Firstly I want to thank Scott and Brad for allowing me a space here. I wondered what to write about, but I suppose, in the end, I thought it just made sense to tell the story of why I shoot and how I shoot.
<<<< REWIND >>>>
It's a Monday in June 2009. My wife has just given birth to our first daughter. I get up at 5am. I get on the train at 5:20am. I sit on the train for two hours (same seat, every day. Same newspaper, every day, same people around me, every day). I get to my desk in central London at 8:30am.
Tip, tap, tip, tapâ¦.. I tinker away at the computer keyboard writing code. I have lunch at 1pm, with the same people. Every day (cool people btw). At 5:30pm I leave my desk. At 6pm I get on the train and stand for the next two hours next to same people I stand by every day. I get home at 8:30pm.
Gemma has already put my new daughter to bed. I go and see her. Smile, a little, and then thinkâ¦â¦ it's time.
I go downstairs.
Gemma, looks at me like only a wife who knows you are about to drop something very substantial (but not necessarily in a good way) on her plate.
I've not said a word yet. She looks. I look. She sits down. I sit down. Then I stand up again. Then I get a beer. Change my mind, and grab a Scotch instead.
Gemma looks on.
"I've quit. I'm going to be a wedding photographer," I say.
Boom. There it is. She looks at me as if a second head has popped out of my ear.
"A wedding photographer?" she says - like only a wife who's just had something substantial (but not necessarily in a good way) dropped on her plate.
"But you've never even owned a camera!" And I hadn't. But I knew I'd need one soon.
Gemma went to bed. I finished my Scotch.
<< FAST FORWARD >>
It's Monday 23rd March 2015 and I'm writing this. I'm sat in my studio, in my home town. I've just dropped my kids off at school and here I am, writing something for Scott Kelby's amazing blog. In a few hours I'll pick the kids up, we'll go home.
And hereâ¦ I'm going to be talking about my pictures.
My pictures. Talking about MY PICTURES.
That's me, talking about my pictures, to you, and to Scott, and to well, anyone else who cares to readâ¦â¦ You get the idea.
5D2: I like to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary
5D2: This little fellow has the same opinion of formal shots as me!
This is quite something. I wonder how on earth this has happened. My pictures are far from technically perfect, far from it, and I know many people won't like them. But hey - here we are and I wanted to recite that little story as I know there are many people out there who want to make that leap of faith. It can work. Honest.
X100S: I love to capture the "feeling" of the wedding itself
X-Pro1: I like humour to play a big part in my images
I shot my first wedding on the 9th August 2009. One day before my 35th birthday. It was hell. The pictures were OK, and the client's lovely, but the experience was hell.
I did everything I thought I should do. I played by the rules and followed all the instructions I'd read about in wedding photography magazines, online forums and social media (as it was then). I shot 41 group shots, I got a lovely close up image of the wedding rings in their boxes, I made lovely portraits of the bride and groom, I got them to walk up and down in a field for thirty minutes while I changed the settings on my new Canon 5D Mark 1. I took photos of them doing a "mock" cutting of the cake in front of an empty room. We went for a walk at dusk and took more portraits while their guests drank champagne and wondered where they were.
Lovely. Lovely pictures. I was happy with them. But then it hit me. I'd given up my career to do this, every Saturday, for the next however long. I didn't enjoy it one bit.
By now Gemma had started talking to me again and I discussed it with her. She said, "Why don't you just shoot it the way you want to?"
Bingo. Epiphany number one.
5D3: Eye contact and simple interaction are core elements of my images
Since the "epiphany" back in 2009, I've shot near 300 weddings and I've made some of the most amazing friends on that journey. I've been around the world, and I've even written a book.
But mostly, I've completely and utterly changed my life, and that of my family and for the better too.
Although I'd never been a photographer of any kind, I always found myself drawn to story-telling pictures. Pictures of a photojournalistic nature. I was drawn to people such Mel Digiacomo and so, from wedding number two onwards that was the way I was going to shoot.
I pretty much decided, there and then, to shoot "reportage," "documentary," "photojournalism…" Whatever you want to call itâ¦ Really, I decided to shoot in a candid way going forward.
And, with the odd bump here and there, it hasn't changed at all since.
Now, to go completely against the clich©, I actually don't like weddings. I know, right? I'm a wedding photographer who doesn't like weddings. Crazy.
But that's not the end of it. I can turn that clich© around and follow it up with, "But I love people." And I do. I love photographing people, being people.
