Trust me, I get it. You got engaged and you’re looking through every Pinterest board, blog, and magazine you can get your hands on. There is a wealth of information out there in the world to help guide you through this journey. However, there I times that articles pop up that cause the wedding photography industry as a whole to shudder. The latest of those articles appears in Brides Magazine entitled “Essential Questions You Need to Ask Your Wedding Photographer”.
There are absolutely questions you should be asking your potential photographers. In this case they’re absolutely misleading and I wonder if their information came from a website from 5 years ago or maybe their friend who bought a camera recently.
What kind of equipment do you use?
‘They should say either Cannon [sic] or Nikon, which are the most readily available professional cameras available,’ says Tiffani. ‘However, there are professional and amateur cameras in both brands. A professional camera should be a ‘full format’ camera. This will ensure that you can print large-scale prints easily.’
First and foremost I’ll say that I shoot Canon almost exclusively and all of my Canon cameras are full frame (I don’t know if I’ve ever heard it called “full format”.). However, I very regularly shoot on my Fuji x100s…especially in very low light situations. It’s a phenomenal documentary style camera with a completely silent sensor. There are times that I don’t believe I would’ve captured an image if I didn’t have it in my bag ready to go.
My most regularly used second shooter actually shoots the majority of the day on both a Canon full frame and Fuji. He also has a Canon crop body (not a full frame) in his bag that I’m extremely grateful for every couple of weddings.
It gives us some extended range. Let me get into some camera nerd talk for a second. On a crop body camera your lens’s focal range is multiplied by 1.6. So for example, if you have a 100mm lens it becomes a 160mm lens on a crop body.
Why would that be important?
Those numbers translate to how closely you’re zoomed in. In situations with Catholic weddings or churches with strict restrictions on where you can move, having the ability to zoom in further without losing quality is a true blessing. I quite honestly keep my eyes open for a good used 7D Classic or 7D Mark II (both cropped sensors) to pick up just for those situations.
I also don’t under their stance on “full format” allowing you to print large scale more easily. I have a Canon 5D Classic in my bag as a backup to my backup. It’s full frame and gorgeous…however, it is only 12 megapixels. That gives you a image size of 4368 x 2912. A Canon 7D Classic is a cropped sensor at 18 megapixels giving you an image size of 5184 x 3456. You might notice that the 7D has bigger numbers meaning that it can more easily print a large format.
There are absolutely people out there shooting on all types of camera brands and formats. I’ve seen images shot on Sony and Fuji later that have had me considering switching entirely to those systems. I already bring a Sony and a Fuji to weddings in my bags for specific occasions. There are people shooting gorgeous work with crop sensor cameras that print just fine.
On the flip side, there are people out there shooting with Canon and Nikon full frame cameras putting out cringeworthy images while they are (hopefully) trying to learn the craft.
In the end you need to trust your photographer (and all your wedding vendors). This means you need to ask every question you need to in order to accomplish that. I will gladly break down ever camera I use, show examples from each one, and explain my thinking. However, I think it’s more important to know that while I shoot with 2 cameras on my hip on a wedding day, I also keep 4 backup cameras in bags as well.
It’s important to find out your photographer’s method for backing up photographs on the wedding day, in the days after, and long term. Ask to see some full weddings, so that you understand how the non-portfolio images will look. Find out if there are brides the photographer has shot that would be happy to answer questions.
If you you ever have questions, feel free to reach out in email or on social channels. It doesn’t matter if you’re here in Kentucky or in California. I’m more than happy to help steer you in the right direction. I’d love to shoot everyone’s wedding, but as long as you find the right person I’m happy.
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