Monthly Archives: May 2013

Natural light photography

I thought it might be an to share the reasons I use certain photographic equipment and why I have chosen the Canon route.

Around 10 years ago I began my investment into Canon cameras. My previous 35mm film and DSLR camera systems had been based around Nikon, this was never really something I had chosen, it was simply a result of my fathers choosing. 10 years ago I was running a busy photographic portrait studio; the business grew quickly and in the first year it was time to consider reinvestment into some new equipment. At the time we were using a tethered medium format camera system and whilst offering very high quality files it was slow and cumbersome and not at all great for the fast moving active portraiture we were shooting. I had Kevin from The Flash Centre in Birmingham pay me a visit with the latest offerings. Amongst the various choices was a Canon 1ds. Whilst the quality of the output in size, colour balance and sharpness was generally well matched across the different cameras available it was the sturdy build quality that drew me to the canon.

Roll forward to today the 1ds is still in good working order it’s shutter has probably done more clicks than Bill Gates’ index finger, testimony indeed that build quality I bought into. Once you buy into a certain brand with camera equipment it slightly dictates that you stick to it mainly due to the lens fitting and accessories. Now that I concentrate on wedding photography and cinematography I have moved into the slightly lighter body of the 5d. The mark ii 5d that I bought around three years ago has been baring the brunt of my work in recent years with backup provided by 1ds mkii’s. The 5d has become a revelation in providing ultra high quality movie capture and I needed a backup for doing my upcoming wedding movies.

Two weeks ago I sprung for the 5d mkiii. Where I needed the 5dii for low light capture the mkiii just astounds! On Saturday night I was working at The John Moor Foundation photographing the dancing at the end of the evening using just available light was just a joy and the pictures will speak for themselves. The remarkable thing was that I actually struggled to see clearly with my own eyesight and the camera was capable of taking pictures and keeping focus sharp.

The need for flash, or a reflector at least is sometimes still a requirement but my preference for natural light photography to keep emotional value and mood in my work becomes a giant leap easier.

Vintage wedding fashion shoot

Towards the end of 2012 I had an idea about creating a documentary on what happens in a bridal fashion shoot. As a wedding cinematographer I obviously pass my stills shooting role to various other photographers and I decided to make contact with Matt and Merv at Field photographic whom I have had the pleasure of working with in the past at a variety of networking events. Field draw on more that 20 years experience in wedding photography and have a variety of different contacts in the industry, they suggested I contact Alaine at Mimitoko in Duffield for a selection of bridal outfits and input on style and themes.

Alaine also suggested contacting Paddy at Brigdens and through their discussions together they were able to communicate a cohesive style for both models. This is a great illustration about services that work together which is a highlight to the shoot in general, it’s important for different people involved in a wedding to understand each others involvement so that we don’t tread on one an-others toes and can potentially also assist one another for the greater good of all.

Shottle Hall was contacted and happy to help as a venue to host our days events, the hall is a great location for its locality to us as a collection of wedding services, but it’s features are it’s differing decor from room to room giving quite different feels to each set from a photographic point of view. Julia Stanley runs a model agency in addition to arranging a variety of wedding fayres in the east midlands so naturally she leant a helping hand in arranging Catherine and Jack our models for the day. Julia’s involvement in both weddings and commercial photography also means that she has good contacts for makeup and hair and recommended I contact Tina at Beau Hair who also arranged for Jo to come along with her, they both did a fantastic job in creating a look and style that really made models come to life for our vintage theme.

At the end of a days filming several really great shoots were created by Matt and Merv and I would strongly suggest anyone looking for any of the above mentioned services to check any of these people out for your wedding… If you’re not getting married; well just enjoy the short video…


Vintage wedding fashion shoot from ben pollard on Vimeo.