I love the humanity element of weddings. I don't like the contrived, formulaic elements of it. And I shoot my weddings as a Street Photographer would shoot on the streets of London; searching for moments and looking for the unexpected in a world of expectedness.
X-E2: Emotion is such a powerful thing, yet I think we leave it behind a lot of the time
I look for light, I look for moments. And I love that.
For me, a wedding is about the interaction, it's about touch, it's about eye contact, it's about humour, it's about emotion, and it's about loveâ¦â¦
I wanted to give my clients the view of their wedding from their guests’ point of view. I wanted to deliver my clients bang, right back at that moment in time. I wanted to see my clients smile, cry with joy, laughâ¦ I wanted to see my clients "remember" their wedding, recite moments that happened and give them the opportunity to witness moments they didn't see on the day.
So, I have to say this, because it's very true; although I shoot in a candid way, this doesn't mean I don't have an appreciation for photographers who shoot more formally. There are many clients who would shriek at my pictures, and for them there are many wonderful wedding photographers out there who will deliver images way above my skill level and ability.
However, what rocks my boat, is the story. And it's the uncontrived story I like to tell, through my pictures.
I originally started shooting using the Canon 5D (Mark 1,2 and 3 in the end). Initially I was shooting using the big 70-200 and a 24-70.
But I knew there was something missing. I couldn't put my finger on it but for the first year I wasn't really satisfied with any of my wedding photographs.
Then I decided to ditch the zooms and use a two lens system only. From then on, I shot 100% with an 85mm f/1.2 and a 35mm f/1.4 lens. They were heavenly. I adored those Canon systems and I adored those lenses.
I genuinely believe that shooting with a couple of prime lenses adds a uniformity to your images. Across the board editing, workflow, and look and feel of my images were brought into line. The 85mm f/1.2 especially was a lens that brought me some very memorable images.
I was shooting 95% available light too, with the odd flash brought out for the first dance when the ambient light wasn't good enough.
X100T: I prefer to shoot with available light as far as possible
X-T1: Light remains paramount, even in our dark winter UK churches
The Canons were great, and I loved them, and would never knock them but…
I then had another epiphany at Photokina in 2010. I saw a picture of this little retro-looking camera in a little glass box. It kind of looked at me, as I looked at it. I was intrigued and at the time I was going through another crisis of confidence. Once again I couldn't put my finger on it but my pictures weren't quite delivering for me what I wanted. Clients were loving them, but for me, there was something I wasn't quite connecting with.
X100S: Even seemly ordinary moments can hold interest, and certainly memories
I didn't know it at the time, but when I gazed at what was the Fuji X100 in its little glass box I wondered if what I was lacking in my images was a rawer connection with my subjects. Something I could perhaps only get by getting closer. Getting more intimate, but at the same time remaining as discreet as possible and ensuring the integrity of the moment.
I pointed my stubby little finger at that camera and said, "…that's it. That's what I need."
About five months later I received one of the first Fuji X100's that came into the UK. I took it to a wedding, I shot all my normal stuff with the Canons, and then I shot an hour or so with the X100.
I took the X100 home. I looked it squarely in the eye again. It looked back at me. And I said to itâ¦"Now mister - I like you; you are small, you are discreet, you are deadly silent and you are good to my back. But, if we are to get on, you are going to have to work faster, more reliably and make me swear a lot less often."
X-Pro1: I'm always looking for context around the wedding setting
X-E2: There are stories within stories at the periphery of all wedding moments
At the time, the Fuji X100 was really my only option at getting on board with the [affordable for me] mirrorless technologies. Of course, there is also now Sony, Olympus etc who each have amazingly good systems. For me, though, at that point I'd pinned my flag to the embryonic Fuji X-Series tree and whilst in the beginning I saw "potential," I now, four years later, see how moving to the X-Series has dramatically changed the way I shoot weddings.
I now shoot 100% with my X-Series of cameras. The current set up is an X100T and an X-T1 with the 56mm f/1.2 lens attached. It's no coincidence that that setup, in full frame equivalent, is approximately 35mm and 85mm - just like my preferred shooting lengths with my Canon system.
XT-1: Using lighter, smaller equipment has definitely added a dimension to the way I like to shoot
Here's the thing about these cameras for me; they allow me to get closer still. They bring an intimacy to the imagery that I simply wasn't able to get with the Canon system (the images were fine of course, it was a mindset of shooting more than anything).
I'm now just a guest at the wedding. In fact, many guests have larger and more expensive equipment than me. Has any client ever said to me "we expected you to be using large SLRs?" No. Never. Has any client ever said "Wow, really, we just hardly noticed you all day." Yes. Many.
So, going back to what I wanted to shoot and with regard to shooting "people being people" - the Fuji cameras have really exploited that ambition for me and allow to fulfill that for myself and for my clients.
X-T1: I like to capture the moments in between
It's imperative to me that my pictures reflect the honesty of the wedding. There are many "wedding photojournalists" who work in the same way. There are equally as many who call themselves wedding photojournalists yet stage and contrive the images. For me that's not the same. Shooting candidly is not necessarily the same as making documentary pictures and so I prefer to use the adjective â˜candid' (which the dictionary defines as "truthful and straightforward") when describing my style of photography.
For me it's all about the integrity of the moment. I often say to my clients that I'm simply the curator of memories. You, and your guests, make those memories - I simply record them. I don't want to have any influence on anything at the wedding itself. It is my responsibility to understand the given lighting conditions, take note and understand the characters at the wedding, be responsible and sensitive to every situation and use all my senses help me to record, in pictures, the story of their day.
X-T1: Ultimately, it's about emotion. It's about humanity. It's about allowing people to be people
X-T1: And it's absolutely always about the love
This incredible, short journey, has given me some great privileges, but I think the most humbling experience in my career came last year when another photographer who had been at one of my workshops approached her to document the Caesarean birth of her daughter.
At first I was very reticent to take this on, but I wanted to do something at that stage of my career that was out of my comfort zone and this was the perfect canvas.
In a nutshell, that's the story of my story so to speak. How I went from corporate misery to shooting social documentary photography. I made it sound so easy right?
Well, it was kind of easy, because I unshackled myself from the "rules" of the industry. I believed in the way I wanted to shoot, picked up the ball and ran with it.
But let me tell you, running with that ball hasn't been all plain sailing. I could write just as much about how often I've wanted to give it all up.
How my wife has saved me from doing so on several occasions.
I could tell you about the anonymous hate email I received stating "your photographs are snapshots. Why don't you leave it to the professionals?"
I could tell you about how I've sat and watched my images ripped apart by judges at international competitions and dismissed as "snapshotography" (and by the way, they had a point).
I could tell you about the time that a simple sentence from Zack Arias whilst having a beer in a Japanese bar saved my career.
I could tell you all of that stuff too.
â¦but instead, I'd like you to press play on the video below. Turn the sound up and at the endâ¦.smile. Life is good!
For me, the key here is the human story. I use the clock to anchor the segments together but the little looks, the eye contact, the touch, the first sights of Majaâ¦.
So bringing it all back together - I enjoy story telling pictures. I enjoy stories that have a start, a middle and an end. I enjoy creating picture essays that curate these memories for my clients.
It's different to the "norm." There is no formula. It's 100% candid and I guess I simply enjoy taking pictures of people, being people.
I hope you've enjoyed my ramble, and even if you don't enjoy the pictures, I hope it helps people teetering on the edge to make a decision. One way or another. Life changing decisions usually work out for the best!
I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, just leave them in the comments.
Thanks so much for reading!
You can see more of Kevin’s work at KevinMullinsPhotography.co.uk and The-Owl.co.uk, and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Very inspiring! I long for the day I can tell my wife that I’ve quit my job.
I love your style. It is just so human, story-telling and timeless… and, awesome.
I believe Rembrandt received the same kind of abuse! Inspirational story. Many thanks
Kevin, your story and photos are brilliant! I am jnspired by your bravey and courage to do what you love and are very good at. Kudos to scott kelby for giving you the voice and platform to make your story our story. Congrats!!
Thanks Eric – that’s very kind. And yes, thanks for Scott and Brad too….
Honest, raw, emotional images. You’ve inspired a generation of photographers including me :)
Thanks Lorenzo – that’s really kind mate.
Wow..i read that sitting at my desk at work…it all rings true with me. I hope to do the same soon…well done and thanks for telling your story
Do it Phil! & Good luck.
I feel the story here is “follow you’re passion” and you can make it work. I can relate to you’re story, thanks for sharing with us!! Best wishes and keep up the great work!
That was a great read as always. You have always inspired me and have achieved so much. Enjoyed looking at your images and seeing which camera you had used.
Nice to read. Nice pictures. Fuji rocks! Keep up the good work. What do you use to convert to BW? Silver efex? They are so nice. Grtz, Edwin
Hi Edwin – all my wedding stuff is currently converted in Lightroom. A lot of my personal work goes through Alien Skin Exposure though.
Tx for the reply Kevin.
Have a nice day!
Your path to now is quite inspirational. Epiphanies and gut feelings need to be acted on more than they are. I’m talking to me. Am I listening? Look at this guy – he is out there and creating. Anyway, great story. Keep on keepin’ on.
Excellent story, Wonderful photography!
That was a great read thanks, how I wish things had happened different for me. Lugging big DSLR’s trying to manage 13hr weddings with back problems, I had to finish in the end, and then Fuji started changing the game.
You have made the right decision, more time for family is good, and the way you shoot weddings is just great, I think its such a better way of shooting and the results speak for themselves. A friend of mine shoots in a similar style, alexmillerweddings.co.uk
Cheers Robin – I used to shoot with the Canon cameras (and they were great – image quality was amazing etc) – just for me, a smaller, lighter system made so much sense.
That’s the best lunchtime break I have had for a long time!!!
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and can connect with so many points about the “office job” doing the same thing day in day out, whilst staring out the window wishing I was somewhere else……..
Very inspirational, and so many emotional and stunning images.
Loved the bit about telling the wife…….
I just wanted to write the same lines. I has taken me into a deep reflection. Love the text and the comments :-)
Thanks Spencer – really kind.
Your pictures make me smile. They have that human aspect that I find so important. Keep up your exploration.
Thanks Jim – smiling is the aim of the game.
I would love to know how you work with potential clients that expect a more formal approach to their wedding. If they are not aware of your style (i.e., they haven’t learned of you from word-of-mouth), how do you sell them on not having formal/staged/posed photos available for them to choose from?
I’m guessing that you use some of the language that you have shared here; candid, documentary, curator of memories, emotion, etc. However, I am guessing that these potential clients have a hard time wrapping their head around the concept of your styleâ€”especially if parents are paying for the wedding and/or are attending the client meetings (i.e., wanting a more traditional approach).
By now, I would imagine that business is large enough that you can simply point them in the direction of another photographer that will meet their needs. But what about earlier in your careerâ€”the times you could not afford to turn away any clients?
On another topic, I have found that people tend to be more candid in their interactions when they do not see a photographer floating around (i.e., the photographer is farther away from the action, and is using longer lenses). I guess a 85mm lens allows a little distance, but I find it interesting that you are able to achieve similar candidness while being so close.
Hi KC – It’s all about the brand. Take a look at my website and you should see what I mean.
Apart from my first wedding, I’ve shot in this style ever since.
In my experience people see photographers “at the edge of the room” with long lenses more like paparazzi photographers and are more conscience of it. I blend in as much as possible – essentially I’m just another guest at the wedding.
It does also come down to how you shoot of course. I’m very considered in what I shoot – I spend more time watching, than actually shooting I suppose.
This is what’s great about this blog. I always find someone new that really has amazing work and a great story to tell.
I don’t like shooting weddings either. It’s not my primary field and I feel like I’m forced into a cookie cutter mold of the same old shots. I love that clients are willing to accept this style as you capture so much emotion!
I love being a second shooter to be honest. I usually present my images and get this same style because i’m not the one on the hook for the posed or “shot list” images. I find it more satisfying to shoot this way and clients get raw images of tears, hugs, laughs, and pure life moments.
kudos to you. I’m writing this at my home desk with my “real” work staring at me on the other screen. I struggle to find time to complete my work, shoot images, spend time with family, and feel like I gave time to the right folks, the family.
Leap of faith coming soon to this 32 year old. :)
This is one of those blogs you’ll read over and over to get the juices flowing to the brain. Thank you Scott, Brad, and Kevin of course.
Thanks Cody and I hope it works out for you too….I’m sure it will :-)
Great story Kevin. You had the courage to take action and change the trajectory of your life. I think Henri would agree with, and be pleased with your work.
“Memory is very important, the memory of each photo taken, flowing at the same speed as the event. During the work, you have to be sure that you haven’t left any holes, that you’ve captured everything, because afterwards it will be too late.”
Thanks Bill and a really sage quote there.
