Welcome to my updated 2016 resource for shooting weddings with Fuji cameras.

Back in 2013 I wrote a blog post on my wedding photographer website that outlined the Fujifilm equipment I was using at the time to photograph weddings.  I went into lots of detail about configuration, settings and shooting methodology.

This blog post will replace the 2013 version as a lot has changed in the world of Fuji.  I checked the statistics for the 2013 version;  328,000 unique visits, 3,000+ shares on Facebook and over 800 Tweets.  It also had well over 150 blog comments.  It seems like it was a useful resource, and hopefully this version of my shooting weddings with Fuji blog post will be as useful.

Firstly, it’s really important to understand that I shoot weddings as a photojournalist.  I don’t shoot “traditional” wedding photography.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with more traditional styles of wedding photography of course.  However, I choose to shoot in an unstaged, un-contrived way and the way my cameras are configured and way I shoot support this.  To this end, where possible, I use natural or available light and tend not to use Flash photography …but we will get to that.

When I’m Shooting Weddings with Fuji I’m looking for humour, emotion and human interaction.  These are the very essence of a wedding for me and hopefully you’ll see that in the pictures throughout this blog post.

I know that my style of wedding photography is totally subjective.  I get a lot of questions about the way I’m Shooting Weddings with Fuji and how I shoot them so I’m hoping this article will answer many of those questions.  Whether this type of wedding photography is to your taste or not, I do hope you get a lot out of the technical and theoretical elements of the information contained within.

Whilst this blog post is primarily about Shooting Weddings with Fuji, hopefully anybody shooting with the X-Series will find it useful.  Especially those shooting in a documentary style, such as snapping the children at home or Street Photographers (which is my other passion).

A Brief History of me Shooting Weddings with Fuji

I have been shooting weddings full time, professionally, since 2008.  I used a Canon system that was excellent.  The images it produced were excellent and the lenses were amazing.

However, in 2010 I spotted a little rangefinder like camera at Photokina which was the original Fuji FinePix X100.  I was intrigued, more than anything, at that point at whether a small camera like that could fit into my working methods.

At the time, I shot only 35mm and 85mm (full frame) lenses on my Canon systems.  So the X100 with its 23mm lens (35mm equivalent) seemed like something I at least wanted to try out.

So I bought one.  And I took it to a wedding.  It was OK.  That original X100 was never going to be a camera I solely shot my weddings on though.

The camera was good, but slow, and not responsive enough for my liking.  I did however, see the potential at that time of Shooting Weddings with Fuji and the image quality when I downloaded them was simply incredible.

I was never going to introduce a new camera system into my professional business if the image quality was not up to my standards.

There was one image I took at that first wedding, of a little girl and her dad, that I’m convinced to this day not only would I not have got with my DSLR system, but that the actual moment would not have occurred.  The little girl was very conscience of the camera and using the small X100 certainly enabled me to get a picture I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.

So I was sold.  Some time later I reviewed the Fujifilm X-Pro1 for Professional Photographer magazine and after I handed the equipment back I spent £2,500 on the X-Pro1, 35mm F1.4, 60mm F2.4 and 18mm F2 lenses.

Fast forward to 2016, and I’ve been lucky enough to have used almost all of the Fuji X-Series cameras in my professional work.  Notably the X-E2 and X-T1 and more recently the X100S, X100T and Fujfilm X-Pro2 (my initial review of the X-Pro2 is also on this blog).

I’ve been extremely lucky in this short time to be invited by Fujifilm to talk to the camera engineers and give presentations about my work in Tokyo on two occasions.  They are a reactive company that listen to photographers and react to them.

On that point, it is important to note that I am an official fujifilm X-Photographer.  This means that occasionally I’m invited to test and help the development of cameras.  It also means that I sometimes get the opportunity to speak at conventions about my work Shooting Weddings with Fuji.  I am not paid by them, I’m not on the salary and I’m not contractually obliged to be positive or evangelise about their equipment.

When the X-Pro2 was released, I was gifted one by Fujifilm.  This was in thanks to the 150+ hours I put into testing and sampling the camera.  I subsequently purchased my own X-Pro2’s from a local camera store as I needed a full set.  With the exception of two gift cameras, I have purchased all my Fuji equipment – and this equates to many thousands of pounds in total.

I think everyone who knows me, knows that I place a huge regard in integrity and I hope you can see that in my previews, reviews and posts that I talk about both the good and the bad of the Fuji X-Series.  However, bear in mind always that I would never risk my business by using inferior equipment….and you know what, the Fuji X-Series is just perfect right now for the way that I shoot weddings.

So lets get going….

Current Cameras and Lenses I use for Shooting Weddings with Fuji

shooting Weddings with fujiFujifilm X100T with Wide Angle Converter, Two X-Pro2s with 23mm F1.4 and 56 F1.2 Lenses

When I start shooting a wedding I am almost always using the same equipment, which is:

When I’m Shooting Weddings with Fuji, I really want to get into the mix.  I often talk about shooting weddings from the inside out and that it is really important to me that the wedding clients get to remember their wedding from their own and their guests eye point of view.

To that end, I like shooting like this:

Let’s have a quick look at the lens choices.

Fuji XF23mm F1.4

This was the lens that I had eagerly anticipated the most and when it was announced I put a pre-order in straight away for it.

This lens has a 35mm equivalent field of view and as mentioned earlier, 35 & 85 (ff equivalent) have been a long standing preference of mine when shooting weddings.

Whilst it’s not exactly a tiny lens, it is relatively light and this is the lens that is usually attached to my X-Pro2 and hanging off my Spider Holster on my belt.

It’s a great lens for getting in close and using the AF-C focus tracking I find with this lens leads to around 90% success rate while moving rapidly.

I use this lens a lot throughout the day when Shooting Weddings with Fuji but it comes into its own during the drinks reception and for elements such as recessional and confetti run.

Both of the following images are shot using the Continuous focus mode of the X-T1 (more on AF-C later).

shooting Weddings with fujiFuji X-T1 / XF23mm F1.4 Lens:  1/150th Sec at f/4.5 ISO 400

shooting Weddings with fujiFuji X-T1 / XF23mm F1.4 Lens:  1/140th Sec at f/2.5 ISO 400

Fuji XF56 F1.2

Another lens that I was extremely anxious to purchase as soon as it was released was the 56mm F1.2 lens.

Up until these lenses being available, I was working with the 35mm and 60mm lenses which were fine, but were not cutting the mustard in terms of shots I needed to get.

By introducing the 56mm (85mm equivalent), Fuji were giving me a like for like for the Canon 85mm F1.2 which I used and adored.

The 56mm is the largest of the lenses I use and again, it can sit on my spider holster if I wanted it to.  Compared to the Canon equivalent it is about half the size (and half the cost!).

This lens takes a little more patience to master, but coupled with back button focusing and a keen eye it can make what I believe to be superb images.

Its this lens that lets me peer into the intimate moments of a wedding that I perhaps wouldn’t want to get too close to with the 23mm lens.

shooting Weddings with fujiFuji X-Pro2 / XF56mm F1.2 Lens:  1/100th Sec at f/1.2 ISO 400

shooting Weddings with fujiFuji X-T1 / XF56mm F1.2 Lens:  1/1,800th Sec at f/1.2 ISO 200

X100T

I’ll talk a lot more about the camera later in this post, but I thought it might be useful to introduce it here.

I’ve been shooting with the X100 camera since 2011 and know it well.  The X100T was the camera that introduced Classic Chrome film simulation and I can honestly say that every single colour frame I’ve shot since has been shot using Classic Chrome.

Of course, its an able camera without that, but the extremely quick mechanism of shooting with the leaf shutter and its small size means that this is one stable of my camera bag when Shooting Weddings with Fuji that will be there for the foreseeable future.

The X100T is perfect for getting in close and photographing those moments that simply need to be cherished.  I can think of many many times when I would not have even dreamed of taking a photograph if I didn’t have the silent X100T in my hands.

It really does blend you in.  I feel just like a guest when shooting with the X100T and I can get images that I just wouldn’t be able to get with a DSLR, and even sometimes, with my larger X-Series cameras.

shooting Weddings-with-fujiFuji X100T with WCL 1/1,000th Sec at f/2 ISO 320

shooting Weddings with fujiFuji X100S with WCL 1/550th Sec at f/2 ISO 800

Backup and Reserve Gear

Up until October 2015 when the X-Pro2 came onto the scene, I shot with two X-T1s and an the X100T.  My shooting pattern remains the same, with pretty much the same lens choices too.

However, as I no longer use the X-T1 as a primary camera.  I have sold one and use another as my main reserve camera when shooting weddings.

shooting Weddings with fujiFujifilm X-T1  XF 18mm F2, Samyang 12mm MF and 16mm F1.4

My X-T1s have seen some action (as you can tell) and all in all have shot around 100 weddings I think.

Additional lenses that I take with me to weddings are:

Fuji 18mm F2 Lens

The 18mm is a great lens and has always been one of my favourites.  In fact, I’m using it more and more again now for the evening and dancing part of the wedding.

It is so light and when connected to the X-Pro2 with its much faster AF it becomes a wicked lens for moving about quickly with.

shooting Weddings with fujiFuji X-Pro2 / XF18mm F2 Lens:  1/125th Sec at f/2 ISO 1,600

fuji 18mm lensFuji X-Pro2 / XF18mm F2 Lens:  1/210th Sec at f/2.2 ISO 400

Samyang 12mm f2.0 NCS

The Samyang 12mm f2 is a Manual Focus lens that I think is perfect for those wider shots.

It’s a tricky lens to master, and you’ll need a good understanding of zone focusing to get the best out of it.

I like using it for the dance floor on the rare occasions where I do use (or even need) to use a flash gun.  I also like the ability to show low down when out in good light at say f8.  Pretty much everything will be in focus and I always enjoy thos “from the hip” type images where people have no idea a shot is being taken.

Using Manual Focus Lenses with the Fuji X-Series

Its worth noting at this point that in order to use The Samyang or any Manual Focus lenses that do not pass data to the camera via the contacts you *must* set the camera option accordingly:

  • Spanner
    • Button/Dial Setting

  • Shooting Menu 3

shooting manual focus lens fuji

XF16mm F1.4 Lens

For a while, whilst Shooting Weddings with Fuji, this lens replaced my 23mm as my prime “short” option.  However, in the end, it wound up back in my bag as a reserve lens.

No real reason other than the focal length.  I find myself much more attracted to the 23mm focal length on the APS-C sensors.

The 16mm of course does have a place, and I will often pull it out for dancing shots or scene setting shots.

I personally find that I like to try and get frame filling images and with the 16mm lens I have to work a little closer, and harder, to achieve that.

It is a fine lens though of course.

fujifilm wedding photographyFuji X-Pro2 / XF16mm F1.4 Lens:  1/900th Sec at f/2 ISO 400

XF16mm FujiFuji X-Pro2 / XF16mm F1.4 Lens:  1/125th Sec at f/1.8 ISO 5,000

Retro Looking Cameras?

I once got asked if the reason I’m Shooting Weddings with Fuji cameras is because they “look cool”.  Well, the answer to that is “no”.  I use them because they do the job perfectly well.

You’ll notice above the X100T is a Chrome version, and that is because I purchased it before the black edition came out, but all of the rest of my cameras including the X-T1s are black versions.

One of the things I admired about Fuji the most when it came to the design of the X-Pro2 was that they didn’t brand the camera on the front.

You’ll notice that I tend to tape over my logos and branding wherever possible using electrical tape.  This is because I actually want my cameras to just be little boxes that do what they are meant to do, rather than them be a thing of aesthetic admiration.

I’m not fussed at all about the way the camera looks. If its ergonomically OK and works, then that’s where it stops for me. The Fuji X-Pro2 is about as close to a little black box as it gets. It’s perfect and I hope there will never be a chrome X-Pro2!

