Aerospace exec ditches it all, turns full-time wedding photographer
posted Friday, August 2, 2019 at 1:59 PM EDT
(This article is sponsored by Panasonic; see the note at the bottom*)
A little over a decade ago, William Innes chose a new profession. One day he was the president of a company in the aerospace industry, the next day he was a wedding photographer. It’s a decision he’s never had cause to regret. Nowadays he’s one of the leading wedding photographers in the USA. For the last few months he has been using the LUMIX S1 to document weddings. ‘Wedding photography is very versatile: one moment you’re a landscape photographer, and the next you’re shooting portraits or products. So you’ll need an all-round camera.’ Luckily, the LUMIX S1 is up for these challenges. ‘This is a great camera. The colors are stunning and the new AF mode which focuses on the eyes, body and even animals, makes it so much easier.’
William has always loved photography. ‘But for over fifteen years, I didn’t have time for it because my job was so hectic. Fifteen years ago, however, I fell in love with photography again. Everywhere I went, I took a camera with me.’ One day his nephew asked if he would like to photograph his wedding. ‘I’d never photographed a wedding before, so I bought a book about it.’ After an argument with the owner of the company he worked for, he decided to quit his job and become a wedding photographer: ‘I didn’t have any clients or real experience whatsoever.’ He learned the trade by doing it, and not without success. He has won several prizes and awards for his photography. Weddings are a big thing in the U.S.
Watch William speak firsthand about his experience shooting beautiful wedding photography on location in Colombia using the LUMIX S series. Click above to play video.
Some people spent a small fortune on the dress, party and venue. ‘Here in California, people like outdoor weddings because of the weather and the beautiful landscapes. I used to do a lot of landscape photography, experience that really comes in handy now, as does my portrait work. At weddings you’re also a product photographer, photographing flowers and rings, for example.’ Photographing a wedding is exhausting. ‘Sometimes you work for ten or twelve hours straight. You’re constantly on your feet, and have to be sharp and focused to catch fleeting moments. Working with a light camera system like LUMIX definitely helps.’ Reliability is also a must: there are no second chances at weddings.
‘The dual card slot of the LUMIX S1 is crucial for me.’ It means he has enough space for his photos and can even store a backup. ‘As a wedding photographer, you need at least two cameras. Things can go wrong at weddings: someone can knock your camera over, for example, so you have to be prepared.’ Innes has worked with the LUMIX S1 for a few months now. ‘I’m truly impressed by this camera. The low-light performance is amazing. At the moment, there are three lenses for it, but others are in the works. For weddings, I use the LUMIX S1 with the LUMIX 24-105mm f4 and the LUMIX S PRO 50mm f/1.4 lenses. The LUMIX 24-105 is a perfect all-round lens and the LUMIX S PRO 50mm is just stunning! The results are unbelievable. The images are sharp and the lens has a beautiful bokeh. It’s a bit bigger than other 50mm prime lenses, but that’s because of the amount of glass.
It’s definitely a high-quality lens.’ For weddings, he usually works in RAW format. ‘For my travel photography, I use JPEG format. It’s just a lot easier when travelling. In the out of the camera JPEG, you can already see the bright, fresh and accurate colours this camera produces. Most wedding photographers are adrenaline junkies. You’re under pressure to perform, but that’s what I like. Instead of problems, I see challenges. You always have to believe that the next wedding you’re going to shoot is going to be the best. I’ve done some big weddings in the past, involving sports stars, but nowadays I prefer smaller, more intimate weddings. It gives me the chance to form a relationship with the couple. I really enjoy working with people.’
William Innes became fascinated with photography at an early age after being intrigued by the buttons and dials on his father’s camera (he still has it – an East German Praktica MLT-5B). After a long career in the aerospace industry William leaped into the world of wedding photography in 2006 and has never looked back. He believes that to be a great wedding photographer you need to be well versed in all kinds of photography, including portrait, landscape, action and product techniques. Besides wedding photography, William loves traveling the world to experience the food, culture and sights. He has won several prizes and awards over the years. Read more about Panasonic’s LUMIX Ambassadors.
*This article is sponsored by Panasonic, to communicate the benefits of the S1 system. Please support this site by clicking through and checking out Panasonic's LUMIX S1 line of full-frame mirrorless cameras here, or by viewing William Innes' video on YouTube. Articles like this help support the work we do at IR; let us know your thoughts in the comments below.