Really liked all the “snapshots”. :)
And I really like that you set your own style – clients can decide if they like what you do or not, but you aren’t going to shoot like another photographer just to pick up a gig…
Hi Kevin, I loved reading your post! I admire you for your courage to change your life and do something completely different. And I think it was the right decision …. your pictures are absolutely great!! Keep at it …. Ferdinand
Thanks Ferdinand – I really appreciate your kind words.
This was a very enjoyable read…just yesterday I stumbled upon Scott’s blog….and I am so glad I did!! Your story is so inspiring and just what I needed to hear. I absolutely love your style…and this is my favorite way to shoot as well. So happy to hear you broke away from the contrived shots…and went your own way. Your photos are fantastic and they evoke such raw emotion. Thank you for mentioning the Fuji x100 series….I am making a career change and was looking into what type of equipment etc..and was concerned about lugging around a heavy camera. All the best to you, I look forward to reading more and seeing more of your work! PS I was thinking that I would be looked down upon for using a smaller camera etc (you know, not a serious photographer)… But after reading your story, I am not concerned about that anymore. :)
Thanks Kim and I know other people worry about perception too using smaller cameras – but at the end of the day, it’s what the clients think that matters and they will never care as long as you deliver to them beautiful images.
That’s what I say all the time. Go your own way. The Industry makes you crazy if you listen to everything. This post gave me another kick in the butt to do my thing! Great pictures, great story telling, great article!
Thank you for reading this, it brought out a laugh and bended eyebrows, you have done what i always wanted to do, and you are very good at it.
But a question is, to your style of shooting what do you think of upgrading from XE2 to XT1 and X100s to X100t ?
Thanks for letting me reading this. Thanks!
Hi Allan – The X100S is a great camera and the X100T offers additional benefits such as Chrome simulation, Wifi etc. Image quality and sensor remain the same.
The X-T1 however, I believe, is a better camera all round than the X-E2. Especially if you need to shoot and track subjects at the same time. Currently I shoot with X-T1 _ X100T.
Ok and both xt an 100t got electronic shutter to :) i think it can only be a great combo :) Thanks my friend!
Kevin, I have been following your work for a while now. This was the best! Thanks for sharing. I would love to know what Zack said in that sentence.
It was something that only Zack could come up with….and it was very inspirational as well as very timely. Then we had another beer. :-)
A brilliant story and even though I’ve heard it all before it never fails to inspire.
The thing about Mullins is that when he talks about his photos you don’t hear irrelevant information about camera settings or editing techniques. You hear about what he thinks is the important part of social documentary…….the people.
Kevin, your images are wonderful and inspiring. Question: so what do you do when a couple approaches you asks you to take family portraits at their wedding?
To be honest Avital it rarely happens – I can’t remember the last time. My website and branding pretty much sums up my style well in advance of the booking.
Hi Kevin, really love your work! I have been in to photography for a year and am on the verge of trying to make a career out of it as you did. I currently shoot Nikon with an APS-C sensor and was weighing up investing in a full frame body, but a play on my friends xe -1 and seeing your work and Damien Lovegrove videos on YouTube has caused me a few dilemmas as I have had an X-T1 in my online basket on more than one occasion! Have you found any limitations shooting with Fuji, such as the limited flash options and slow AF in low light!? Thanks for inspiring me
To be 100% honest with you Rich, I rarely use Flash at all so I’m not qualified to answer that. However, I do know that a lot of people are using the Nisin flash system to great acclaim.
Moving to the X-Series, I believe, made me a better photographer overall. It made me slow down, and think about my images more instead of over shooting way too much (I still over shoot of course, but less).
It’s definitely one of the best decisions I made for my business but it will take time to move away from DSLR mentality to CSC mentality.
Dude. Dude. I’m amazed. You captured in your story everything I feel about weddings and what I want my images to be like. I’d love to be a fly on the wall at weddings you shoot and just be inspired. Great work!
Thanks Ayers – it’s all about the people, right! :-)
Kevin, I enjoyed both your blog and your pictures.
What an inspirational story you have Kevin. Thank you for sharing. I am 64 years old and still trying to decide what I want to be (photographically speaking) when I grow up. I think I will read, and re-read, your story and then get on with it!
Thank you Indra – maybe we never really grow up anyway :-)
Thank you for writing this. You nailed it! I mean really nailed it!
One other question- I love my X100s. I want an XT-1 but can’t really afford it right now- I probably could afford a used X-pro-1. Is that a viable option or should I hold out until I can afford the Xt-1?
