Fujifilm stalwart Lood Goosen recently received the award for Photographer of the Year from labour union Solidariteit. Here he provides tips for beginner wedding photographers and tells us more about how to conclude a successful wedding shoot.
What started your interest in photography?
I have always loved photography. As a kid I used to play with our old Polaroid camera pretending to take photos because the film cartridges in those days were quite expensive. In 1988 I took my first photos in Knysna of waves breaking against the rocks with my mother’s old Kodak while we were on a school trip to visit Cape Town – I only had 24 frames available for the whole week. After that, photography became a more frequent phenomenon for me as I discovered black and white film.
You specialise in event, wedding and lifestyle photography. Which one is your favourite?
It would be great to have a balance between wedding, architecture and event photography. For the most part I really love the creative outlet available to me through wedding photography. Understanding light, how to balance your exposures, and the ever-changing lighting conditions at weddings, provide the best place to comprehend other areas of photography.
How do you ensure that a wedding day is successfully captured?
I arrive early, scout the location, and plan my shoot. That way I find the best places for group and family photos. When it comes to the actual shooting, you have to ‘see’ the shot and how it will ‘feel’ once you are done. Decide if you are going to use flash or not!
I also need to have a good understanding of what the couple is looking for, therefore a few meetings (even if it’s over video) are always a great plus! For me, it helps quite a bit when we can have a pre-wedding or engagement shoot before the wedding just to see what will work with that particular couple.
I look at angles, what to avoid, and whether I should start close to them or a little further away to keep them comfortable. Then too, should I pose the couple or have a more natural approach? This really helps to put them at ease and to relax on the day because they know what to expect, and so do I.
Do you have any advice for photographers starting out in wedding photography?
When you start driving, you need someone to show you in a practical way how to shift the gears and how to work the clutch. In the same way, it’s dangerous to just jump into wedding photography having no idea what to expect, plus run a massive risk of ruining a couple’s once-in-a-lifetime memories.
So do your research, practice at home or on your friends, get a mentor and join other photographers on their shoots. Learn about light, about how to become invisible and how to not end up in the final shots of the other photographers or video footage
Do you have any special projects that you are working on?
At the moment I have to say no. Like most photographers, my company has been hit quite hard by lockdown and we are trying to accommodate dates that are still moving because of that. We should be back on track early in 2022 and get back to the fun stuff.
One thing we are planning, with the help of a couple of companies, is a record attempt for our media industry. But I will only be able to say more about this once we have everything in place. It will be amazing if this does materialise!
When and why did you move to Fujifilm?
I love the size, colour of the images and the affordability compared to other brands. I had a serious accident in 2012 and the gear I had then was too heavy and difficult for me to handle especially when the hours got longer. The after-sales of Fujifilm South Africa is also really amazing and I have been helped out so many times in the three years I have been with Fujifilm without any issues.
What does your current Fujifilm setup look like?
I have an X-T3 and X-T4, and I’m using primes for basically everything except for the 16-55mm f2.8 lens, which is still a great go-to for events. In my bag I have the following:
- 23mm f1.4
- 56mm f1.2
- 10-24mm f4
- 90mm f2
- 16-55mm f2.8
- 3 x Godox AD200’s
- Godox AD600
- Godox V1
- 2x Godox flashes for backup
- A small drone.
Is there a favourite destination/subject on your photography bucket list?
Santorini, Dubai and Namibia are at the top of my list, and it would be fun to revisit the UK and Scotland again.
Where can people find more of your work?
They can have a look here: