My name is Moritz Schmittat. I’m a wedding photographer and videographer based in Guildford, UK. I’ve been shooting weddings since 2010 and like so many wedding photographers, my first wedding was for a good friend.
I was shooting on a Canon until late 2017 when I decided to trade everything for Sony. First, I had the Sony A9 and the Sony A7r3 with a bag full of lenses. While the Sony A9 was an incredible camera at the time, the real fun started a few years later with the release of the Sony A7S3, a game-changer in videography!
I’m one of the few photographers who shoot photography and videography simultaneously that is by myself. I used two camera bodies for a year, the Sony A7S3 for video (4k, 10bit, 422, 50fps, full-frame) and the Sony A9 for photos.
I only used the Sony A7R3 for group shots and portraits because I love the higher resolution.
These days I mainly shoot everything with just one camera, the Sony Alpha 1. What a beast of a camera! It’s all of my previous cameras combined into one body, both in terms of video (4k, 10bit, 422, 50fps, full-frame), portraiture requirements (50mp) and ultra-fast focusing for all documentary photography coverage (20frames/sec).
I still have the Sony A7S3 in my bag for backup, but I don’t tend to use it at weddings anymore.
Shooting Photo and Video
Shooting both photography and videography at the same time involves a bit more gear than just the Sony A1. While I constantly switch between photography and videography for most of the day, there are a few moments when I need both simultaneously, such as the first kiss or the confetti throw.
During these moments, I shoot photography with the Sony A1, and for videography, I use a DJI Osmo Pocket, which sits on top of my still camera. This little camera is fantastic as it’s stable with a built-in gimbal, consistently focused, and has 4k 50fps.
The colours are great too, and with a bit of grading the footage doesn’t look much different from what the full-frame body produces, especially if it’s only a few seconds of footage here and there.
In addition, I’m using three Sony RX0mk2’s during the ceremony and the speeches. These cameras are so unbelievably small that I keep them on microphone stands (no tripods required). They are quick to set up and can pretty much stand anywhere without being in the way. With USB battery packs, these cameras can run for a whole day. I only use 128GB cards in them so they are full in just under three hours.
For audio recording, I’m using two sets of Rode Wireless Go2 microphones so four in total, which record internally. They are also connected to a Zoom F8 Field recorder for backup, monitoring, and a clean DJ feed where possible.
I’ve attached one of the Wireless Go2 mic/transmitters to a very high-end Sennheiser 416 microphone via an external 48V phantom power box. Not all celebrants are okay with wearing one of my microphones, especially during COVID, but the Sennheiser 416 picks up everything so clearly, even from a metre away.
I have a lot of lenses in my bag but only use one for about eighty per cent of the day, the Sony 35mm f/1.8. This lens is small and light, producing sharp quality images. I have the crop mode of the A1 programmed to a button on the body, which turns this lens into something like a 50mm. The Sony A1 helps out with the extra megapixels.
I use the Sony 90mm macro lens for ring shots in the morning. I either stitch the images together for ultra-wide venue shots or I use the Sony 12-24mm G (not the GM) lens. I am not a big fan of too wide a perspective as it somehow makes me feel seasick.
I will often use the Sigma ART 50mm f/1.4 even though it is quite heavy or the gorgeous Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM in churches. I also have the Sony 70-200mm GM lens which is so big and heavy that it tends to draw too much attention.
After church, I sometimes switch to the Sony 24-70 f/2.8 GM (the first release, not the mk2) lens. This lens is excellent for storytelling when you don’t need that extreme shallow DOP.
Depending on the location, I might even get the Sony 135mm f/1.4 GM out of the bag for portraits. This lens is big, heavy, not versatile, but simply stunning! Its bokeh is like butter, especially wide open.
I might do one or two hair spray effect shots in the morning with flash, but I try not to rely on using any flashes for the rest of the day unless it’s dark. I have two Godox AD200, which I use on the dancefloor, often on opposite sides or at one hundred and twenty-degree angles. I use MagMod products to control the width of the beams and usually add a 1/4 CTO gel. I control these lights with the Godox XPro Controller.
I have a bunch of old Godox 685 flashes with MagMod rings, which I use for nighttime effect shots. I like the different colour gels from MagMod, especially when you backlight the couple.
I don’t use any straps as I only shoot with one camera at a time. I have a Think Tank Retrospective shoulder bag where I keep one or two extra lenses and the backup body, the A7S3. I keep all other lenses in a Think Tank Airport bag.
Depending on the situation I usually leave it with the DJ, hotel reception or hide it somewhere on a table. If it doesn’t feel safe it stays in the boot of my car.
I don’t tend to use any tripods. My three little Sony RX0mk2’s sit on standard microphone stands. They all fit into an everyday tripod bag, which means I can set up my multicamera system in just a few minutes.
When I shoot photos and videos simultaneously, I produce a lot of data. I use two 512GB cards in the A1 as the 256GB just wasn’t enough. I permanently save to both cards. On average, I shoot about 300-400GB of raw and h265 4k video files. The RX0mk2 each have 128GB cards in them, which I never quite fill. There is also a bit of audio recording from whatever I shot on the Osmo Pocket.
That will make an average wedding being 500-800GB of data. I usually start backing up during the break and at home, everything gets copied onto three traditional 5TB USB drives. It’s not the fastest but it is cheap and safe!
For photo editing, I use Adobe Lightroom and sometimes Adobe Photoshop. I edit my videos in Adobe Premiere and then utilise RedGiant PluralEyes 4 to puzzle all the snippets together.
I’m well aware that I’m using a lot of gear, probably a lot more than I should. I see all this gear as an enabler as it allows me to shoot photography and multicam videography simultaneously This greatly increases my market value and profit margins.
It can be quite stressful at times, and I must admit that I’m often very exhausted after a wedding.
If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.