After over 20 years documenting wedding’s its quite natural to understand the process, although you would think that each wedding is the same, believe it or not; I still get butterflies the week before, its a good thing (I keep telling myself) because just as an actor gets nervous before going on stage, it ensures that I never take this responsibility lightly, after all its my clients special day and I have to be, want to be on the ball!
If you have read my other blogs with regards to my personal experiences using the Xpro2, you would know that I’m a full time wedding (Professional) photographer, I use the term professional in the correct sense as its my only profession, unfortunately these days the term is used very lightly however I personally feel that photography is an ongoing journey always learning and finding new and interesting ways to capture light.
The wedding I’m going to be taking you through is a wedding I photographed in Bath on the 2nd of May this year, I’ll provide a brief explanation with regards to the finer details about the wedding, how I go about shooting a wedding and then let the images say the rest about this fantastic camera.
I arrived at the venue at 13.00 pm, this was the time the Bride had requested, sometimes I find myself arriving earlier but usually two hours before the ceremony (for me personally) to document some of the preparations, the dress, flowers, trinkets and the excited Bride etc.
Naomi had chosen the most incredible wedding gown (Vera Wang) Ted Backer shoes and Tiffany Necklace, because I absolutely love reportage photography, I quietly and unobtrusively capture the life and soul, I move around the room looking for the light and those magical moments we all love to find.
The Bride requested that we leave the room whilst her Bridesmaids helped her with her dress, and then we entered to take some shots of the Bride and her girls. People often ask “what is my style” and I always say the same thing, “my style is your style” I react to their personalities, I want to capture who they are, not who I am!
I quickly took a few shots of Naomi leaving the bridal suit and then took my place at the front of the ceremony location, to capture the stunning Bride and her entourage as they walked down the isle, I set the focus to continuous focus (release) and 3 frames per second as I knew that this would be ample, the aperture on the 16mm Fuji lens to f2.8, it nailed every frame, spot on.
At the front of the action, I set the camera to manual, after firing off a shot on auto to provide me with a rough idea of setting’s, I always use manual where the action and lighting is pretty consistent, the camera caught all the action, focusing fast and incredibly sharp, the 16mm lens is superb however I did have my 56mm on my a second Xpro2, yes in now own two of these, also the x100t and the xt1, oh yes and the ex2.
Immediately after the ceremony the wedding coordinator very kindly announced that we were going to take the large group photo (which I do like to take first) whilst everyone is present, I always suggest to my clients to keep their formal photos to a maximum of 5, they what to enjoy their wedding day and not spend it with their photographer!
It was now time to take Naomi and Daniel for a stroll around the ground’s, I love this time because it provides the newly married couple some time, and this is when I capture those intimate moment’s, whilst I just make any slight adjustment’s to hands etc.
The Fuji focused wonderfully, I used the c position for the exposure compensation, I loved using the small front dial, I find this a lot smoother than the top dial, which does seem a tad tight.
During the speeches, I tend to sit or stand where I can move and capture those reportage images, my main lens for the speeches is the 56mm at f1.2, its great in low light, the ISO didn’t go any higher than 1600 and the images were stunning.
I’ve never been a “machine gun” photographer, just fire away, I like to document feeling, therefore I very rarely take more than a 1000 exposures, when I left the wedding, I had taken 956 images; I honestly could have just provided the SOC images, they were stunning but as we all know RAW has a lot more information and so I edit with RAW, but one of these days, I may just use the Jpegs and make minor adjustments, because they are just so good on the Xpro2.
Well now “how many of the image’s were great from the 956 you took” I hear you say?
Out of the 956 exposures, 922 were perfect, in focus and excellently exposed, no kidding, part from a few duplicated images, if I wasn’t such a perfectionist, I could have copied the images straight to a USB drive for the couple!
I still cant get used to the spot metering on this camera, I tend to use this metering mode 95% of the time whilst photographing people, dependent on their skin tone, I just adjust the exposure however I find myself moving away from this metering mode on the Xpro2, if any of you guy’s find the same, Id love to hear from you also i’m still not as impressed with the image displayed in the view finder, I still think that the XT1 was better.
The battery life did improve, I ensured I turned the camera off more often between shots and didn’t keep viewing the images on the back screen.
I use the SanDisk Extreme PRO SDHC 32 GB Memory Card up to 280MB/s and a 128gig card in slot two as backup, when shooting at 8fps, the camera handled the shots with no problems.
I know some may feel that this article isn’t technical enough however I make no apologies when I say ” its the final image that matters to me” and the Fuji X cameras do it for me and as long as they keep bringing out systems like the Xpro2, I’m a Fuji Fan!
Michael Gane – thefxworks