Documentary Wedding Photographers Work Close
I’m a Documentary Wedding Photographer, which means there’s a certain way that I work, and a certain style to the photography I produce. The end product of which is an accurate, beautiful document of the single most important day thus far in a couples life together. I want my clients to feel what they felt on their wedding day, years later when they’re reminiscing with their album. And that’s where Wedding Photography with the Fuji XT-1 comes in.
To do that successfully, I need to get in close, really close to the action. But I don’t want people to feel uncomfortable being photographed, or indeed react to my presence. And almost as importantly, I need to be able to react quickly enough to capture those lightning little glances, touches and reactions. It’s mentally exhausting. Keeping track of several conversations and movements in a room, as well as watching the Bride and Groom, following compositions in your head – it all takes it’s toll after a few hours. But that’s what makes this job so interesting and rewarding.
A Brilliant Tool For The Job
One of the tools that’s helped me achieve this recently is the Fuji XT-1. It’s a small mirrorless camera system, that uses small interchangeable lenses. Now, as much as this may sound like an advert for that particular camera, it’s not meant to be. This is about how such a small, lightweight camera, any small lightweight camera, can help in getting in close to the action at a wedding, and to quickly capture moments that might not have been caught with a bulkier DSLR camera.
My standard kit at a wedding is two Canon 5D Mk3 cameras, with a 24mm and 50mm lens on each. I also carry a 135mm lens in a belt pouch which is rarely used before the speeches. I love using prime lenses, not only for the quality and superb low light capability, but because I know these focal lengths so well. I’ve been using them for years as a news photographer at The Times that I now mostly only see compositions in terms of these focal lengths. I don’t like using zoom lenses almost as much as I don’t like changing lenses – the pictures I’ve missed with a lens in one hand and a naked camera body in the other! But I found that I was not getting the best compositions in certain situations. Especially in small spaces, the 24mm lens is just not wide enough. So rather than carry another lens in the pouch, and risk missing more pictures whilst swapping lenses (though I know a very good photographer who uses one camera body, and can change lenses as fast as I can switch cameras!) I started using a third camera, on a strap round my neck, dedicated to shooting these kind of wider compositions.