All of my cameras are bashed and scratched and they are very much work horses, rather than show pieces.

Looking at shooting Weddings with Fuji?

Here is an example of one of my weddings shot entirely with the above gear.  I sold all my DSLR gear a long time ago and have shot, I reckon, in the region of 150 weddings using just Fuji X-Series cameras.

It would be disingenuous of me to say that I think all weddings should be shot on a Fuji system.  Or even a mirrorless system.  I know that, for some people, a DSLR system suits them perfectly well and I have many friends who shoot amazing weddings without feeling any need to downsize.

However, for me, when I first started shooting Weddings with Fuji I realised straight away that I was getting more emotive, more powerful type images.

The essence of a good photograph is:

  • Light
  • Composition
  • Moment

And if you can achieve all three of these in one frame, then you’ve likely got an award winning photograph.

For me, I strive to achieve these things but whilst I’m always on the look out for good light and always try and compose my images accordingly, the moment is the thing I’m looking for the most.

I’d rather have technically bad but great moment than miss the moment completely.  But that may just be me.

Shooting Weddings with Fuji X-Series has kind of re-educated me a little bit.  In the past, I’d probably rely on exposure compensation a bit too much and really I often shot more with hope, than any kind of flare.

Now, especially with the tactile exposure triangle and the Electronic View Finders I can see the shot before the exposure is created.  It helps me greatly when I need to shoot quickly and reactively.

The Old Bell MalmesburyFuji X-T1 / XF23mm F1.4 Lens:  1/125th Sec at f/1.4 ISO 1,000

happinessFuji X-T1 / XF56mm F1.2 Lens:  1/125th Sec at f/1.2 ISO 6,400

Photographing weddings with FujisFuji X-T1 / XF23mm F1.4 Lens:  1/250th Sec at f/5 ISO 400

Some X100T Considerations

The Fuji X100 Range has been one of my core cameras since its inception.  I still have my original one, and I even wrote a book about the Fuji X100S.  I’ve even shot a few weddings using just a couple of X100Ts and nothing else.

It’s very liberating of course and really, if I had to pull one of my cameras out of a burning fire, it would be my X100T.  I think it’s such a versatile little thing and combined with it’s size and image quality its perhaps the perfect all round journalistic camera I know of.

shooting Weddings with fuji x100tMy Fuji X100T with Wide Angle Converter and Dead Cameras Leather Wrist Strap

Quite a lot of how I use the X100T is relevant to how I use all of my cameras, even back when I was shooting with my old DSLRS.

There is quite a bit of overlap between the X100T and the X-Pro2’s but I’m going to cover the core details that I think are relevant for each camera.

Back Button Focusing with the Fuji X100T

See the main section later on about configuring back button focusing on each of the cameras.

Using this technique, along with a focus and recompose methodology means I can shoot much much quicker than using the standard single shot auto focus.

The Wide Angle Converter for the X100T

The Fuji Wide Angle Converter (WCL) is probably my favourite accessory that Fuji have produced.  I simply don’t take the thing off the camera.

In essence, the WCL magnifies the image in the X100T by 0.8x which means the camera becomes an equivalent focal length of 28mm (as opposed to 35mm without the WCL attached).

The optics in the WCL are fantastic and I can’t perceive any difference in images shot with and without it.

The camera still operates at its faster aperture of F2 with the WCL attached and again, to my eyes, with no perceived loss of sharpness.

fuji x100t wcl settings

Function Button Configuration on Fuji X100T

The X100T was the first camera really that allowed my to configure the buttons comfortably for the way I like to shoot.

In the menu shot below, you can see I have my function buttons set up like this:

  • Fn1 – Photometry (metering).  I change metering a lot on all my cameras.  Much of my work is spot metered and I need an eas(ier) way of controlling the metering at a touch of a finger tip.  Having my metering here, I can very quickly change it and when I don’t have my eye to the viewfinder I can even change it instinctively (knowing that if I’m in Spot already, I just go up one to Multi, and vice versa).
  • Fn2-fn5 – I have these set to focus point adjusters.
  • Fn6 – This is set to my shutter type.  On the X100T there is a less of a need I find for the electronic shutter because the mechanical shutter is pretty quiet anyway.  It also, of course, has a built in ND filter which I would rather use when trying to shoot wider open in bright light.
  • Fn7 – And to that end, I have this button set to my ND filter.  Its easy to reach and I can’t mistake it for the button above or below because of its position.

A little tip; Holding down the disp/back button will bring up the Function Buttons Configuration screen.

As mentioned, much of what I talk about in the rest of this Shooting Weddings with Fuji post is relevant to the X100T too so please keep reading.  I’ll try and separate out the relevant settings where I can.

function buttons x100t

Shooting Weddings with Fuji

The rest of the content in this blog post will apply to almost all of the cameras I currently use – the X100T, X-Pro2 and X-T1.

I will separate the information that is camera specific, but generally everything applies across the board.

Fuji X-Pro2 or X-T1?

The Fuji X-Pro2 has quickly become my tool of choice as mentioned for shooting weddings.

In a nutshell it’s got a 24.3mp X-Trans III sensor. much better processing engine, Acros film simulation, dual card slots etc.

This doesn’t mean the X-T1 has become a poor camera overnight of course and for many people the X-T1 or X-T range at least will be the system they continue to use.

Yes, I do sometimes find myself wishing the X-Pro2 had a tilt screen but I have to say the responsiveness, the performance and the sheer lushness of the files the X-Pro2 produces beat the X-T1 hands down.

fuji x-pro2

Of course, as I said, I still take an X-T1 with me to every wedding and it acts as my backup camera.  More than that though, I have found myself occasionally dragging it out of the bag and using it in some of the more cramped wedding venues we can get here in the UK where the tilt screen is a real added benefit.

Function Button Configuration on Fuji X-Pro2

My Function button configuration for the X-Pro2 is fairly similar to the one mentioned above for the X100T.

The important thing is that the buttons I need to use often are at the tips of my fingers all the time.

  • Fn1 – Photometry (metering).  As per the X100T.  Having my metering here, I can very quickly change it and when I don’t have my eye to the viewfinder I can even change it instinctively.
  • Fn2 – I have the depress of my view finder lever on the front of the camera set to Shutter.  This way I can flick between electronic shutter and mechanical shutter very quickly.  This is a function button I have become very accustomed to using like this.
  • Fn3 – I have this set to flash mode.  Seems odd, as I don’t use Flash…..much.  On the rare occasions I do use flash though I tend to use it for a few frames for the first dance, and then resort back to available light.  I like to be able to toggle this here instead of manually.
  • Fn4-6 – Because the X-Pro2 has a joystick to change focus points, I actually programme these buttons to do nothing.

x-pro2 fn buttons

A note about metering on the Fuji X-Pro2

Fujifilm have added a fourth metering option to the X-Pro2; centre-weighted metering is ideal for everyday shooting when using the optical viewfinder. As it is a more basic metering method, it’s perfect for photographers who don’t want to rely on high levels of metering automation….that’s what it says in the manual.

I actually find myself using the centre weighted option a lot, second only to spot metering on my X-Pro2.

I believe strongly that as a photojournalist it is my responsibility to use light, composition and moment to create my pictures.

Sometimes, we can make the most of the light by using the using the camera a bit more efficiently.  To that end, I like to use the spot metering capabilities of my cameras to help me make something out of a difficult situation.

candid portraitFuji X-T1 / XF56mm F1.2 Lens:  1/125th Sec at f/1.2 ISO 640

In the image above, for example, I wanted to try and get an image of an otherwise camera shy mother of the bride.

This isn’t a staged portrait in any way, rather, I saw the window light falling on her face as she was talking to her son who was sat opposite her.

In this case, I wanted to try an make an image that would typify the strong lady I saw in front of me and simply changing the photometry to Spot enabled me to achieve this image.

On the X-T1 the photometry dial is easy to reach and use.  On the X-Pro2 and the X100T I assign the option to a function button to make the selection easier.

spot metering fujiFuji X-T1 / XF23mm F1.4 Lens:  1/125th Sec at f/3.2 ISO 400

The above image is another example of where using the photometry a little cleverly can make an image more appealing.

This is obviously a detail shot, and the light falling on the table is coming from a skylight in the roof at Cogges Farm.

Metering accordingly, and locking the exposure into the camera manually allowed me to explore this scene a little more and, I think, make a more appealing details shot using that light.

spot metering fujiFuji X-T1 / XF56mm F1.2 Lens:  1/100th Sec at f/1.2 ISO 400

In the above image I’ve quickly popped the camera into spot metering to help me make a more powerful image using the light and exposure of the lady laughing in the congregation.

Here is another wedding Photofilm.  Notice during the ceremony at least how I’ve used the strong window light with Spot Metering to try and make the bride and groom more apparent in the frame.  At the same time, by using this metering, I’m throwing a lot of the background and perhaps confusing elements out of the image and into darkness:

File Naming Conventions

As anyone who photographs weddings professionally knows, when you use multiple cameras, it can become quite confusing when downloading the cards and backing up the images.

To that end, I have all my cameras configured so that the file names that come off the camera are easily recognisable.  It means that before I do the edit I can simply look at all the files in Windows Explorer and know straight away which camera the card came from.

I always shoot in sRGB mode so I’m only concerned with those file types when configuring the names.

The settings I use are:

  • X100T:  100Txxxx.jpg
  • XPro2 (camera 1):  P201xxxx.jpg
  • XPro2 (camera 2): P202xxxx.jpeg

This naming convention allows me to add more X-Pro2’s if needed and also conforms with my X-T1 naming convention for my backup cameras which is:

  • X-T1 (camera 1):  T101xxxx.jpg
  • X-T1 (camera 2): T102xxxx.jpeg

fuji x pro2 file naming

In Camera Card Management and File Types

One of the features I, and many other photographers, lobbied for for the X-Pro2 was dual card support.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think we actually “needed” dual card support.  The only time I’ve ever lost (albeit temporarily) a card is during the change of cards at a wedding.  From that point onwards I used single large cards to mitigate this.

However, one of my concerns with dual card slots was that it would slow the camera down when buffering the information.

I would have prefered Fuji did not include dual card slots if it was going to slow the camera down.  Luckily, they did they homework, and managed to get a dual card system that has no noticeable lag when writing to both cards.

This is a good thing of course, and whilst I still don’t think we “need” dual cards, its definitely something we “want”.

The Fuji X-Pro2 is armed with one UHS-II (super fast) and one UHS-I (regular) card slots.

Somewhat confusingly, the Slots are the opposite to how you might expect them:

  • Slot 1:  UHS-II
  • Slot 2:  UHS-I

No bother though.  It’s not quite as confusing as the “Sound and Flash OFF – Off/On” menu setting.

As you may know, I’m generally a JPEG shooter, but it seems crazy for me not to be using the opportunity to have data redundancy at my finger tips.  To that end, I’ve started using the following in-camera card management system when Shooting Weddings with Fuji X-Pro2’s.

fuji filesUsing one large card for data redundancy all through the year

I use a SanDisk 256GB Extreme Pro 95MB/Sec SDXC Card in Card Slot Two.

This is set to record JPEG – Fine.

I use a SanDisk 32GB Extreme Pro 280MB/s SDHC UHS-II in Card Slot One.

This is set to record RAW files.

A note on Compressed RAW:  The Fuji X-pro2 offers the ability to store files as lossless compressed RAW.  The only reason I can see for not using compressed RAW is if you use a RAW converter that does not support the compressed format.  I use Lightroom and Photoshop.  There is no perceivable slow down in file writing for compressed RAW files.  However, I do think that uncompressed RAW files import into Lightroom a bit quicker.

