Vickerstaff Photography

Wedding | Last Updated: February 12, 2021

Hi there, I’m Jamie. A wedding photographer based in Cheshire UK.

As an amateur, I wandered into Dixons (shows you how long ago that was!), just to say hi to my friend who was working. A true scouser, with the patter to sell ice to an Inuit, I came out with a camera I had no intention of purchasing, a Nikon D70.

I was terrified of it and kept putting it down. It had more bells and whistles than Iron Man. I thought I’d never need another camera again.

At that point, I was used to my Pentax ME Super, a film camera where the most technical part of it was the slot you put the torn off end of the film box, so you knew what ISA you were using.

But buying that camera would be the gateway to me entering the world of wedding photography. I was lucky enough to get a job as an assistant to a pretty talented local photographer.

A major equipment decision I did make, and by no means lightly, was I defected from Nikon to Canon.

At the time, I had a Nikon D300 but needed to upgrade to a full frame camera; the lenses were better and more info on the sensor meant I could crop if needed.

I spent months looking between the two systems, at the time; the tried and tested Canon 5D MK2, and the Nikon D700.

It cost a fortune to swap, and it’s not really something I think I’d do again.

I have a Fuji X-PRO2 for my personal work and street photography. I’ve tried to use it at a wedding, but, for me, they’re not wedding cameras yet. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to the Canon system.

Like a lot of wedding photographers, I have a whole bunch of kit, to photograph all of it wouldn’t represent how I shoot a wedding though, so I’ve included a list of all the stuff I own and photographed what I use on a regular basis.

I’ve spent so much on stuff I don’t even use, or used just a few times: spider holsters, rapid straps, lenses, bags, Expo Disc, coloured gels, expensive triggers/receivers, reflectors, lights, softboxes, and so on.

It’s all part of finding your style. Unfortunately, it ain’t cheap!

I like to be mobile; having holsters, two cameras, or a shoulder bag full of kit, reduces my movement.

So, my Billingham 555 bag gets plonked in the corner of the room and out comes the camera, the shoulder bag, replacement battery, and memory card, along with a lens or two.

I prefer large memory cards to reduce having to change at those critical moments. Many think this is silly, as one card can corrupt.

My thinking is, the more cards you have, the likelihood of one corrupting is greater. Changing more often is likely to see it damaged in the change or, even worse, lost.

I use the SD card slot to record large jpegs, as a back-up. It was the main reason I upgraded from the 5D MK3 to the 5D MK4; the rate is a lot quicker to read and the buffer offers a lot more shots (if I remember correctly it goes from 6 -MK3 to 12 shots-MK4).

A boring reason to buy a new camera, but it really does make a difference in the way I shoot; weddings are busy, full of moments, so to capture the right images, I wanted the higher fire rate.

90% of my weddings are shot on my Canon L series 24mm f/1.4. I started with, like everyone else, the Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4 and loved it… when it worked!

I kept finding it mis-fired and created soft images, so I sent it off to be looked at (used FoCal to set the micro adjustments), but it still misfired too much for me.

I ended up putting on my 24mm for one wedding, and it’s really shaped my style and how I approach shooting a wedding. I love it!

I get close, real close. I love wide shots that have either lots for the eye to wander and look at or loads of negative space.

Movies are a real inspiration for me, some of my favourite shots in the movies are super wide-scene setting shots where I can see them as great shots for portraits.

I know the 24mm isn’t really a portrait lens, but, in using it, I’ve helped to create a style of my own, which I think is so important.

Main kit

Canon 5D MK4
Canon 24mm f/1.4
Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4
Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Sandisk 128GB CF Card x2
Sandisk 128GB SD card for JPEG backup
Think Tank Retrospective LC2 Bag
Canon batteries
Canon hand strap
Water bottle

Back up kit

Billingham 555 bag
Canon 5D MK3
Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4
Canon 17-40mm f/4
Multiple memory cards from 16gb – 64gb
batteries (x5)
Canon 580EX II Flash
Canon 430EX III flash
Canon 430EX flash
Lowel ID Video light
Fuji XPRO2 with 24mm f/2 lens
Pixel King Trigger
Pixel King receivers (x3)
Evolution 3 Brian Carbon Fibre 3 Legged Thing Tripod
Duracell rechargeable batteries lots of them | @vickerstaff_photography

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