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Photographing my first Wedding: The Gear I Bought, The Fujifilm X-T4 Dilemma and is My Friendship at Risk?

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Back in mid January, I wrote this article, where I told you that my best friend asked me to photograph his wedding.

Well, actually not his entire wedding.

There is an official photographer, but he will stay only until dinner. He will then leave, and my friend asked me if I can cover it from dinner onwards.

So I asked you…

… in order to be ready for the shoot, any tips and tricks, also from a gear point of view?

The article received a massive response with over 230 comments.

I did read them all, but was not able to reply to all of them, as then all the mega buzz started for the X100V announcement and the Fujifilm X-T4 rumors. Not to talk that January is always extremely busy also at school, and now in February I started a video project, which takes lots of time, too.

So I thought I post one big response article now, that touches three main points: the gear, how I should relate with the official photographer and something that came unexpected for me: the risk to destroy my friendship.

Let’s go in order:

The Gear and X-T4 Dilemma

  • Lenses

I was considering to buy two lenses. So I launched a survey.

The winner was clearly the Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2. So I went ahead and bought it.

The second place went to the Fujinon XF16-55mm f/2.8 and the third to the XF16mm f/1.4.

However, many of you said that I can live very well with my XF23mm f/1.4, XF35mm f/1.4 and now my XF56mm f/1.4. So no need to buy any more lenses.

I only bought the 56, and I’ll show up at the wedding with this XF lens trinity.

  • Cameras

Of course I’ll use my trusty Fujifilm X-E3. But I definitely need a second camera body.

Now, as you know, I am a teacher. And in the last few years, I have made more and more video project with my students, as this activity is extremely motivating for them, but also for me.

Until now I have filmed them with my destroyed Fujifilm X-E2 and my Fujifilm X-E3.

But as I get more serious with video and improve my editing skills as you can see from my GFX100 Thanos Endgame video, I was already considering to get a Fujifilm camera with IBIS.

So that will be mainly an investment for my work at school.

There is not much choice: either the Fujifilm X-H1 or the Fujifilm X-T4.

And while the Fuji X-T4 seems to be the obvious choice, there is something that makes me want be grab the Fujifilm X-H1: the Fujifilm X-T4 has a selfie screen!

Now, I get all the advantages a fully articulating screen can have, and I perfectly understand why the majority of FR readers want one on the Fujifilm X-T4.

But for my shooting style, I always stand behind the camera, so a fully articulating screen is something I just don’t need.

On the contrary, I love to have my screen always centered to the camera. But with the Fujifilm X-T4 using the same tilt mechanism of the Fujifilm X-T200, the only way to tilt it up and down will be to move the screen all the way out to the side. I just don’t like that idea.

But I’ll wait for the Fujifilm X-T4 announcement on Feburary 25/26 to make my final decision.

Dealing with the Official Photographer

I will stay well out of the way. Whatever he does, he does it much, much better than me.

Upon your recommendation, I will just focus to take some candid shots of the guests. But don’t overdo that. I also know quite some people at the wedding, so this could give me a little advantage, in the sense that people, who know me, will very likely feel quite comfortable if I point my little X-E3 and a little prime on them.

I did plan to talk to the official photographer about gear. The idea was to make him curious about the Fujifilm system. But some of you said to let it be. Let him work, don’t interfere, and don’t engage in any gear talk. So I’ll take that advice. I’ll let him do.

But… what if he shoots Fujifilm, like this wedding photographer I met casually while cycling on my mountains (and he is also a FR reader, btw). In that case I can’t resist, and I will just make a quick comment about how cool his gear is.

But you know what? I believe that if he sees me with my sexy Fuji gear, maybe he will be the one to approach me and ask about it.

Destroying the Friendship

This one caught me completely unexpected. I did not consider this at all, but suddenly tons of comments and emails warned me, that I put my friendship at risk.

And I must say I went a bit in panic.

In short: if I mess up at one of the most important days in life of my friend, then this could deteriorate our friendship.

After your advice, I contacted my friend again, and told him not to expect professional results. And he was totally cool with that. He literally told me: “we just would like to have a few images of the evening that are not taken with a smartphone“. Also, for them it’s more practical if I take all the pictures, so that they don’t have to contact all the guests in the following days, asking to share with them the images they took with their smartphones of the evening. I will be there, I take the images, and they will ask only me to give them the images.

Also, our friendship is strong, and if you want to get a partial insight on what we went through together (also really terrible times, sadly), read this comment I made a few ago here.

But I get your point, though, and it’s a valid one. And I think if I was not extremely close to my friend, then yes, if I mess up, this could become a problem.

I am Privileged

This has to be said.

I feel so incredibly privileged that I can just write an article, and I get hundreds of comments of help and support. Not everybody has this opportunity.

Thanks a lot… and I will try to give you back the favor by running FujiRumors at my best day after day.

I am Ready

So, all I have to do now is to hit some clubs with my wife and friends, my camera, and practice. Practice a lot. The gear won’t let me down. Maybe a couple of speedlights and learn to use them properly in a rather fast changing and uncontrolled environment like a dancing floor.

Then I will just go at the wedding, and try to enjoy myself while shooting. 99% of the pressure is on the professional photographer anyway. I can take it easy and photograph stress-free and with fun.

So, wish me good luck… and if I get permission of the guests, I will be happy to share some images on my instagram later this summer.

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