Katya Mukhina celebrates with couples all over the world, travelling to over 35 countries, capturing their wedding day in hundreds of locations – from mountains to the castles - she has an eye for creative landscapes and natural light. We spoke to Katya about her photography style as she offered insights to the world of a wedding photographer.

HINTS & TIPS

1. You need to find a project where you can test your ideas, and then bring them out perfectly at the wedding – the wedding is not the place to experiment.

2. Consider offering to be a second shooter for a professional, I would always take the chance to do this and experiment and broaden my portfolio with new approaches.

3. Always have the camera near your eye or ready to click in your hand. It’s easy to get caught up watching but you need to be able to capture it.

4. Even when you are not photographing, during daily life, think about the available light around you, how the light falls from the sun or reflects from other surfaces, creating shadows and light spots, then apply it to your work.

5. You should subconsciously be able to think about the composition and what the best angle is to shoot the group beautifully… practise on your family and your friends.

6. Never go to a wedding with just one body, always have a second one, and always have lots of spare batteries and a camera with more than one memory card slot.

7. I can’t imagine any event photographer without a flash. The Speedlite 600EX II-RT Flash and the ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter are my best friends for simply beautiful results.

8. I like using a Wi-Fi camera on a monopod or tripod, together with the Camera Connect app on my phone to release the shutter and frame the picture. Previously I had to use the TC-90N3 remote control to have a different upper angle photo.

TAKE A LOOK INSIDE THE KIT BAG

Q&A WITH KATYA MUKHINA

You’ve spent your life in Moscow and originally studied at the Higher School of Economics before you got into photography – how did you come to realise that photography was your true passion?

I’d been into photography since I was about 18 years old, I’d always travel everywhere with a camera – I felt more comfortable when I was somewhere and shooting than just learning. I slowly became more confident with a camera and decided that since I loved it so much, why not try to earn money doing photography? It just became my profession.

How did you first get in to shooting weddings? Was there anyone that inspired you?

Nobody inspired me necessarily, I loved to interact with people, shooting portraits. I felt that it was my “thing” and I tried to develop it, I loved the idea that my clients would cherish the photographs forever, and my stories would get even more valuable with time. Now I’ve been part of more than one thousand events over the last 15 years.

Your style appears to have a very candid nature to it, with natural light as a main feature… How would you define it? Do you have a favourite environment to work in?

I typically cover weddings with receptions of up to 300 people, in big ball rooms using a photojournalistic approach. I use the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT Flash with the ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter creating a beautiful skin tone. For the bride and groom portrait sessions, I always have additional LED lighting or reflections to adjust any available light. I also love to shoot couple engagement sessions, because I want to tell a story about them; my favourite moments are the shots of the couple enjoying wild nature landscapes around them.

I try to be creative, playing with composition, using the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM for unusual angles. The dynamic range of the EOS 1D X Mark II and EOS 5D Mark IV is so broad, that editing RAW files can bring out lots of details in dark shadows and save highlights all in the same picture.


“…you will have to take steps back and forward, but in doing so you notice more – you open up new stories for yourself, a new perspective….”


For the last 5 years you’ve been an ambassador for Canon in Russia and Europe, could you tell us about the Canon DSLRs that you shoot with at weddings?

Now I use the EOS-1D X Mark II and the EOS 5D Mark IV. For every wedding I shoot with at least two cameras, mainly the 1D X Mark II – because of how natural it feels in my hand and how quickly I can react to anything that happens. This camera is also good for working in extreme weather conditions, whether I am in the desert or standing in the rain!

For a typical wedding, I like to use the 5D Mark IV as it’s lighter – after a long day of shooting I am not as tired… I use both these cameras because they are great in low light. A lot of wedding celebrations can happen in the darkest part of the day and I need to keep the highest quality for my customers.

Which Canon Lenses do you shoot with for wedding photography?

I would say for the busy parts of the wedding, like through the ceremony, I use the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens, especially with 5D Mark IV because it has a lot of megapixels and works better with Image Stabilizer lenses. You never know what will happen, or how many people will be around you… in these instances I don’t really worry about the bokeh I just need to be in the right position with quick focusing, for the most clear and sharp result.

Sometimes I use the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM just to show how big the available space is, like the size of a room in a stately home. The lens also makes photojournalistic pictures more dynamic, using geometric patterns, lines and active motion…The EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM is great to show how epic the landscape is around the couple - placing them comparatively smaller within it.

I like shooting with the EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM and the EF 85mm f/1.4L USM each on a separate full frame body. Using this combination does mean you will have to take steps back and forward, but in doing so you notice more – you open up new stories for yourself, a new perspective.


“I’m in love with the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM…every bride would want to see her portrait done with this lens…”


When you’re not taking photographs professionally, what do you like shooting with?

I would always stick with the EOS M5. It’s very advanced and I use it with a EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake lens so it stays lightweight – a similar size to an iPhone. it’s easy to take everywhere with me, and if I see something I can quickly snap it. I use it at the events where I don’t want to draw attention with a big camera, mixing with the crowd.

BE INSPIRED

Written By Rosie Butler
01/06/2018



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