Why such a large card for the JPEGs?  Well, the reason is I can get around ten full weddings on that card.

When I get home from each wedding, I download the JPEGs from the day, then just put the card back in the camera.

Even though I have a back-up workflow at the studio, I’m pretty much always know I have the original file still on the card too.

The 32gb UHS-II card is used for the RAW files throughout the day.  I generally only reach for the RAW files if I have got the exposure wrong on the JPEG or I need to do some work that is beyond the latitude of the JPEG file.

Really, the RAW files are my backups and the JPEG files are my main working files.

Remember, when using the the dual cards to save RAW+JPEG, you also have to set the FINE+RAW option in Image Quality menu.

fuji files
fuji files

Performance and Battery Management

One of the things that comes up in the Facebook group for Wedding Photographers using X-Series group that I manage is the subject of performance and battery life.

I can quite easily get 700-800 frames out of a full X-Pro2 battery.  Sometimes more.

The official quote from Fujifilm is much lower, because they have to benchmark it against a very strict set of criteria that include zooming and using flash in every other “click”.

Here are my top ten tips for getting the best performance from your batteries when Shooting Weddings with Fuji:

    1. Turn the camera off when not using it: This is the most crucial element.  If you let the camera go it sleep mode, even when set to the minimum time of two minutes, that’s two minutes of battery life being sucked out of your camera when no shots are being taken.Get into the habbit of flicking the power switch as you drop the camera from your eye or your hip.  Certainly, by the time the camera is holstered or hanging by your side it should be fully powered down.This alone will double the battery life.
    2. Use High Performance Mode: All of the cameras have a High Performance mode.  Now, if you read the manual, it will tell you that this uses more battery power than the Standard (or even economy mode on the X-Pro2).The key is that if you have implement #1 (switching the camera off when not being used), you *must* have high performance on because this means the camera will be wide awake again by the time you raise the camera back to your eye (assuming you have switched it on).High performance mode also makes the refresh rate of the vf faster which means you are likely to shoot quicker.  Which leads to the next point.
    3. Shoot quickly: By that, I mean if you are using the EVF and taking 10 seconds to compose then that’s 9.9 seconds of wasted battery. Sometimes you have to do that of course, but the way I shoot is very reactionary and very quick.The less time you have the camera to your eye and gazing throgh the EVF (not so much for OVF users) the less battery you will drain.
    4. Try and use the LCD of EVF for image review as infrequently as possible:  Certainly I would switch off the automatic image review feature (Image Disp. in the menus).The less you are chimping, the less battery you will use up.  Those using the EVF really shouldn’t need to chimp so much at all as you know the exposure at point of shooting.
    5. Switch off the following options:
      1. Focus Check – this is an annoying feature where the camera automatically zooms into the image to check focus accuracy.  Useful in some circumstances.  I can’t think of any of them right now though.
      2. AF Illuminator – unless you are shooting in very low light, then you are unlikely to need this.  Useful when needed of course, but will drain battery more.
      3. Sound Setup – unless you have a good reason to use them, switch them all off.
      4.  Pre-AF – this is where the camera will constantly hunt for a focus point.  The quickest way to draining your battery.
      5. Face / Eye Detection – I’m being cautious by adding this here as I do sometimes use Face Detection for recessional etc.  However, having it on all the time will drain the battery quicker too.
    6. Turn off most information in the HUD/EVF: Each of the cameras has an option for “Display Custom Settings”.  Here you can choose what is displayed when you are in either EVF/LCD or OVF mode.The more you have showing, the more the battery is required.  In fact, sometimes the *only* thing I display is the battery gauge.Remember, if you are using this, you need to press the Disp/Back button when viewing the screen and choose the “custom” view.
    7. Use the official Fuji Batteries and charge in the original charger: I do have third party batteries, but, as with my DSLR days, I trust and believe in the original batteries more.  I think they hold juice longer…though I have no concrete evidence on that.
    8. Avoid Zooms: I know, I know….. some of you will use Zooms and that’s fine.  I’ve always been a prime person myself but its a fact that using zooms will use up battery more.
    9. Avoid Flash:  Again, very much a personal preference of course but it is very much obvious that the more you are flashing the greater the drain on the battery.
    10. Finally, if you can get used to it, use the Optical Viewfinder wherever possible if your camera supports it.

Synchronising Camera Times

One of the features I’ve requested in the past is for a quick way of synchronising similar cameras.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to configure one X-Pro2 with all your custom clock, settings, function buttons, film simulations etc and then, via inter-camera wifi, just set another X-Pro2 to be configured the same?

I’m really hoping this is something that will come in the future of the X-Series, or perhaps even a firmware update.  Who knows!

In the meantime, when it comes to synchronising my clocks in my cameras I use a rather slap-handed method, but one that will ensure accuracy to nearest second.

None of the Fuji cameras have a “second” timer in their clocks.  This makes it a little difficult for those of use who shoot with dual systems to be sure that the internal cameras are synchronised.

To get around this, I have installed a World Clock app on my iPhone.

setting clocks fuji

For each of the cameras I am going to use that day I take a snap of the clock (this usually takes place as close to time I start shooting as possible).

Later, in Lightroom, I can adjust the time accordingly (if it needs to be done).

Adjusting time in Lightroom is easy enough to do.

Firstly, you need to look for the image of the clock that you photographed in Lightroom and take a note of the difference in the actual capture time (if any):

setting clocks fuji

 

As you can see here, the time difference is actually over an hour.  I need to correct this in Lightroom for all of the images that came from this camera.

Unfortunately, Fujifilm choose not to pass the serial number in the EXIF data of the files so we can’t use the Lightroom Filter to simply select cameras based on the Serial Number.

However, remember above where I suggested naming your camera files based on the body of the camera?

Well it comes in very handy now.  I have set up Lightroom Smart Collections to group each set of files from specific camera bodies.

setting clocks fuji

Using the Smart Collection will allow you to filter all images that were created on a certain camera body.

The next step then, of course, is to actually update the time of these files accordingly.

You need to select all the images you wish to change then choose “Metadata > Edit Capture Time”

setting clocks fuji

Ensure the top option is selected “Adjust to a specified date and time”.  All other images (though not video clips) will be adjusted accordingly.

This is the way I get around worrying about time synchronising in the camera.  However, I long for Fuji to introduce a wifi camera sanitisation option.

Auto ISO

When I’m Shooting Weddings with Fuji I use the same Auto ISO setting on all the cameras.  Its pretty straight forward:

  • Base ISO 200
  • ISO Limit 6400 (12,800 on the X-Pro2’s)
  • Minimum Shutter Speed 1/125th.

I shoot Auto ISO almost all the time too.  I will shoot Aperture Priority when I want to control the depth of field, and shutter/time priority when I want to do something artistic with a slow shutter speed.

If I’m shooting manually because of light then I will set the ISO but other than that, I shoot Auto ISO for around 90% of the wedding day I would guess.

I’m a big believer in allowing the camera to do as much work as possible for me.  That’s why I often shoot in “P” mode and Auto ISO.  I’ll also allow the camera to do a majority of the work for me by shooting in JPEG.

Some people have asked me about Auto-ISO and how reliant it is.

Well, there are some other settings that affect the ISO base levels.  For example, the Dynamic Range option affects the lowest level of ISO the camera can attain.

If your Dynamic Range setting is anything other than 100, it will effect the minimum ISO value.

At Dynamic Range 400, the minimum ISO attainable is 800 and at Dynamic Range 200 the minimum ISO attainable is 400.  These figures are also taken into account when using Auto-ISO.

Remember also, that the Minimum and Maximum ISO settings on your Auto ISO are direct values and the camera will never break those barriers.

However, the Minimum Shutter Speed is just a recommended value.  If the camera cannot attain an exposure using that shutter speed it will drop it accordingly.

In cases where the camera can’t attain the perfect exposure, you will see the exposure data is displayed in red across the bottom of the viewfinder of LCD.

Back Button Focusing

I think the question I’m asked the most about Shooting Weddings with Fuji cameras and weddings that are fast moving at that is how do I keep up with the action?  Are the cameras quick enough to focus and shoot?

And the answer, at least for me, is yes – if you are using a type of shooting known as Back Button Focusing

The mechanics and principles of back button focusing are the same across all of the Fuji cameras.

There are slight differences in some cases; for example, the X100 range has a dual AEL/AFL button whereas the X-Pro2 and X-T1 have dedicated buttons for AE and AL.

Essentially, by using back button focusing, you are divorcing the autofocus mechanism from the shutter button.  This means you can shoot much quicker, as the camera is not trying to acquire focus every single time you depress the shutter button.

The simplest way to activate back button focusing when Shooting Weddings with Fuji is to simply pop the camera in [M]anual focus mode on the front or the side:

fuji back button focus

That will actually kind of get you going.

At this point, I use the AF-L button to “snap focus”.  This basically means the AF mechanism kicks in and then it locks the focus for me.  I can shoot much quicker this way.

Important Note:  You don’t technically need to put the camera in “M” mode – this is a legacy from the X100/X100s/X-Pro1/X-E1 and X-E2.  However, I prefer to do this, and do this automatically as it gives me focus peak highlighting options and it does truly disable to AF from the shutter button this way.

At this point, the way the camera operates depends a little on how you have configured the AF-L button.

You can set it to be both Exposure and Focus lock, or simply focus lock.

You can also choose how the button reacts to the press.

In all the cameras you have the AE/AF Lock Mode setting.  The options here are pressing or switch.  I typically have this set to pressing and it means you have to hold your finger on the AF-L button to keep the lock.

Switch, simply means that pressing it again switches out the focus lock.

Try it.  Once you get used to it I don’t think you’ll shoot in any other way.

Continuous Focus and Focus Tracking

With the X-T1 Firmware 4.0 came an updated continuous focus tracking options:

  • Single Point
  • Zone
  • Wide Tracking

The X-Pro2 of course has the same and these mechanisms come into place when the focus selector on the camera is put into AF-C mode.

I have to be honest and say that I only ever use the Singe Point for focus tracking.  I’m usually tracking individuals in a busy environment, such as bridal recessional or confetti run and so I want the camera to keep its eyes on the centre of my attention.

Using the other two modes introduces the risk that the camera will start to track something other than the person I have in the centre of my frame.

The Focus tracking on both the X-T1 and the X-Pro2 are amazing and whist it still can be a little bit “seat of your pants” when shooting, I get great results with the new tracking.

When I’m photographing fast moving subjects like a bride recessional I will put the camera in the High Speed Burst in the Drive menu (X-Pro2) or CH mode on the dial (X-T1).

Once the camera is in AF-C mode, you can start the tracking by half depressing the shutter button and then once you are happy, fully depressing the shutter button (and holding it down) to start the burst.

However, there is a menu settings that I advice you look at before starting to shoot this way.

It is called Release / Focus Priority.

On the Fuji X100T and the X-T1 this is found by navigating:

  • Shooting Menu 1
    • Autofocus Setting
      • Release / Focus Priority

On the X-Pro2 this is found by navigating:

  • AF / MF Setting (page 2)
    • Release / Focus Priority

fuji back button focus

As you can see from the above screen shot I have my cameras all set to AF-S (Focus) and AF-C (Release).

What does this mean?

Essentially you are telling the camera that when you are in AF-S mode (and also when using AF-L button in Manual focus mode) that you want it to concentrate on acquiring focus and locking the focus before allowing the shutter button to be fully depressed.

For AF-C however, if you have this set to Focus, then its going to try and ensure every single frame has acquired focus before releasing the shot.  This is usually going to force the tracking to falter.

That’s a lot of technical shizzazle…..let’s look as some more pictures before moving on.

