X-Photographer coffee chats

Photo credit: Forged in the North

Get to know our new X-Photographers, James and Michelle Phillips - a husband and wife team, travelling side by side telling stories of love through their award-winning wedding and couples photography. Find out why they made the switch to X Series, what they love about their work and get their top three tips.

Q: What do you love about wedding/couple photography?

We love that weddings are can be these wild, beautiful, chaotic, whirlwind days. The couple themselves, are starting out on this huge new adventure called marriage. But they are also bringing along with them all these people; parents, siblings, university friends, workmates… all these people from different parts of their life. We love to think how every guest carries this little facet/fragment, and that if you could gather them all together, they would tell this super rich story of who this couple is.

We call it the greatest party you will ever throw. There is no-other time in this couple’s life when all these people will travel from the far corners of the globe to be there and celebrate with them. We remember from our own wedding the feeling of walking into a room full of your favourite people and feeling a deep sense of love every direction you look; it’s something that you carry with you forever.

It’s this passion that drives us. We want this day to be the most amazing day it can be for this couple. We want their memories to be beautiful, cinematic, authentic. And we want their love for each other to feel at the centre of it all. Because they are the reason, the nexus point, for this crazy thing we call a wedding.

Photo credit: Patina Photography

Q: You haven’t always used Fujifilm X – what caused the change?

Our first experience with the Fujifilm X system was when we were travelling through the US and wanted a small light travel camera with great image quality. After countless hours researching online, we settled on the Fujifilm X-T20 paired with the 23mm f1.4. The images we got from this little combination blew us away, and the size was everything we could hope for. However, the real unexpected game-changer was the EVF (electronic viewfinder).

Coming from Canon's DSLRs we had learnt to work with an OVF (optical viewfinder). I even believed no EVF would be good enough - but playing this camera, this little EVF screen was perfectly responsive, no lag at all, and with Fuji's beautiful film simulation, it felt like everywhere I pointed the camera I was looking at a potential finished image. It changed the way we shoot.

In the past, we used to shoot and wait until we were back at the computer to see how an image would process-up. Now shooting and selecting feels more closely linked than ever. We can see flare exactly how it is, we can see the dynamic range in any situation, and we don't have to fight with screen glare on sunny days.

Once we got back into the swing of our wedding season, and back to our clunky Canon DSLRs, we knew we had to change. We purchased two more X-T2s and a full range of primes to suit our style and we haven't looked back. Switching to the Fuji system has made working and travelling so much easier, with no sacrifices in image quality or colours, and it we actually feel excited to get out and shoot more than we ever have before.

Photo credit: Patina Photography

Top 3 tips for beginners:

1. Give yourself the freedom to take risks and the permission to fail. Whenever you push the boundaries, sometimes, you’re going to fail at creating the shot you imagined. But, it’s also a fact that if you keep pushing, keeping trying, you will succeed at creating more amazing imagery than if you don't try at all. Remember, your job is not to capture everything. It’s to capture your perspective, your vision - that’s what they booked you for.

2.  Photography is all about the light. One great little trick we found was shooting in b/w (just make sure you are also shooting raw) - this really helps us to see what the light is doing in a scene and always allows us to create more interesting, dynamic photos.

3.  Make friends with other photographers. We’ve found so much good has come from making friends with other photographers and like-minded creative people. We are super grateful to have an amazing photographic community. It's the first place we turn for support or advice and we all learn a lot from each other.

Bonus tip: we have also started putting together a section on our website specifically for photographers starting out - tips on our processes, our gear, software etc. as a way to give back to the community that has shared so much with us.

Check it out here: http://patina.photo/for-photographers

Photo credit: Patina Photography

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