Something I don’t normally do is work on many personal projects. Most of my time is taken up doing work for clients. Mainly interior photography, and managing clients Lightroom catalogues. In August I decided to spend some time working on a documentary photography project. Documenting my brothers 18th birthday.
Rather than shooting posed photos I wanted to play with more of a documentary, reportage style of shooting. Not asking anyone to pose, but to rather sit back and wait for those special moments between my brother and our cousin, or my uncle trying hard not to get frustrated during a game of 30 Seconds. Instead of shooting with my favourite lens, my 24mm Sigma ART lens, I opted rather for my 105mm Nikon lens for most of the shoot. Giving me more distance between myself and my subject. Putting distance between myself and the subject means I’m not so much in their faces, making things feel a bit more natural and relaxed.
I’m also normally quite pedantic about getting the perfect composition, and getting the best exposure, shooting with the lowest ISO etc. For this kind of documentary photography project I tried to shift away from that, and tried not to worry too much about getting “the perfect shot.” I was also not to worried if an image was not tack-sharp.
I’ve been spending a lot of time over the last few months looking at other photographer’s work, and seeing how I could apply this documentary style to some of my shoots, mainly my weddings, where I feel posed shots are too set up.
Again for this kind of documentary photography project I decided to work purely in black and white, and was keen to produce quite grainy, high contrast images. I love producing black and white images, and using Google’s Nik Collection means I have complete control over converting my RAW files to black and white. They have heaps of presets and you can adjust everything, from reproducing different well-known black and white films, so adding vignettes and borders.
I still feel for documentary photography style projects, the new Fuji X-T2 is a great option, because it’s such a small camera, it’s maybe not so intimidating to your subjects than using a big Nikon or Canon with a huge lens. You can see my review about the X-T1 here.