“…in Copenhagen where we both worked in the same restaurant called Geranium” was how they met. Monique and Paul had me as their Paris Engagement Photographer and it was everything and more.
I continue to pick up a camera because it enables me to build connections and share stories with people throughout the world. These two are both chefs and Paris is their home for the time being. Where as Paul is a Parisian through and through, Monique is originally from San Francisco.
Food plays a big part in their story so we decided to head to a market, pick out some of bits, then find somewhere to sit and tucked in. It was the perfect afternoon in Paris to have an open picnic by The Seine River and trade stories. We discussed the favourite places we have travelled to so far (Paul’s happened to be Chicago – yep – even Monique was surprised) and some of the plans we for the future.
After the picnic, we headed back to theirs where they got changed. Without a concrete plan we hit the streets of Paris again ; We roamed about – caught the sunset at the Louvre and carried on walking until we ended up at Arc De Triomphe.
“Let’s climb up it” something I have never done and neither had Monique, so we did. We climbed up the entire spiral staircase all the way to the terrace of the Arc, took in some brilliant views of Paris and climbed back down again ; over 500 steps in total but it was so worth it!
Moe and Paul, thanks for exploring this beautiful city with me, let me know when your restaurant opens and I will be there!
For me this is how engagement sessions should be, a fun adventure, exploring new places, trying new things.
Now which couple want to take me hiking? 😉
Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 – I have been flirting with this lens for about 5 months now but I don’t own a copy yet which is a bit of a surprise considering the fact that I have always had a thing for fast-medium-telephoto lenses; an 85mm f/1.4 has always been part of my professional kit – I have owed a Carl Zeiss Planar and a Nikkor 85mm in the past. The inclusion of this lens in my kitbag should be a no-brainer, heck this use to be my favourite focal length, however it hasn’t worked out that way.
I have spent the past 2 years documenting 99% of my work with just the XF 35mm f/1.4 and the X100S with its native 23mm lens. As a result, the FOV of 50mm and 35mm have become natural to me. I can pre-visualise images at these field of views even before I take them – “this will look good at 35mm and that will look better at 50mm.” I wouldn’t say I have mastered seeing everything through these perspectives yet, but I have a rough idea of how an image is going to look even before I raise a camera to my eye. I feel “at home” shooting at 35mm & 50mm.
I contemplated on switching things up and going with 35mm + 85mm combination this season – a popular choice amongst many wedding photographers, but…
I like to get in closer to the action and my clients gives me the freedom to move around as I wish so I hardly need anything beyond a 50mm ; The 85mm seems a bit too long – isolated headshots are really not my thing, I like to tell stories in context. For this reason, I have decided to stick with the 35mm & 50mm perspectives that has served me so well over the past 2 years for general reportage.
Currently, I am not crazy for the shallowest depth of field / creamiest bokeh. My focus at the moment when creating portraits are lighting, framing, composition, and my subjects personalities. The XF 35mm f/1.4 is a brilliant portrait lens and it allows me to do things just how I like it, if I could have only one lens out of the current Fujifilm range it will be that.
The 56mm f/1.2 is an amazing lens no doubt! But I am struggling to see how it will fit into the way I currently like to do things. If I am to buy a copy now, I can see it been restricted to the role of coming out of my bag for a few frames during portrait sessions, in that case will I be better of with the APD version as my specialist portraits lens? Also the X-Pro 2, when is it coming out? it make more sense to shoot with the 56mm in EVF mode as to the OVF mode – I don’t have the luxury of the awesome viewfinder found in the X-T1.
I will eventually get one (hopefully there will be an optional metal hood for it by then), I just happen to be in no rush to do so despite the fact that this is a stunning piece of glass. If you are a Wedding / Portrait photographer either using the Fujifilm X-Series or considering the system and 85mm is naturally part of the way you see things, then you won’t be disappointed with this beauty. It is flipping brilliant and makes a lovely combination with the X-T1. When I do buy a copy and put it through its paces, I will write up a full review in which I will discuss Build Quality, Image Quality, Focus Speed etc as well as a comparison with the XF 35MM 1.4, however don’t bank on it to be anytime soon though.
Until then, here are 56 frames created with the Fujinon XF 56mm 1.2. All images were taken at either f/1.2 or f/1.4 with an X-Pro 1.
Drop me a line of there is anything you will like to discuss.