This next wedding was shot in November using an X-Pro2 and an X-T1.  Watch out for the times where I’ve used the AF-C and also during the hugging and congratulations period I wouldn’t be able able to shoot quick enough in my opinion if I wasn’t using back button focusing.

Best Settings for Fuji X-Series Cameras

When it comes to configuring my camera for the image finish, I’ve been pretty consistent for around four years with my “recipe”.

I get asked a lot about my film simulation and camera configuration settings so I thought it would be useful to list them here.

By and large, they are very similar.  In fact, the X-T1 and X-100T are identical.  The X-Pro2 is the only difference, and that is because the much-awaited better granularity in the settings is now available.

In terms of film simulation when Shooting Weddings with Fuji I always use:

Colour:  Classic Chrome

Black and White + R on  X-100T & X-T1

Acros + R on the Fuji X-Pro2

Here are my in camera film simulation specific settings that I use for Shooting Weddings with Fuji:

  • Colour (when shooting colour):  +3
  • Shadows: +3
  • Highlights: -2
  • Noise Reduction: -3
  • Sharpness: +3
  • White Balance: Auto (mostly)

  • Colour (when shooting colour):  +2
  • Shadows: +2
  • Highlights: -1
  • Noise Reduction: -2
  • Sharpness: +2
  • White Balance: Auto (mostly)

Why these settings?

Well, I’m a fan of punchy black and white imagery.  I always have been and until the Classic Chrome film simulation came along I shot practically everything in black and white on my Fuji cameras.

The Classic Chrome did change things for me.  I was actually sat in the meeting in Tokyo with the product planners when the idea of a chrome film simulation was first mentioned.

The classic Chrome film simulation is pretty much perfect for me when shooting colour and I like to blend it with a strong setting in the colour menu as I like to add a little to the saturation of a relatively muted colour palette.

The black and white reasons are similar.  I choose to have a relatively contrasty film simulation and with the Red filter applied I can get some quite dramatic effects with the contrast.

If I couple that with quite strong Sharpness I’m partly there will the film simulation recipes that I like to use when shooting weddings with Fuji.

The Shadows and the Highlights settings are usually where the subjectivity comes into it.  By using + settings in the shadows I’m asking the camera to give less emphasis on saving details in the shadows at the expense of other exposure elements.  Remember, I like dark blacks and contrasty shadows.

The highlights option is very similar.  In this case, I’m choosing a negative value as I want the camera to look after the highlights a bit, but not totally.

With White Balance, I pretty much set this to Auto all the time.  If the disco or dancing lights are problematic I will set a manual white balance.

The Big RAW v JPEG Debate

It seems pertinent to move straight into the whole idea of RAW v JPEG after discussing the film simulations.

I actually wrote a blog post on the subject of JPEG v RAW in Fujis recently.  If you want to read more, head to that post, but the essential summary is this:

I used to shoot just JPEG, with the ceremony and first dance possibly shot in RAW too.  Since the X-Pro2 has come along, and the dual card slots, it makes sense for me to make use of that redundancy option and so I shoot JPEG & RAW (as mentioned previously in this post).

That said, JPEG is my primary file and the RAW is the backup.

Unconventional?  Possibly.

I’m not in any way shape or form here to say which is best – they both have merits over the other.  Instead, I’m just explaining that I prefer to allow the camera to process the image for me.

It speeds up my workflow immeasurably and the results of the JPEGs out of the Fuji cameras cannot be beaten in my opinion.

Take a look at the following screen-cast I did discussing this very subject:

One thing that I get asked a lot about shooting JPEG files is about the blocking of shadows etc.

The thing is, shooting JPEG shouldn’t excuse you from taking care over your exposure.  Sure, the film simulation and the recipe you choose for the in camera settings all play a part but ultimately I try to use the EVF in addition to the Histogram to make sure my exposure is accurate.

Remember, shooting JPEG means that the camera is doing the processing for you.  This doesn’t mean it will correct a bad exposure.  You still need to take care of exposure when shooting JPEG, perhaps even more so than when shooting RAW. 

fuji jpg histogram

Keeping an eye on the histogram is still important, even when shooting JPEG

If you find your blacks are too blocky, or your highlights are being clipped, then the histogram will give you a heads up and you can adjust accordingly (exposure compensation, changing your jpeg settings, adjust metering etc.).

Sharpening X-Trans Files

This is my preferred working method for the Fuji files but of course there are many people who will shoot RAW and for valid reasons.

I typically don’t sharpen my files as they are from JPEG, so the sharpening is in the camera.  I personally wouldn’t recommend additionally sharpening Fujifilm files that have come straight from JPEG.

The images can become over sharpened very easily this way.

However, if I am working on RAW files, I do obviously need to apply sharpening to my files.

Typically, I do this at the output stage, depending on whether the images are going to be used for digital or whether they are going to go into one of my matted albums.

There are some great articles on the internet regarding the Fuji files and it would be remiss of me to not mention this X-Trans Sharpening post by Pete Bridgewood.

If you are shooting RAW and you want to understand more about the seemingly complex world of sharpening X-Trans files then please take a look at Pete’s post.  It’s invaluable.

Acros Film Simulation

When it comes to black and white images especially, I really do adore the Acros film simulation in the X-Pro2 and as mentioned above, it’s my go-to film simulation now for all my monochrome work.

One thing to be aware of when using the Acros film simulation is that grain is part of the algorithm that builds the image.

By that I mean, by using Acros you are using a film simulation where grain is added as part of the process. You do not need to use the additional Grain option that is present in the X-Pro2 to add grain to Acros film simulation.

 

I’m writing this section of my blog post whilst away shooting a behind the scenes documentary of my good friend and master chef Eduard Grecu who is the head chef at The Woolacombe Bay Hotel.

I’ve added two grab images from the shoot and placed them below.  These images are untouched and directly from the camera using the Acros film simulation.

They are pretty much done as far as I’m concerned in terms of what I’m looking for in the image.  The only additional work I need to do is a very subtle warmth tone and I’m good.  No long processing time in Lightroom needed for these images.

acros film simulation xpro-2 Fuji X-Pro2 / XF18mm F2 Lens:  1/160th Sec at f/2 ISO 100 (Acros SOOC JPEG)
acros film simulation xpro-2Fuji X-Pro2 / XF18mm F2 Lens:  1/120th Sec at f/2.8 ISO 100 (Acros SOOC JPEG)

Shooting-weddings-Fuji-X-Pro2Fuji X-Pro2 / XF35mm F1.4 Lens:  1/125th Sec at f/1.4 ISO 640 (Acros SOOC JPEG) Wedding-Photography-Fuji-X-Pro2Fuji X-Pro2 / XF35mm F1.4 Lens:  1/125th Sec at f/1.4 ISO 640 (Acros SOOC JPEG)

Using Flash Photography when Shooting Weddings with Fuji

As mentioned earlier, I’m not really a wedding photographer that uses Flash.  When I do use it, I use it as a last resort as I personally prefer to use natural or ambient light where possible.

Of course, there are some amazing photographers out there who are shooting very creative and artistic work using flash – many of them Fuji Photographers like Faundo Santana, who, in my mind, is one of the best “dance floor” workers out there.

However, when I do absolutely need to use flash, I will turn to my little Fujifilm EF-X20 flash unit.  This is a tiny, but powerful TTL flash unit that can be easily attached to the camera, or, as I prefer to use it, attached to an old Canon OC-E3 of camera cord:

fuji ef x20 flash

Using the OC-E3 cord means I can shoot with one hand on the camera and with the other hand I can actually direct and push the flash where I want.

Typically, when I resorting to flash, I’ll shoot manually using Zone focusing.  I’ll likely use a light lens, but a wide one – light because I’m holding the camera with one hand – so something like the XF18mm F2 or Samyang 12mm would be perfect.

I’ll set the ISO very low generally and use the the Sync Speed (1/250th on the X-Pro2 or 1/180th on the X-T1 and X100T) for my standard shots.

If I want to create movement, then I’ll drop the shutter speed to something like 1/8th or even 1/4 second and drag the shutter whilst moving the camera very slightly.

shooting Weddings with fuji samyangFuji X-Pro2 / Samyang 12mm f2.0 NCS CS Lens 

ef-x20Fuji X-T1 / XF23mm F1.4 Lens: 1/4th Second ISO 200 F10

If do use Flash with when Shooting Weddings with Fuji you will definitely need to be aware of the fact then when looking through an electronic viewfinder (OVF is fine), you are likley to see a black screen depending on your exposure settings.

In order to combat this, there is a setting in all the cameras called “Preview Exposure & White Balance”.  You want to make sure that you set this to show the preview.

flash photography fuji

High ISO When Shooting Weddings with Fuji

I’ve purposefully put this section of the post directly after the flash section, quite simply because I prefer to rely on the camera’s ISO capabilities before resorting to flash.

With the X100T and the X-T1 I would top out my ISO at 6,400.  Regardless of whether I’m shooting RAW or JPEG.

The higher ISO’s are JPEG only and are not, in my opinion, quite up to the levels of the excellent higher ISO capabilities of the X-Pro2.

I firmly believe that if I’ve invested £1,350 in a camera that I am going to allow it to do the job its designed to do.  To that end, I’ll shoot upto 6,400 ISO on my XT1 and X100T and as high as 12,800 ISO on my X-Pro2.

Of course, its important to remember that if shooting with an EVF, we can see the exposure clearer and I definitely find I make better decisions based on the exposure triangle than I ever did with my DSLRS (when I used to effectually rely on exposure compensation and the extremely high ISO capabilities of the Canon DSLRs that I used).

In Camera Noise Reduction

I set my Noise Reduction options to -2 on the X100T and the X-T1 and -3 on the X-Pro2.

I asked Fuji this question:

“Is NR-4 on the X-Pro2 the same as Noise Reduction OFF”.

The answer was “No”.

This means there is still no way of switching off noise reduction completely in the cameras (remember, affects JPEG only).

I have established with my X-Pro2 that NR-3 is my happy medium and I’m generally happy shooting my JPEGs in that area.

I think it is fair to say that the Fuji Cameras are exceptionally capable at high ISO and the X-Pro2 has taken it to another level.

fuji high isoFuji X-PRO2 / XF16mm F1.4 Lens: 1/125th Second F1.8 ISO 10,000 

 high ISOFuji X-T1 / XF56mm F1.2 Lens: 1/60th Second F4 ISO 5,0000 

The above image is a particular tender moment which you can read more about on my wedding photography blog.  Needless to say, flash really wasn’t an option.

In terms of equipment and exposure correlation this would be the same as me taking a shot with my old Canon 5D Mark II with the Canon 85mm 1.2 lens – hand held at around 1/100th.  I don’t think I’d have got a stable exposure and perhaps missed the moment.  Definitely a case of where smaller, lighter equipment prevailed (though to balance the argument a little, the Canon being FF meant I could have reduced the ISO by one stop perhaps and shot at a little faster shutter speed).

fuji high ISOFuji X-PRO2 / XF35mm F2 Lens: 1/125th Second F2 ISO 6,400 

But can you REALLY get by Shooting Weddings with Fuji?

Well, I’d like to think you can.  Of course, its entirely up to you whether you you want or need to start shooting weddings with a Fuji but I think, for me, the size of the cameras and added ability to get in closer without disturbing the moment is the key factor for me.

Below are two Wedding Photofilms – from the same two day Indian wedding.  The first day, the Hindi celebration, is somewhat different to the second day, the Sikh ceremony.

During the second day, at the Sikh temple, it was imperative that I used silent cameras and all of those images were shot using the electronic shutter to mitigate any noise.  I absolutely wouldn’t have been able to get the shots I did using a louder DSLR system.

Turn the sound up and I hope you enjoy these photofilms, all shot with X100Ts and X-T1s.

Day 1

Day 2

I’d love to use my Fuji more at weddings like you but I’m worried I won’t look professional enough.