The X-Pro1 is a lovely camera and I still use mine. It’s not as quick as the X-T1 and doesn’t have the tracking or other core features. It’s still a great camera though and I believe produces my favourite JPEGs out of all of them.
This is a great story and an amazing journey of courage. Good thing you have a supportive wife :)
Two weeks ago, I shot my first wedding- my wife by my side and acting as a 2nd shooter. We were both terrified, but a friend and coworker asked for my help. Afterward, I was humbled- it’s a lot of work- a long day and lots of editing afterward. At the same time, what a wonderful moment to capture. Thanks for sharing!
Wives rock :-)
Beautiful post, really heartfelt and some great images that illicit those feelings you talk about. Thank you!
Yes! This. This is exactly why I decided to start my own photography business and actually wrote about it in my second log post on my new website. My images are far from technically perfect, but I adore capturing life as it happens. I love shooting theater and family moments (weddings are a bit out of reach for me at the moment.). I love capturing the human elements, the real emotions, the beauty, and even things that might not be considered conventionally beautiful. I love being able to tell a story. I have to say, since getting “out here” in the last month and joining forums and reading blogs, I have felt technically deficient and like I did not belong. Perhaps I do not, but that is not going to bother me. I would much prefer having an image that sparks a memory when it is viewed years later than plastic smiles in perfect lighting. Because Iife is not perfect. And we need to remember it as such.
Just storytelling. A simple change even in the light would make a moment not that true. We’re speaking in the same language. I’m not trying to work like you; you came to my life when a I was already doing that kind of work… and that’s the kind of things that tell someone “You see? You were right! That’s the way!” :) It’s a pitty I won’t be able to go to the “FDF Argentina” this year. I was so excited to meet you… Anyway, maybe in another life… Thanks for sharing! Very well done!… Oh! I almost forget… FUJI RULES!!!
FDF Argentina will be great. Maybe next time….
Genius! I’ll always admire your courage :)
Thanks for sharing your journey into photography and a wonderful career. Very inspiring.
Except you may want to correct this line….
“Itâ€™s Monday 23rd March 2015 and Iâ€™m writing this.”
lol – oh yes….always getting ahead of myself :-)
These photos….wow! This style is extraordinary. Retro, but out of the box contemporary at the same time. Intimate. Nice work.
I always enjoy seeing your work . And I am so glad you shared your story . you are such an inspiration . i am not a professional photographer but do enjoy capturing the moment . My nephew was married in the autumn past . They had hired a professional photographer . I asked my nephew and his fiance if I could shoot their wedding in my own style…basically from a street photographers view . I used the X-T1 with the 56 1.2 and a rented x1oos…when i presented the images to them…their response was…this is so much better than our professional photographers …I think the difference shows strongly in your work…the images show such truth of a genuine moment . Be well my friend . …Carry on :)
Thanks Florence – When I shot with my Canon cameras I shot entirely with a 35/85 combo and I do the same now. That 56mm lens (85 equiv) is such a gorgeous optic. Thanks again for the kind words.
Florence, why did you have to knock the professional photographers? Why were your images so much better? “Be well my friend’? You should be ashamed of yourself for lickin’ those boots so much. You’re a back stabber!
God… Why are you so hateful… YOU should be ashamed.
Hateful? Did I mention hate anywhere in my comment? And why do you have to bring God in this discussion?
Kevin is a real ambassador for documentary wedding photographers here in the UK and it’s fantastic to see him getting the recognition he deserves. I know this story, but yet reading it again puts real fire in my belly to go and grab every opportunity, and do things ‘my way’. Good on you Kev, and thanks to Scott for sharing.
Thanks Neale :-)
Love it that you didn’t even own a camera Kevin!! Just shows what people can do when they follow that gut instinct, hats off to you.
Thanks Lizzy and yes, no camera until then. Not that that’s the “best” way to approach things of course :-)
Amazing and truly inspirational words and pictures Kevin. Living proof that if you stick to what you believe, you can have a fun and fulfilling career in photography, and find the kind of clients that love exactly what you do.
which one do you prefere? xt 1, xe2, x100s or pro1?
do you use ef mount lenses on the x100t?
because i have some really good zeiss manuall focus lenses and i dont want to miss them.
Nope…the X100/s/t are fixed lenses (though you can get a wide/tele converter).
ah, ok. thank you for the information. I love your awesome pictures.
