This week’s pictureline featured photographer is the one and only PEPPER NIX. To know Pepper is to truly, truly love her. Not only is she one incredibly talented photographer, she is everyone’s instant best friend. This is probably the reason she was named Utah’s Best Wedding Photographer in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016! We did a short q&a with Pepper in case you are thinking about hiring her for your upcoming wedding, or if you are just looking to be inspired by her amazing work!
What camera do you shoot with? (We love to ask this question! Canon, Nikon, Sony? They all have their own brand of photographers).
“I shoot with the Canon 5D Mark III, specifically because of the dual write capability it has. As a wedding photographer, you don’t get a chance for a do-over. Also, the focusing system is super crazy fast, especially with my new favorite lenses, the Sigma ArtLens series! I’ve got the 50mm and the 85mm and they’re currently my favorite lenses (but that tends to change all the time).”
What are your top go-to lenses for shooting weddings?
“The top go-to must have lenses for weddings I think are the 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8. Those aren’t my favorite lenses, but they’re the ones that you should have as a photographer. I don’t own any lens that has a more narrow aperture than 2.8, for weddings you need fast lenses that are great in low light, so buying an f/4 lens just doesn’t make sense. If you’re shooting a wedding and you don’t have an f/2.8 lens, rent them until you can buy. That extra stop of light makes all the difference during a reception, and shooting at 2.8 is just gorgeous throughout the day. And, having said that, my go to zoom lenses are my least favorite. My favorites are to shoot prime lenses wide open, but that only really works if you know exactly what is coming. Sometimes, things start to get a little unexpected, and that’s when you must have those 2 zooms.”
Do you bring your own lighting accessories, such as reflectors, on-camera flash, etc. to the weddings you shoot?
“As far as accessories, yes I bring a lot! I have the Airport Security 2.0 bag, that holds 2 bodies, 9 lenses, 3 Canon speedlights, and 2 of the GL1 hotlights. Then I’ve got the Profoto B1 series in a backpack. Finally, I’ve got a light stand bag over my left shoulder. It holds all of my longer and lighter things, monopod if I need it, light stands, those weird spider looking thingys for sticking a flash onto anything I can find [aka this], umbrellas, softboxes, a few other handy little gadgets. I usually don’t work with an assistant, so I need to be able to carry all of my gear by myself, in a single trip. So, rolling bag, backpack, and lightweight long bag for stands. But you want to walk carefully through doorways, I’ve gotten stuck a couple times…. ;)”
What do you feel is the most important thing when it comes to shooting a wedding?
“Having a great and excited attitude and rolling with changes! Bring gear for any possible situation, even if you don’t use it, you’ll be glad you brought it. Be prepared for any kind of lighting situation, any kind of weather. Be prepared for someone to have a complete meltdown, and the timeline to go off the rails, and everything to change at the last minute. Be prepared for your outdoor ceremony to be in a dark room because of rain, or for your carefully set up indoor family portraits to suddenly be moved into bright sun and wind because mom likes the background better. If you go into it with the attitude that as long as the bride is happy, everything will be great, then it will be.”
Pepper is truly amazing and what great advice and valuable information she has given us! All aspiring wedding photographers can be inspired by Pepper and her work. Be sure to visit her website and check out more of her work.
We help Pepper here at pictureline all the time with her gear and equipment. She is such a delight every time we get to see her! Come by the store to rent some of the products Pepper uses, or to talk to one of our employees about how to get prepared for your upcoming wedding shoots.
See you next Friday!