Grrrrr.  Nothing makes me more grumpy than this statement.  YOU.ARE.THE.PROFESSIONAL.  You choose your gear.  It may well be that a Canon 5D Mark III is what you choose but never, ever, let the decision of what equipment you use be dictated over your fear of perceived professionalism from the client (note:  I’m talking about weddings here remember).

I can honestly, hand on heart, tell you that the only people to ever ask me about what clients think of the size of the camera is….other photographers.

I’ve never once had a client ask about it.  Not once.  Occasionally a guest might ask me “is that a Leica” or “wow, you are using a film cameras”…. but not once has a client queried the camera.  And neither should they as using a smaller camera, be it a small DSLR, a Fuji CSC of Sony or indeed a Leica M9 should actually make creating documentary style pictures easier.

SHOOTING WEDDINGS WITH FUJI SHOOTING WEDDINGS WITH FUJI SHOOTING WEDDINGS WITH FUJI SHOOTING WEDDINGS WITH FUJI SHOOTING WEDDINGS WITH FUJI SHOOTING WEDDINGS WITH FUJI

Fujifilm Workshops

I have several Fujifilm Street Photography workshops planned at the moment.

You can see details about my Street Photography Workshop in New York City and my UK Street Photography Workshops.

And you can see all other workshops and books etc that I have by going to my photography workshops section of this site.

How downsizing saved my business

I think it really is true that when the Fujifilm system came along it saved my business.

I was falling out of love with shooting weddings and, truth be told, I was falling out of love with photography.

Those of you who shoot weddings know there is so much more to it than just turning up and shooting.  There is marketing, business, accounts, albums and editing.  Along with so much more.

The photography part seems to be just a small part of what I do as a professional wedding photographer, but, at the same time, its the best part.

When the Fujifilm system came along it genuinely turned things around for me.

What happened was very simple;  Photography became enjoyable again.

I know that this sounds almost ethereal but I do believe that these little cameras, these little black boxes of clicks and dials, apertures and glass have a very honest feel about them.

The tactile nature of the cameras, the ever so reassuring clunk of the shutter dial, the ability to plan and respond to a scene via the view finder make the experience of shooting weddings….well, it makes it an experience again.

Since I started Shooting Weddings with Fuji X-Series I have been fortunate enough to use pretty much all the cameras and I have one available at all times.  No matter where I am.

I enjoy the spontaneity of photography and I enjoy the fact that my images are rough around the edges, they are not master pieces but the fact of the matter is, I take pictures every day – and taking pictures every day of the most important people in my life is something I didn’t do when my gear bag was crammed with DSLRs and big old lenses.

And Finally….

Thanks for reading through all this.  I hope that it does help those of you Shooting Weddings with Fuji at least a little.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

You might also be interested in my Facebook group for those Shooting Weddings with Fuji .

You can also find me on Twitter and my Facebook Page and on Instagram.  And of course my Wedding Photographer website.

Please also check out some of the most talented Photographers I know at The Kage Collective.

  • Happy Snapping – Kevin (in my Studio in Malmesbury, listening to Concerto Romano at the 2015 Rheinvokal Festival in Germany on Radio 3)
  • Fabulous article Kevin with lots of useful information. Thanks for sharing

  • Mark Lee

    Amazing blog post Kevin, kudos to you for both the effort put into this & your openness in the sharing of your techniques & settings. Just bloody great work.

  • Once again an invaluable insight into how to get the best out of our Fuji gear. My journey into Fuji wedding photography is only just begining but these articles of yours are brilliant not only for the technical aspects but also they give me the confidence that my gear is up to the job ! ( even if i’m not ). Thank you !

  • Thanks for updating and sharing this information Kevin . . . it’s a great guide and resource and probably took a lot of effort to put together. Much appreciated

  • christopher zydek

    Great post….as usual! 🙂

  • Fantastic write up on using the Fujifilm system for weddings! I’ve shot a very similar setup with X-T1’s and soon X-Pro2’s and it was fun to read about some of the differences in methodology here. A very detailed but still fun to read article! I’ve been wanting to move away from shooting RAW to get a faster workflow and spend less time in front of a computer post-processing. I appreciate that you trust the Fujifilm system to get the job done in-camera but you still have the fallback of the RAW with the X-Pro2 utilizing dual card slots. I will have to try this out myself and see if it helps me move to a more JPEG heavy workflow!

    Thanks for this great writeup and also I enjoyed the article in Fujilove’s April edition!

  • Awesome article. Really enjoyed reading it fella!

    I’m attending a wedding as a guest later this year and I’m very tempted to buy a Fuji for the occasion (leaving the Canon gear at home). Amazon, here I come………maybe 🙂

  • Az

    Great read Kevin. Will be coming back again as there are some great advice here.

  • Freddy Perez

    Great article – covers lots of ground, How do you feel about the 35mm (50mm equivalent) focal length

    • I enjoy the 35mm focal length but its not ideal for me for weddings. I shoot a lot of personal work on the 35mm f2.

  • What an excellent & honest article. I did use Canon gear for the few weddings i do (i am not a professional and do not do it for a living). I had no complaints with Canon gear i just found that after a day of shooting a wedding i spent the next few days with an aching back and shoulder, thats why i moved to Fuji. Love the gear and i am glad i made the switch.
    Now i have finished reading your article i better get on with some Health & Safety matters.

  • Stephanie

    A great read! I’m looking at getting into family documentary photography…just wondered what gear you might use for a shoot like that? I love your day in the life shots that I’ve seen on your other website. I recently got an X100T and am wondering what else to add. I’m considering one of the conversion lenses for the X100T plus possibly a used X-E2 and a couple of lenses. Any thoughts?

    • I’d probably stay simple and go with X100T + WCL * TCL Stephanie.

  • Spot on as always, Kevin. Thank you for continuing to share your talents and knowledge.

  • Minh Nguyen

    Thank you !

  • Great write up Kev!

  • Really useful and insightful article and great to know details like your preferred settings on each camera. Great images as ever of course! Thanks, Andrew

  • Excellent write up ! Very informational, nice pictures and good mixup between technology and art. Many thanks. You made me change my AF to AF-Lock manual this evening 🙂

  • KtownGreg

    Wow! This is an amazing post. Thank you for sharing. Top quality on all levels. Keep ’em coming.

  • Roman

    Hello Kevin. Thank You for Your work! How do You feel about accessories for better hold the camera

    • I had a battery grip for the X-t1, but that was for battery – not grip. Cameras are fine for me though I know some people do like to use the hand grips on the X-pro2.

    • Roman

      Thank you Kevin for answers. I have here are some even question/ I of Russia, our trends in the pictures, especially wedding photography, behind the world about the age of 30… Sadly… Our photographers mainly engaged in production, while the banal.. not a Question about the quality, think documentary photography this standard, the question about the number of how many images give the newlyweds? Do You think? We give about 800-1500 and this madness+ photo book(30-50). If the selected images, transmitting the essence of the event is 30-50 shots, you may initially and give much? Why such a quantity that not every осилит view…. As You with this? Sorry for anxiety

      • Hi Roman – I think in different countries and cultures it is different requirements. Here, in the UK, I typically deliver around 350-400 images. I think that’s plenty 🙂

  • Brilliant Kevin

  • jeffrey rose

    Stunning work!, Just stunning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Julio Leon

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks so much for an incredible article filled with so much insights. I really appreciate the time that you took to write this and to be so candid. The information is extremely helpful. Have a great day and thanks again!

    Julio

  • George Koury

    Stunning images!

  • GMoney

    I don’t shoot weddings but I took photo’s at a couple of friends weddings last year in my capacity as guest. I deliberately did not take many shots as they both had professionals and I wanted to avoid being ‘Uncle Bob’

    Interestingly both couple loved the shots I got and wished I had taken more especially one couple as their ‘pro’ shots were disappointing unfortunately.

    So based on the fact I was barely trying, I think in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing Fuji are going to work great for weddings as the Blog ably demonstrates.

    G

  • Wiggo Haugen

    Truly inspiring work Kevin! I simply love your images and how you use your Fuji cameras. I’ve been shooting some weddings before with a big dslr setup. At this point I have the X-T1 with 23 1.4+56 1.2. I guess there’s no way around of getting myself the X-Pro 2 for my ideal wedding setup. I don’t see myself using more then these two lenses. How would you feel about only using this setup during a whole wedding? Should I get the 16 1.4 also…?

    Thanks again for the stunning images and your inspiring work!

    • Thanks Wiggo – the 23 / 56 combination is what I use and I’ve shot literally hundreds of weddings with just those two focal lengths. It’s perfect 🙂

  • Please share the settings on the B/W how you get the tones so nice

    • Hi Omar – the JPEG settings are in the post 🙂

  • Ashley O’Hare

    Another great article Kevin. I recently entered the Fuji world with an XT-10. I’m an amateur photographer who recently took it up to document my young family growing up. I’m so glad I got into Fuji I sold my Nikon gear to buy an x100T. But at the last minute decided against it and purchased the 14mm f2.8. The reason being I did not want to neglect the XT-10 and the glass I invested in. I kind of regret doing this, but love the lens none the less. Have I made a huge mistake!?!? Is the X100T worth me saving up for?

    Cheers

    Ash

    • Thanks Ashley – I have the X-T10 too and its a lovely camera. I don’t take it to weddings but for Street, Travel etc is a great choice.

  • Maciek

    I’m very grateful for this article, it’s the best resource od shooting wedding with Fuji I’ve ever found on the web. I’ve got one question – later at the wedding day, when the sun and light drops down, and reception site become more dark, with scarce artificial lightning – do you rely more on the OVF or the EVF of the X-PRO?

    • Its rare for it to be too dark, but yes, in those cases I’ll use the OVF or I’ll set the “Preview Exposure / WB” mode to on in the menu.

  • Les Talbot

    Hi Kevin – Thanks for the great article. Very useful.
    Regarding the X-Pro2, I was interested in your use of “back button” focusing. I find that the AF-L button is very awkward to use. I have to half take my hand off the grip to use it , its recessed and impossible to find when the camera is up at eye level. Switching with the AE-L button just transfers the problem to exposure. Although for my method of shooting this slightly helps in easier lighting conditions as I often lock exposure and adjust focus more often.
    Secondly I’ve noticed that when the exposure is locked the joystick is disabled for changing focusing position. I’ve tried to disconnect the link between exposure an focus point in the menu with no change. Have I missed something in the menus? Otherwise do you have an insight as to why Fuji has set this limitation.

    • Hi Les – I have the same problem with the AF-L button and so I use a small amount of Sugru on it. It means the button has a raised pimple and its much easier to find with your thumb.

    • Jack Parrish

      I also find the AF-L button awkward to use on the Xt1 and Xt2. As such, I assigned the front FN button–the one close to the lens on the front of the camera, as ALSO an “AF-L” push to focus. That has been magic for me.

  • Grant S.

    Love your work,the passion that you put into it, your unbiased and well thought out gear philosophy, and the stunning results that you get.
    Gear is not the be all and end all, but in saying that, you are one of the most inspirational X photographers. 🙂

  • Your website is the most authoritative site I have discovered for Fuji shooters. You have a great writing style, helpful tips, and a logical flow that is easy to understand and comprehend. In the end, if I had the talent, I would choose to write like you!

    “I’m generally a JPEG shooter…the JPEG files are my main working files.”

    Question…Are we at a tipping point where saving a Jpeg multiple times doesn’t reduce image quality? You seem to be a contrarian to the conventional “raw” preachers and it does seem there are other pro Fuji shooters taking advantage shooting Jpegs within the Fuji system.

    • Thanks Dave – I think JPEGs byt their nature are lossy, which means the more editing, the more destruction. I guess the plan is to try and get as much right in camera. Thanks for the comments.

