Wedding photography in Arizona USA

A change from commercial photography with a wedding and party that came with some beautiful November weather in Arizona. These are images from pre and post wedding shoots.

This opportunity also gave me the chance to try out some new kit – namely the Phottix Odin Speedlight Trigger System combined with a Westcott Apollo Softbox. These make for a portable, flexible and adaptable on-the-run lighting set-up. With the addition of a “sun swatter” or reflector with translucent scrim, light can be tamed. But it’s worth pointing out that in summer higher power strobes will more than likely be needed as speedlights have limited power output.


Phoenix at most times of year has an intense sun that needs controlling for portraits. Noon on a November day was no different. With the aid of a translucent sun blocker/reflector, this lighting combination worked well. It’s worth noting that, for these social images (below), a flatter light was the intention to complement skin and facial tones.


The Westcott Apollo is a clever design with a lot of thought going into how it works. No forward-facing flash here, instead it shoots back into the box for added light diffusion. It’s also quick and easy to set-up and seems pretty hard wearing. The Phottix Odin is what makes remote strobe/s practical; shooting in TTL mode or manual (my preferred route) you can control the output from each flash individually from the camera, adjust flash ratio/s and more. It also has high speed sync offering shutter speeds up to 1/8000 sec.


These images were taken with the Fuji X-T1 and Canon 5D mark II. It is with portrait photography that the X-T1 excels, especially in controlled light situations. The lack of an anti-aliasing filter certainly helps give crisper images while conversion to black and white often seems to complement the tones of a Fuji image. Monochrome conversion was done from Fuji raw – known as raf in Fuji circles – using Photoshop with Fuji black and white styles in addition to some in Nik Silver Efex.


Of course, often the best party pictures are spur-of-the-moment images captured using natural light only…


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