss the perfect shot and if that means jumping into a river or just getting down and dirty then I know I can and not turn up to the reception like I was in a fight with a bunch of cows in the countryside.
The wedding industry is truly an amazing industry to work in and the photography community itself is second to none. Filled with creative, like-minded people and a level of art that is just outstanding.
It’s an honor to be in the mix. I honestly couldn’t have imagined where id be today when I picked up a camera for the first time years ago. Thinking it was only going to be a hobby to now providing for my family and building a life I have always dreamed of.
To all the photographers out there keep up the amazing work, you rock.
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