  • Hi Kevin – thanks for such a candid and informative article (as always!)

    I too switched completely from Canon to Fuji last year (X Pro 1 first then X-T1 later) and have never regretted the switch for a moment. I shot a wedding last October with Canon as my main system and my X Pro 1 as a secondary camera and I noticed afterwards that in difficult lighting conditions – a mixture of tungsten, fluorescent(!) and the dying remnants of daylight in the venue – the Fuji nailed the White Balance perfectly EVERY time. Same on the dance floor later. After that, I was convinced and the Canon kit was history. Now looking forward to an X Pro 2 joining the fold this week!

    Cheers,

    Andy

  • Alina Y.

    Kevin, thank you so much for this. You work is so incredibly inspiring as is your generosity and kindness in sharing so much information with us. Thank you!

  • Eduard Grecu

    Hi Kevin,
    I finally made it ! What an encyclopaedia of great photography this is! Like many here above, I thank you greatly for sharing all this knowledge and passion with us! I was and still am thrilled, to have met you, in person, and all the fine people above, have to know that Kevin Mullins is much more than a great photographer ! I kindly appreciate all the advice and like many others, I aspire to create something as unique as your work, one day!
    For what the Fuji cameras are concerned, they are simply and utterly addictive !
    Good health to you, Kevin! Thanks again for sharing your amazing work and philosophy!

    • Thank you Eddie – and thanks for being part of this story.

  • I rarely read an entire article, but this one is excellent and I will probably read it again. I like the way you work, not only the techy side. But I do have one question, namely if you use (protective) filters on your lenses. I have these filters on all of my Nikon lenses, but with the purchase of the XT-1 and five lenses, I’m now thinking if I should buy filters for my Fuji lenses or not. Preferably not, but using the 50-140 lens, mostly without the hood indoors, I wonder if I’m not making a mistake ;).

    • Thanks Jack – I don’t use any filters on the lenses at all I’m afraid so can’t really advise on that.

      • I think I will buy a few filters anyhow, but only use them when it’s raining or when I’m on the beach and those kind of surroundings. Looking forward to more articles :).

  • Richard Hill

    Good evening, Kevin. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I wish I had read it before my shoot last weekend. This covers a lot. Can you go over the times that you choose the electronic shutter over the mechanical shutter? I’m wondering if my images might be crisper if I use the mechanical option. Thanks!

    • Hi Richard,

      I don’t think the different shutter affects the sharpness as such. However, under certain lighting I wouldn’t use the electronic shutter because of rolling shutter effects. Essentially, I use it when I want absolute silence or if I want to shoot wide open in really bright sunshine (we had one day like that a couple of years ago 🙂 )

  • Jim

    Great work and useful article. Have you found any hiccups jumping between generations of sensors and film simulations with your x-pro2/x100t setup?

    • Thanks Jim & no, not really. Some minor adjustments to processing.

  • Najib Mahmud

    Hey, I was wondering what your thoughts on are using the X70 as opposed to the X100T + WCL since they are the same FOV and are both pretty similar as far as sensor, shutter, etc.

    • I think the X100T comes into its own again for speed of shooting and lower light capability.

  • KenB

    Hello Kevin,
    Another excellent post and loving the style of the shots. One question – can you advise what software you use for the video/slideshow creation? I particularly like the dance sequences near the end of the “Day 2” video – very well done.
    Many thanks, Ken

  • Karen

    Thanks so much for this article. I’m pondering back button focus and have a quick question. Do you keep your focal point in the middle (and recompose) or toggle to get close to where you need it? Thanks!

    • Hi Karen – yes, almost always focus and recompose.

  • Ish

    Hi Kevin!
    Brilliant article, very interesting and informative. Thanks for your generosity in sharing so freely what must have taken you quite a long time to discover.

  • LOISEAU JB

    Kevin, Thank you for this fabulous article.
    Amazing and sensitive work.

    JB (from France)

  • PatrickO

    Great job, beautiful photos.
    But I have a question about the same methodology of work. Often you mention that doing mostly jpg which are your final product. If you are doing a RAW + JPG you can set one simulation JPG. So how do you choose between BW and CC? Before taking a photo, you change the profile of the flight, develope from RAW or you have one camera set to BW and another color?
    Thank you for the tips.

    • I make the decision based on the light and the section of the day I’m shooting.

  • Brett Patching

    Thank you for sharing so much with us Kevin!! I’m just learning to use my first Fuji camera, and this is simply an invaluable reference. Wonderful photographs as usual too :¬)

  • Dwight Roberts

    Hi Kevin,
    The photos in the montage “For Gemma” are the essence of humanness. I had never heard that song before, but it sure was moving with the wonderful day-to-day images of the children. I can only imagine her reaction to it; job well done!

  • Mike Jones

    I had previously used Nikon and Canon gear and twenty years ago did not consider the weight of such to be a problem. However, recently at the end of a long day I could barely lift the canon 1D with 70-200 to my eye and keep it steady. I decided something had to change and so looked again at other lighter systems but didn’t get enthused until I discovered your site. Interestingly I had always been put off thinking Fuji (maybe its because I had always thought of them as makers of film and not serious camera people). Your enthusiasm and quality of photographs made me look at them. I am now a complete convert and have changed my gear!

    The only thing is the battery life but your advice on this has been useful. My only query about this is your advice to switch off frequently. Is the switch robust enough? I take it you have had no problems.

    Anyway, many thanks.

    • Hi Mike – thanks for the feedback. Yes, the button is robust enough and I’ve been using that technique on cameras for years now.

  • ” typically have this set to pressing and it means you have to hold your finger on the AF-L button to keep the lock.”

    Hi, Kevin, my thanks as well for your well-written and informative article, that only confused my on one point as quoted above, because my understanding is that pressing AF-L acquires focus and keeps that setting with one press without the need to keep pressing it. I use an X100s and XE-2 with latest firmware update (making it very similar to XT-1), and it seems to be that way for both cameras. Am I mistaken?

    • Hi Rudolf – it depends on the menu configuration for the use of the button. You can have it set to Press or Switch.

  • Joel

    Hello, love you blog. Was wondering where did you get your hand grip for your Fuji? Thank you

    • Thanks Joel. You mean the handgrip for the X-T1? That’s the official Fuji grip.

  • Fabulous article and review Kevin !….. thank you for being generous with your time and continuing to inspire, challenge and encourage others in this beautiful world of photography.

  • Alinur Olgun

    Hello Kevin
    Having a Canon 6D and an Oly E-M5 for the last four years, I mostly shoot candid street portraits. Few weeks before I also bought a X-E2 w. 35mm f2. I want to switch to Fuji ditching out all my other gear.

    The problem is (and that’s w. FW 4.0) :
    My settings are as follows, the same as yours:
    AF Mode M
    Instant AF AF-C
    still image not in burst mode
    AF-L button press not switch
    AE/AFL lock mode P
    AF-lock mode AE+AF

    and the camera/lens hunts; focus light blinks and focus point alternates between green and white. As a consequence when I press the shutter there may be a considerable delay which is normal because my setting is focus priority.
    To overcome this, I take my thumb off the AF-L button which puts the camera in M mode, then I shoot wo. any delay. But then there is the very possibility of getting blurry images.

    As this is your regular way of shooting, PLS help.
    Regards Alinur Olgun

    p.s. Although meeting your photos recently I like them very much. By the way are you considering coming to Istanbul for a workshop or seminar?

    • Hi Alinur – it sounds like you have “Pre AF” Switched on. Try turning this off and see how you get on. Thanks

  • Awesome blog post Kevin. Really really enjoyed this. Your photography is super inspiring. Thanks again!

  • Rahman KAMIN

    Very useful tips. Thanks for sharing.

  • Prad

    Hi Kevin, I really like your photos and the way you shoot.
    I would like to ask one thing, how do you edit a slight warm look in your Across or black & white photos in LR CC

  • Paul

    Thanks for this post – the best tips for anyone using a Fuji system, for weddings or otherwise. I’ve been using an X-T1 alongside my 5Diii for the last year or so when shooting weddings and events, but the more I use the Fuji the more I dislike using the 5D. It’s like going back in a time machine (whilst carrying a camera heavy enough to require a visit to the chiropractor shortly afterwards). I’m now in the process of selling my Canon gear and moving to a full Fuji system (eagerly awaiting the X-T2).

    The main thing I disliked about the X-T1 was the slightly ungainly method of back button focusing (which I’ve always used with Canon gear), with the button being too easy to miss, and in a slightly awkward position.

    I’ve since set my camera up using your settings, and liberally applied some Sugru to the main buttons, and pretty much everything in my house, including myself and my immediate family members. That stuff is the best thing ever made by mankind, and is seriously addictive.

    Thanks again. Love your photos too.

    Paul “Sugru Nipples” Browse

  • Paul

    Also, have you used any flash for the Fuji system other than the X20? I’ve been looking at the Nissin i40, which presumably has a bit more power for bouncing. However, with that mounted on the camera I’d be getting back into heavy/unwieldy territory, which I’m keen to avoid if at all possible. How does the X20 stand up to bouncing off a ceiling in the average wedding venue (if there is such a thing), and how do you find the recycle times?

  • Hi Kevin – awesome post and even more awesome work! I have a “back button focusing” question. Is it possible to setup X100T in the similar way the Nikon AF-L works. So (on Nikon), if I press and hold AF-L the focus works in the AF-C mode and track the object, if I “press&release” it works in the AF-S mode as you would expect. Its a great feature as I have both modes under my thumb. Can I achieve the same on X100T ? or back button – AF-L works only in the AF-S mode and if I want to use AF-C – I need to manually flick the front M/S/C button?

    • Hi Jake – that’s correct. You won’t be able to emulate exactly what you do with your Nikons. You can explore the “Instant AF” option in the menu to give you different parameters but ultimately I find it easier to simply switch to C mode.

  • Hi Kevin – I found something interesting since. If I put the front in the C mode. I can use the back button in the AF-S mode (locked focus) OR the shutter release button in the AF-C mode. Both options at my finger tips without changing M/S/C modes.

    • This is correct Jake – but make sure you have the correct “Instant AF” settings set.

  • Amazing work Kevin.
    Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge with us. I love the Fuji’s (got the X-T1 and XF23, XF35 and XF56) and it was very helpful for my work. Using the X-T1 instead of my Nikon DSLR-s gave me so much freedom and ease of use so I was able to focus on composition.
    The film looks save me so much time in postprocessing (actually there is none necessary) and the look of the jpegs is amazing.
    I tried to mimic this look with the Nikon Picture Control Utility but wasnt able to come even close. It is such a timesaver having not to spend another day in lightroom after shooting an event.
    This said there is still a place for my Nikon stuff when I do shots with several strobes or fast action. but for portrait and wedding there is nothing better than the Fuji’s. Good luck for your work, your video editing is great. maybe we could see an article about this too.

    best regards.

    • Thanks Dirk and hope to have more posts about video and workflow online soon.

  • Shabirali Patel

    This is really a eye opener..m full sure will convert from canon to fuji

  • Daniel Michael

    As always an excellent article, Kevin!
    Just one question, in the Instant AF section for manual focusing with AF-L, do you have it set to AF-C or AF-S?
    As I understand, with instant AF set to AF-C it makes back button focus in manual continuously hunt while pressed ( a lot like setting back button focus on Nikon cameras)
    Setting to to AF-S means you have to keep repressing AF-L button to refocus all the time. Which is more preferable / useful during shooting a wedding for you?
    Does it have an effect on the press-on-release setting at all?

    Thanks again for a great article!

    • Hi Daniel – I only use continuous tracking for short periods of the day (recessional and confetti maybe) so I prefer to actually switch to AF-C and use it. My instant af setting is at AF-S for this reason. I use the AF-L button for quick focus acquisition only.

