I am a total tech geek with my computer and camera equipment. So for those like minded individuals who want to know what I am working with, here you go!
I work with three Nikon D850s. There are always two of them on me and one for back-up or for ceremony video. This camera is just perfect. There is nothing that you can throw this camera that it can’t handle. It’s truly a joy to work with. I photograph entirely in RAW and each photo file is about 50MB in size. Everyone is trending towards mirrorless cameras right now but with the extensive Nikon lens collection that I have collected over the years there is no way I’m switching brands, and the Nikon Z9 is the only better camera in the Nikon line-up and it weighs more than the D850. For me, these cameras are just perfect.
All my lenses are Nikon brand because of the glass used and the ability to repair them with my Nikon Professional Services membership. My absolute favorite lens is the creamy and delicious 85mm f/1.4 lens which I use whenever and wherever I can. While I try to use only prime lenses (not zoom) as much as possible, because of their superior image quality, sometimes during a hectic wedding day I switch off to my 14-24mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses (all f/2.8) to make sure I don’t miss a thing. I also have some really fun lenses, like a vintage 8mm f/2.8 fisheye lens that weighs about twice as much as the camera. I like to slip off during the dance party with your wedding rings and take fun portraits of them, for that I use a 105mm f/2.8 Micro lens for ridiculously crisp details.
This equipment is such a huge part of how I capture the gorgeous Colorado landscape and the people equally. There have been massive changes in lighting over the last 7 years and I have to give the biggest shout out to MagMod and their user-friendly and thoroughly mobile equipment. It allows me to be creative on the fly and adapt to anything a wedding day can throw at me. I use 6 battery powered Godox AD200 lights to get perfect lighting throughout the day. Whether it’s noon and I need to have enough light power to overpower the shadows the high-altitude sun makes (raccoon eyes) or late at night when I am creating a soft mood, these mobile lights give me a creative freedom that could only be dreamed of when I was learning studio lighting in college with heavy plugged-in lights. In short the world is our studio with my lighting system.
I get a lot of questions about back-ups and that is a really good question to ask a photographer you are hiring for anything, but especially for weddings. It’s a one-time affair! First off, my D850s have two slots. I shoot to an XQD card which I have never had a single hiccup with. I have the card with the fastest speed available. Then my camera makes a back-up copy to a super-fast SD card as well. So there are two copies of every photo taken on my camera. As I mentioned I have three cameras as well, so if anything goes wrong with a camera I’m covered there too. Once I get home I immediately put the XQD card into the reader on my computer and download the photos to Lightroom Classic. The folder is then copied to an identical drive (I have two 36TB drives that mirror each other through a back-up program). Then that night the original folder is also copied to Backblaze, a cloud back-up off-site so if anything terrible happens to my house and it burns to the ground I still have your wedding photos.
Computer & Software
One of my closest relationships is with my computer. I spend hours a day on it and somehow still love it. I work on a 5K Retina display iMac that allows me to see minute details. I have a second screen as well and use Spyder 5 by Datacolor to calibrate both screens so that your photos are corrected perfectly and ready for print when I upload them to your gallery. My go-to software is Adobe’s Lightroom Classic which I adore. My familiarity with the software and my joy of correcting my own photos makes me a hold-out in not embracing the extremely popular AI photo correction services that most wedding photographers use these days. I want to see every photo and make a decision as to whether or not it was relevant to the story of your wedding day on my own and I am not going to leave that up to a computer! I teach Lightroom and Photoshop, which is where I head if I have to do some deep corrections that I can’t do in Lightroom. I have been teaching Photoshop for many years and using it for so many years that it’s kind of a 2nd language for me.
Thanks for geeking out with me! I love the tools I get to work with and am proud of everything that I bring to a wedding day to make sure every moment is taken with the best tool and beautifully lit.