Back in 2008 I photographed my very first wedding. Since then I’ve shot in excess of 300 weddings and by and large I’ve enjoyed every single one of them.
Over the years, I believe my style and certainly my equipment, has changed dramatically.
A shot from one of my first weddings: Canon 5D Mark 1, EF 35mm F1.4 Lens
A shot from my most recent wedding: Fuji X100T
Actually, when I think about it, and look at the images side by side, the *intent* of the images was the same, but the mechanism of shooting them was different.
I definitely feel as I have moved forward as a photographer that my style has matured – maybe matured isn’t the correct word- but certainly has appreciated and refined itself.
What did I want from my equipment in 2008?
Well, I was new to the industry and I suppose I just wanted something that everyone else had. That something was a Canon 5D Mark 1. And a mighty fine camera it was too.
I wanted something big, strong, that had big lenses and made me look…..well, professional I suppose.
This was me about to shoot a wedding in 2009 (terrible eyebrows!!)
What do I want from my equipment in 2015?
Now, you see, I want the complete opposite to what I wanted then.
I want something small, discreet, with small lenses and makes me look….well, like everyone else at the wedding.
This is a shot of me explaining to delegates at a workshop in Argentina what I use to shoot professionally these days.
Everything has changed. When Fujifilm introduced the mirrorless system that was the orginal X100 back in 2011 things really did begin to change.
Of course, there are other mirrorless camera manufacturers all doing great work….Olympus, Sony etc. This doesn’t mean, however, that DSLR makers are doing bad work by the way. I loved my DSLRs but they just got too big, and too expensive. I couldn’t do what I wanted to do with them any more. DSLRs still have their place and I know many people who will never switch, but for me, I can only see the future being smaller cameras.
I’m 100% sure for example that if I’d been using a DSLR I would not have shot this Sikh wedding in the way I was able to using a small, silent camera:
- by the way, if you want to see Day one of this photofilm take a look at this post I did a little while back
What is the key to all this?
Here is a quote I recently had from a wedding client:
Wow! Not really sure where to start…..
We had high expectations for how these photographs would turn out but really, these have blown us away! Totally amazed at how intimate these shots are and yet so many of our guests thought that we didn’t have a professional photographer there.
You have captured the true characters of our family and friends and yet I would imagine that to most you barely even uttered a word……who ever said you needed words to tell a story….so, so impressed.
Absolutely we love these images, cannot thank you enough!
The key is “yet so many of our guests thought that we didn’t have a professional photographer”.
This can only be attributed to two things;
- the way that I work
- the tools that I chose to work with
There are many many amazing photographers out there. Sometimes I spend hours looking at other wedding photographers work and just want to give it all up. But then, I think about how much I actually enjoy doing what I do.
I enjoy being “a guest” at a wedding and I attribute this enjoyment to the ease I can move about and literally blend in.
On many occasions my gear is smaller than lots of the guests.
And the future?
Who knows where the future will take us. I’m sure Fujifilm and probably even Canon and Nikon have got some remarkable new cameras up their sleeves.
I do think we’ll see more and more “devices” that allow us to practically be just like everyone else but deliver cutting edge and very professional results.
We are already seeing things like the amazing looking Light’s Camera Technology.
This little device looks like a phone essentially but packs an incredible punch in its tiny body.
We will see evolution like this, and I for one, am very excited to see how the next wave of technology helps us photographers to “be like everyone else”.