  • Miley

    Thank you for such an informative blog. I have a D7000 with kit lens and 50mm, im planning to buy the expensive 24-70mm lens but with this blog im comvinced and excited to rather buy a fuji camera since its lightweight and has same features like a dlsr and this will save me alot instead of buying that heavy lens, plus having an additional camera . My question is what is the better way to invest first? im not sure if i can afford the X-pro2 considering the price. I do outdoor portraits and eventually will do weddings on my own as I did assist some weddings in the past. Planning to invest on XT100T but what lens do i need to prioritize to buy first? I know I will be needing the Fuji XF23mm F1.4 and fuji 56 F1.2 lenses as basics but I do have limited budget at present. However once I get hooked with Fuji, i might sell my nikon and buy the second lens and hopefully another fuji camera , thanks in advance:)

    • Hi Miley – have you thought about the XT-10? That is essentially an X-T1 in a different package. It’s relatively cheap and if you then add the 35mm F2 lens you will have a great portrait setup and startup kit.

  • That was an inspiring and generous blog Kevin. Two words; thank you.

    I’m new to the X100T and slowly letting go of the RAW fixation. It has created an excitement that I thought I had lost with my DSLR.

    I have learnt so much from this post 😀

    Jon

  • Christian

    Many thanks for this article, Kevin.
    A great help and a real pleasure to read.

  • Thanks Kevin for this really detailed article — it covers a lot of the same challenges I experience when mixing these three cameras, it’s great to benefit from your experience.

    You mentioned that Dynamic Range affects the Auto ISO, but not what DR settings you use for your pictures. I’m guessing 100 to keep it contrasty and predictable?

    • Hi Kevin – actually I almost always use Auto DR. I let the camera take the strain on that decision. I’ll set it manually if I’m eve doing any landscape work or seascapes when I’m on holiday etc.

  • Great reviews and site in general dude!
    Love your editing style!

    I sold my Nikon(D800) and bought an XPRO 1 and an X100, several years ago.
    I loved the image quality but not the speed and ended up getting my Nikons back(D700 and a D750)

    I can feel my GAS coming back for the XT1/XPRO2!!

    I’ve just put an X100T and an XE1 with 18mm F2 in my collection for some every day shooting.
    I don’t shoot that many weddings, only a handful every year.
    How do you think the XT1 and XPRO 2 cope with live bands etc…

    PS….Could you share your X100T Custom settings now theres more to choose from?!? 🙂

    Cheers Steve…. 🙂

    • Thanks Steve – I’ll be doing more content on the X100T soon!

  • Thanks so much for the article, I am a bit of a documentary type wedding photographer also and was recently put one of my foot in fujifilm. And now I stumble upon your post. Amazing works! (went straight to your website after reading this). My setup before I have my fujifilm is a canon 24-70 and 70-200, also a 50 mm. Do you think I should add 16mm (or 14mm) ? Thanks!

    • I would probably look more towards the 23mm to be honest. Thanks 🙂

  • Guido

    Posts like this make me want to go out and shoot every single time. Thank you for all the information given here, this is super helpful to get started with same basic settings for the Fuji cameras, especially as I generally love how your photos turn out in tonality/color.

    One typo of note (just showing that I read the whole thing): In the High ISO section the photo subtitles state “ISO 10,0000” and “ISO 5,0000” That would be one hundred thousand and fifty thousand. Probably should read “10,000” and “5,000”.

  • Ian

    One word: Brilliant
    Another two: Incredibly helpful
    Last three: Thank you Kevin

  • What an incredible article. I gained a lot from your experience and insight. I have the Xpro2 and the Xt1 and a few primes. I started up with a lot of the Fuji X line and have slowly reduced the amount of gear I have because I can accomplish more with less.

    I understand all of the features old and new but the one labeled “grain” seems to be lacking in real explanation. I understand the value to a certain extent with the new “acros” black and white setting, but no where have I read about anyone using it with any of the preset color simulations.

    Perhaps with your extensive experience with the Xpro2 you can enlighten us about this.

    • Hi Elliot – I don’t tend to use the Grain feature at all. The Acros simulation has it built in so it would not be wise to use Grain as well as that film simulation. Personally, I prefer to control the grain in post production if I’m adding it for any artistic reason. Ideally, the ISO controls the amount of noise for me.

  • Tim

    Hi Kevin,
    great work.
    Maybe you can help me: I got the new Pr-2 and have many problems with the e-viefinder.
    With my 4 older Fujis , I always use it with manuel brightness. With the Pro-2 it´s difficult to get the right brightness . I never take raw pictures – because of jounalistic fastness :-).
    Now I set it on automatic- in dark situations 2 steps to dark in pictures…How do you work with it?
    Thanks, tim

    • Hi Tim – tbh, I’ve not noticed any difference between the VFs for the X-Pro2 or the previous cameras. I generally have mine set to 0 for brightness etc. Sorry I can’t be more useful.

  • Francois

    Wonderful shots, stunning b&w and thoughtful pragmatic advice: thank you!

  • Valentin

    Hi Kevin,
    thank you, thank you very much! the sharing makes you an abundant person! I’ve read a couple of times the entire article and have a couple of questions:
    – when setting the power management, what do you do with sensor cleaning? you turn it off or you set it up when turning off the camera?
    – you decrease de NR so that the pictures have some way of a grain? you don´t like the Fuji NR?
    – When shooting in film bracketing mode for example (Classic Chrome; Acros R; Velvia) why the preview mode on the screen is Provia? is it possible to choose the preview mode mode on screen one of the three films choosen? it doesn’t make sense to be forced to preview a film you are no using in the film bracketing mode.
    – Do you sharpen your images in LR?
    – do you add anything to the Classic Chrome ones in LR? (generally I mean)

    your work is stunning, may the force be with you, keep it up like this and again: THANK YOU you are endlessly abundant!!!

    • Hi Valentin,

      Sorry for the delay in replying to this.

      I set the camera to sensor clean each time the camera is turned off. Its worth keeping the camera vertical at this point so any dust etc actually falls down.

      The Fuji NR is much better than it was, but I would still like an option to switch it off completely.

      Hmmm… good question re the bracketing. I’ll have to look into that.

      I don’t do any sharpening until the output stage. If its going to print, I’ll sharpen for print etc.

      Sometimes I’ll add a bit of clarity or contrast.

      Thanks again for your kind words.

  • Jeff

    Hi!

    I very much admire your talent!

    I have a question about back button focus. While trying out a few of your settings yesterday, I have noticed something on my X-T1 and I’m wondering if you know something about it.
    When using the AF-L button in S(ingle) mode, the AF is slower than when half-pressing the shutter button.
    But in M(anual) mode, the AF-L button focuses as fast as the half-press in S mode.
    Does that ring a bell to you? Have you ever noticed that before?

    thanks!! Keep up the good work, it is truly amazing!

    • Hi Jeff – its not really something I’ve noticed I must admit. You could try adjusting the Instant_AF setting though and see if that makes a difference.

  • Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I bought my XT-1 today and read your article immediately. It helped to find the optimal settings for my coming wedding. But my second is still a Nikon 😉. But maybe the xpro could be the backup in future.

    Greetings from Gemany.

    Markus

  • Thanks for an excellent article Kevin. I’m currently a Canon shooter, but with the introduction of the Canon 5D4 I just can’t justify the £14k give or take to upgrade my bodies (and they are going to need changing in the next 6 months anyway.)

    Done a lot of research on mirrorless (age coming into play, aching backs, wrists etc) and Fuji was coming out the best contender. Having reviewed you article and video etc they really helped make my mind up.

    As you say, it’s a big thing to move and I’ll be going for the X-T2 plus a few lenses etc whilst still keeping the 5D3’s and shooting with two systems for a few months. Hopefully within the next 6-8 months I will have totally moved to.

    Thanks again

    Andrew

  • Jack Parrish

    A little late to the comment party on this, but I appreciate your thoughts and writings. I’ve just recently found your blog and your work, and as a professional wedding shooter (with a surprisingly similar method and workflow), I appreciate the conversation on methodology.

    The only thing I’d add about why to shoot in RAW format, even if you’re a black and white shooter, is that you have a ton of latitude in working with light in the color sliders in Lightroom (or whatever) when you convert the RAW to BW. Moving the color sliders allows for changing the tones of the grays in those color channels. I have a preset I’ve created for myself that preserves my style in the conversation–doesn’t take much more time, if any, to the JPEG output, but I have a lot more freedom in editing the black and white as needed. The JPEG, however, does not hold this ability to work with the tone via the color information because none is recorded and thus it is not editable.

    That said, the fuji JPEGS–particularly Acros–is outstanding. If the JPEG + my style treatment is sufficient–all is good to go. But there are many cases where having the color channels ready to work leads to a very fast, very mature, sort of engagement of the image.

    All the same, thanks for your good writing and for hosting a great conversation.

  • Clark

    I’ve just gotten the 56mm 1.2 for my new X-T2. Amazing combo! A question: I would like to use this without the lens hood so as to be less noticeable in groups for mainly indoors, available light photos. Your thoughts on this? Do you always use lens hoods? (And thanks for all the wonderful help I’ve gotten fro you through your blogs!)

    • I pretty much never use lens hoods Clark. I like flare from sunlight when I want it. Really, for me, the lens hoods are not that important.

  • Michał Bryl

    Hi, Kevin! Sorry for the mistakes – translate through Google translator. I like your style of shooting. I myself have shoot 5 years X camera. The question arose in technique Focus AF-L button. I noticed that if I pass in M mode, the exposure is not fixed. What do you do in that case?
    And further. I did not pay attention to how it works in my previous cameras, but X-pro2 if you do not let go of the shutter button, the focus remains fixed in the same way as if you hold the AF-L. Have you tried this method, it can effectively than the AF-L?

    • Hi Michal – you can set the AFL button to act as Exposure as well as focus lock. Personally, I lock the focus with it and then lock the exposure by half depressing the shutter button.

  • Antoine

    Hi Kevin, this was truly inspiring for me on so many levels. first, I am not a professional photographer but might get into wedding photography at some point as my wife is interested in this field. Your article was inspiring because I have been struggling for many years with equipment in terms of DSLR vs mirrorless, or large and able vs compromise (e.g. AF). Now I got a Fuji XT2 and for the first time I feel that mirrorless can hold its ground overall. There was no doubting that IQ was already there in mirrorless, but I found often missing crucial shots because the camera wouldn’t track of focus quickly enough. Now with the XT2 I feel confident about investing long term in the system. Your article made a point of this, proving that you can capture fleeting moments (no doubt your ability played a big part as well, I know).
    The second inspiring point was the concept of wedding photojournalism. I personally find the traditional way of shooting weddings totally boring. I am not criticising the wonderful work done by so many photographers, I am just saying that I couldn’t do it, and I wasn’t aware that you could shoot so successfully (read: beautifully) a wedding in this impromptu, photojournalistic fashion. So that was inspiring for me.
    My main question to you is this: when your clients book you to shoot a wedding, do they have expectations of getting what I would call traditional wedding photos? Or is there also present that kind of photographer, taking the “beauty” shots while you concentrate on the impromptu? Or do you tell them in advance the type of shooting you will be doing? Wouldn’t it be a situation where you show the client your photojournalism shots – great as they are – but the client would ask you “that’s great, we like those shots, but where are the glamour photos?” Again, than you for your wonderful work and tips!

    • Hi Antoine – thanks for the kind words. My website and marketing really puts everything together for the clients so they know what style of photographer they will have.

  • Dav P

    You are phenomenal, sir. Thanks for sharing all these information. I’m motivated by your work. Great work!