You can put those lenses on any Fuji X body besides the X100 series and X30. Many Fuji shooters use adapted MF lenses.
Great story, wonderful images. Thanks Kevin and thank God our industry has people like you in it! Quick question though, I appreciate this may not happen that often with the approach you take and the equipment you use, but how do you deal with that hypersensitive guest (typically a bridesmaid) who seems to know exactly when you’re about to click the shutter and stops dead in their tracks, thus destroying the wonderful story-telling image you were just about to capture? Hope you follow!
Thanks Alistair & yes, that may happen. Like everything though, there is always other opportunities throughout the day. Not every shot works out and I find the way you behave / carry yourself throughout the day makes a difference. I like to be seen as a guest, rather than as the photographer.
You are right…your images aren’t perfect but that’s the stuff of wanna-be’s on photography forums arguing about how sharp things are…but your images breath life….and they all tell a story about people…they are fabulous…when that comes together consistently, nobody cares about pixel peeping.
You’ve really carved out a “look” for yourself, and a style that’s very enjoyable…and your attention to the “moment” is amazing.
PLEASE..I HAVE to know…what did Zack tell you in that Japanese bar!!!????
Thanks Robert….one day we’ll have a beer and I’ll tell you the whole thing :-)
Kevin, what an amazing story leading to even more amazing images. To think you had this all bottled up inside waiting for the opportunity to come out! And when you finally let it out you benefited your clients / friends and the world of photography at the same time. I salute your commitment to doing things your way and avoiding all of those wonderful “Formulas” and “You have to shoot it this way – Rule # ??”
Look forward to seeing more and hearing more! Ramble on! You have an audience captivated by your images and your thoughts! You have gained the attention of many over at Fuji X Forums.
Thanks Fred! I’ll head over the the Fuji X-Forums again – always a welcoming place.
Kevin, I had the opportunity to chat with Rommel Bundalian this afternoon and we talked about this wonderful article you wrote. You have Rommel’s respect and my admiration and attention. Oh so much to learn! Cheers!
Great post and story, Kevin. Recently made the transition myself but you’ve got more guts, having never really done anything before taking the plunge. Kudos on you! In regards to competitions My take is that those judges aren’t going to pay my bills, my clients are. They are the judges that ultimately matter and they’re looking for heart, not technical perfection.
Thanks Charlie & Wise Words!
One of the best blogs I’ve read in a long time. Great example of the results you can get by keeping things simple. Really good inspirational read. Thanks Kevin.
Simple really is the name of the game. It’s more observation, than shooting. Thanks for your kind words Stuart.
Brilliant. Touching. Inspiring. There is so much love in this that you could pass for an amateur.
Hi Kevin, the photos delivery to the couple is in 100% B&W?
Anywhere between 70% and 100% Zanzai
Kevin, you captured my attention the moment you said you quit your job to become a wedding photographer… yet had never shot a wedding nor did you own a camera. Well, I knew then I had to read the full post. I’d say if you’re chatting with Zack Arias (I’m dying to know what the encouraging words were that Zack said to you that kept you in the game) and doing guest posts for Scott Kelby, you’re doing pretty damn well!
Thanks Charlie – it’s a great industry to be a part of and I’m enjoying it greatly :-)
Incredibly inspiring! Kevin, I wish you all the success and happiness the world has to offer. Lots of love to your amazing wife. Finally, I’d love to know what Zack told you.
Zack has wise words for everyone – you just have to listen closely :-)
An excellent read and some beautiful emotive imagery. Thank you for sharing.
Truly amazing story, Kevin! Gave me chills up my spine more than once. And just to say it made me thinking… You obviosuly have that subtle gift of _seeing_ which is not given to everyone and you use it in a way that deserves true respect, not less because it goes way beyond technical aspects of photography.
One tech detail though I’m interested to ask about. I see you are deep into BW and I love that style. How does it roll with your clients? Do they ask for colour/bw particularly or they leave it at your final decision? If latter is the case, what is the common reaction of people? It’s clear your clients know about your style before they approach and you assure them about possibilities, but nevertheless – did you ever suffer shallow attitudes regarding your style?
Hi Dragan – thanks for the kind words. The B&W stuff is part of the brand and you are right, the clients understand that before hand. I don’t really have any issues with it. My attitude is pretty simple, if colour is a feature of the image, then it will remain in colour.
Thank you kindly for your candid honesty Lovely read.
Absolutely beautiful blog, photos and video. Thanks for sharing.