  • Fantastic article! Your information and insight has helped tremendously. I noticed that on your x-pro 2, you dont have film simulations as a funtion button. How much of your wedding work is shot in B+W (I assume 100% based on your work). How do you get around clients wanting some color pics? Do you switch film simulations during the wedding? I find it easier to gauge the exposure while shooting in B+W on the fuji system (seeing what you get on the EVF), but wish i could shoot 1 B+W, one color, and RAW (for backup). That way i can have a good mix of both (B+W and color) to give my clients in the end without having to use Raw. Thank you!!!

    • I typically set the film simulation at time of shooting. I’m pretty quick at changing now. I totally agree about shooting in mono by the way in terms of seeing the light and exposure better.

  • Bob Owen

    Once more your honesty, integrity and generosity with information make me look twice at my business and attitude and make me want to do better. And revisit Fuji at a time of low enjoyment in wedding photography. Hats off to you for all that you do.

  • beauty. all of it. we are kindred spirits in the manner we “document” events.

  • Gary Collyer

    H Kevin – wonderful write up as always. I tried the settings for an event a few days ago, and during it noted the images to be very noisy.
    The settings recommended show noise reduction at -3…..should that be +3……or am I completely misreading things.
    I thoroughly enjoy your work and your blogs. Such a great inspiration and help…..what more can we say but thank you…..

    • Hi Gary, the lower the setting for the NR the less will be applied in the camera. If you are shooting at very high ISO then it may be better to increase the NR settings. Remember this only applies to JPEGs though.

  • Many thanks Kevin for taking the time to write this post and share this great information.

  • Bob Bruyn

    Thanks for the helpful tips and beautiful examples. A real inspiration!
    A question: You mention in your section on Flash to turn the “Preview Exposure & White Balance” ON. I have the EF-X20 on my X-T. At shutter speed 1/180 and ISO at 200, the screen is black. If I turn OFF “Preview Exposure & White Balance” I can see what I’m looking at normally. Kind of the opposite. Am I missing something?

    • Hi Bob – yes, sorry – its a typo on my part. Your setting is correct 🙂

  • Hey Kevin! About that electronic shutter, I’ve experienced (on a bright sunny day) that warped/skewed image — using the X-T10. In some cases where I was still, from one frame to the next, I could tell that one was skewed a bit more. Would you have any tips using the electronic shutter to avoid the result of those images? Much appreciated!

    • Hi Michael – it doesn’t matter if you are still, but if the subject is moving quite quickly (even at very fast shutter speeds), you may experience this. It’s inherent in all technology like this as far as I’m aware.

  • Is great to see that all of your workflow details are given in this article. The Jpeg + RAW as back-up is a great ideea (to let the camera do the processing)… I think this is the answer for a very quick delivery workflow. I edit pretty fast, but faster sounds nicer :D. I’m on my way on moving totally to Fuji X Pro 2’s… i just need to find the buyers for my nikons :))).

    Thanks for posting the article!

  • Fantastic article and a MUST READ for anyone thinking of switching from Canikon to Fuji. Very insightful, thanks Kevin.

  • Love your work, and generally I love the Fuji system, BUT…

    When I want to set a manual setting (F stop and shutter speed). I want them to STAY WHERE I PUT THEM, and now bounce around due to accidentally hitting a dial…

    Fuji, please fix this. I know you have on the X Pro–but the new XT-2 does NOT have anything except a LOCK EVERYTHING fix which is no fix at all. Please let me lock the command dials–I don’t need 1/3 shutter speed stops when I’ve set them where I want them..

    • Hi Tyler – I honestly have no problems with this. I shot a wedding on New Years Eve with my XT2s and didn’t once have the issue. In fact, until you suggested it here I’d never even considered it. My command dials are pretty solid and if I move them, then I know it as I feel the vibration of the rolling under my finger.

  • I kevin. Good article and amazing pictures! I’m not a pro (wedding) but for my work, also weddings, i use fuji x system and i use your own lenses, the 23 and the 56 (who knows why? Lol) and one xt1 and one xe2. Do you use expansion dr (auto or 200, 400)?
    Thanks in advance.
    Fabrizio Bertoldo

    • Hi Fabrizio – I pretty much always use Auto DR these days. Cheers.

  • Stefano

    Hi Kevin, i tried the xpro2 with a 23mm f1.4 and with the ovf, the frame is covered kinda a lot. Do you think it’s just question of getting used or you use it more with evf. I wanna use for street and the ovf is actually handy for that purpose, but with that lens is kinda difficult, i guess for me. What do you think? Thanks a lot this post is amazing. Ciao

    • This is part of the reason Fujifilm have developed the f2 lenses. They are smaller and in my mind, better aligned to folks shooting with the OVF.

      • Stefano

        i’ve decide to get the f2 and sell back the 1.4. i prefer as it’s half the weight smaller and faster. thanks again ciao

  • Shawlon

    Kevin

    do you prefer X100+WCL over 18mm? when do you use which?

    thanks for sharing your great work. truly inspirational. hope to attend your workshop someday. just need to get a ticket for UK… 🙂

    Shawlon

    • Hi Shawlon,

      I use both tbh. The X100 travels with me everywhere and the 18mm I tend to use less often.

  • Zdenek

    Just want to say thanks for this amazing post. Thanks

  • FABRIZIO BERTOLDO

    Magnifique! Thank you so much to sharing photos and tecnique. Can i ask you if you use dr settings? On auto mode?
    Thanks again.
    Fabrizio Bertoldo

    • Thanks. Yes, my DR settings are almost always on Auto. If I manually set them, I usually forget to change them which causes exposure issues for me when shooting JPEG.

  • Ryusenlee

    Hi kelvin,

    ur article really inspried in photo journal style wedding photographer.

    i have xt-1,18-55 and 23 1.4 at first, i buy 56 1.2 after watch ur article and also buy a used x-m1 as second body. However, in low light situation, 56 1.2 in x-m1 keep focus hunting…..

    i am thking trade in my 23 1.4 and x-m1 to used Fuji x100T for capture photo faster without focus hunting. do you thk it is ok?

    apologizes about my bad grammer english^^

    • Hi Ryusenlee – thanks for the message. The X-M1 is one of the cameras that I don’t particularly get on with and so haven’t used it much. I would find the combination of the X100T a bit better.

  • Thanks for the fantastic (updated) article Kevin. Going to shoot my first wedding in a few weeks with my Fuji X gear, and your work is a real inspiration! Love the style.

  • Great article Kevin!
    I have been practising some different camera settings (mainly back button focussing) after attending your workshop a couple of weeks back. And a few others after reading your article.
    Looking forward to putting them to practice for real this weekend!

    • Great Dale – hope it all goes well this weekend.

  • Hi Kevin, amazing value as always, I think it’s the third time I ask something in this post, I read it again and again. The question is:
    When back focusing you lock both (focus and exposure) ?
    In case of No: how is the process then? You lock your focus and “search” the exposure on the scene and reframe?
    Thanks Kevin see you in Lausanne. Cheers and THANK YOU!!!

    • Hi Valentin – I lock focus use the back button (command dial in my case). Then I half depress the shutter to lock the exposure – recompose and fire the shot.

      See you soon.

      Kevin

  • Tibi Muszka

    Thnak you for your words, it helps me very much! (Slovakia)

  • Martin Treacy

    Thanks very much for generously providing this great resource for other Fujifilm photographers – very much appreciated!

  • Thank you so much for this very helpful article. A lot of great techniques! I am currently shooting with 2 Canon 5D MARK III’s and I have been thinking for a while now about switching to 2 XT-2’s. I don’t do a lot of flash work, but or course for receptions I pull them out for fill. This was the one area I was concerned about but now with Fuji’s new flash I think it makes me a little more relaxed about it.

  • Hi again Kevin – re.: Back Button Focusing on XPRO2 – is there any way to disable the shutter button from focusing in AF-S and AF-C modes? I would like to use the Back Button Focus in all modes (Manual, AF-S and AF-C). I checked all settings and I cant figure it out. Thanks a lot.

    • Hi Jake – not on the XP2. The XT2 has the option to switch off AF on the shutter button. I just habitually pop the camera into M mode.

  • Fantastic article. I’ve read this before jumping into Fuji, read it again when I bought XT1, read it again when I bought XT2 and now reading it again having dedicated Custom Settings named KM Arcos and KM Classic adjusted to your settings just to get a feel how your pictures turn out so beautiful! You’re seriously my inspiration 😀

  • Hey Kevin, after following your inspirational blogs on Fuji X Photography for a while I was asked to do my very first wedding shoot. I was very apprehensive, but with your style and tips in the back of my mind, I, and the client were pleased with the results. So thanks again for all your help!
    http://www.bobbruyn.com/wedding-photography

  • kevin ingram

    Kevin, I was curious why you use classic chrome and then bump the color up instead of using velvia or provia?

    • Hi, Kevin – They are all very different simulations. Just increasing the colour in CC won’t make it anything like Velvia (or Provia).

  • Very informative. Thank you very much for this article.

  • Dan

    One question on your settings on the X-Pro2. Are you lightening or darkening the highlights? A setting of -2 on the highlights darkens the highlights in the Fuji, and I was a bit surprised that you would be darkening the highlights.

    Thanks so much for this info. I have the original X100 but haven’t really been active in photography for too long. This article was very helpful in getting me back up to speed to shoot some photos at a family wedding with a rented X-Pro2.

    • Hi Dan, yes -2 or -1 on the older sensors is how I have the highlights. Thanks

      • Dan

        Thanks. I think my confusion stems from the fact that -2 highlights in the camera darkens the highlights, but in post-editing we tend to brighten the highlights.

  • Misak Davtyan

    Kevin, this is a stunning piece of information which represents sheer inspiration for all Fuji photographers! Thank you indeed for sharing it!
    I have a question re CC simulation you use – do you happen to play with JPEG files in post production to make any drastic adjustments, specifically to skin tones?
    Thanks again and please keep up enlightening your followers!

  • Hi Kevin, great article you’ve made here, super great pictures, and super good videos, I’ve changed from Canon, as I’ve had for many years, but here in March, I went over to FujiFilm X-T2 and 16mm f : 1.4 – 18-55mm f: 2.8-4.0 – 60mm f: 2.4 – 50-140mm f: 2.8 and Nissin Flash i60A, super equipment, thanks for your story on your side.

    Greeting
    Franck Lund, Denmark 16-07-2017

  • Thanks for this great article. I will be using 2 newly acquired XE2s with 23,35 and 50 lenses. Its going to be a challenge after having used dslrs for a long time but i believe this is the future of photography. Like you, I never use my dslrs but only when in work but the x system has rekindled my desire to love photography again.

  • ste

    hi Kevin, thanks again i’m using the 56mm and i found difficulty to focus and recomposing. the focus seems to shift above at large aperture. do you use the joystick to focus or do you focus and recompose the image ? thanks a lot

    • I focus and recompose all the time. I switch off the joystick on all my cameras.

  • Bob Mac

    Stunning photos, many thanks for showing them.

    • Kevin Mullins

      Thank you, Bob.

  • ETF

    Hi Kevin,
    Just found your article, fantastic informative read and very helpful as my daughter is getting married in March so I’m on a steep learning curve having recently come over to Fuji.
    Quick couple of questions if possible.
    I have the XT2 and a couple of primes. Regarding your settings for shadows and highlights etc. Would I set my XT2 up as for the Xpro2?
    As I said I’m learning as new to system, I use JPEG plus RAW to cards. Would you suggest shooting bracketing of colour plus B&W or just shooting in B&W and converting RAW file to colour in lightroom? I only have the one camera lol. I did read somewhere that by shooting in B&W you get more information from the evf for how shadows and highlights look over colour and it improves your understanding of exposure.
    Thank you so much for the great article.
    Regards,
    Lyn.