My name is Sarah Brookes and I really got into photography when I was 17 and went to Botswana on a volunteer conservation placement. Here I saw how important quality images were to the project in terms of identifying animals in the area. We used photography to establish sex, age, numbers and behavior of wild animals in the area. Not all of this information can be taken in real time so images were studied back at camp. At the age of 21 (midway through a zoology degree at Leeds University) I used my wages from my job in the bakery to pay for my first DSLR, my Canon 40D! I bought it second hand for £400 and I was so so happy and I didn’t put it down for a very long time! Then in 2011 I visited Botswana again to fulfill my wildlife and photography passions and it was a great companion. When I got back I invested in the 70-300 1:4-5:6 IS to further my wildlife photography and this furthered my bird photography ambitions, shooting things like Barn Owls, flycatchers, redpolls.
As my photography obsession grew, in 2013 I bought a Canon 5D mark 3 with the kit lens. Then the 50mm 1.4. My kit was growing and so was my love for photography!
I have now gone onto start my own wedding, family and boudoir photography business in Feb 2015! www.sarahbrookesphotography.com
So, you’re a Fujiholic?
I first heard about Fuji after seeing the Aspire video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmFpKFaFI0k. (I started my bespoke year with Aspire in Sept 2014). At this point in my photography career, the weight of the Canon was becoming a problem and I knew I needed a second camera for weddings but did not want the weight, so Fuji was the answer to all of my prayers!
Where did you originally hear about Fujiholics?
After seeing Matt Hart speak at Digital splash in 2014 and seeing him at Cambrian Photography, he was kind enough to invite me to the group. I use the group regularly to ask questions and share Fuji milestones and the members are so friendly and giving with information and advice.
Which is your favourite lens? Why?
That’s a hard one! I ADORE my 35mm 1.4 for weddings but I LOVE the 56mm 1.2 for portraits!
When you next go travelling, what gear will you take?
My Fuji XT1 and the 35mm and 10 – 24mm.
When out shooting, what are your settings? Why?
For weddings and family photography I use AV on IS0 200, f2.2 and I may turn down to -1 stop if it is too bright. Most of my work is natural light and outside in a very natural setting.
What kind of tools do you use for post processing?
Lightroom. I tend to add a skin softener, increase the exposure and highlights a tad and add warm tones.
There is lots going on in terms of developing my website and general business structure. In terms of personal projects, as you can see from my ‘about me’ page and from my environmental background, I market myself as being a photographer who uses the natural spaces as my backdrop. What I would love to do is collect some wedding and family portrait images that are inline with the SEASONS. I would like to tie in my knowledge of the natural world with photography in a very sophisticated way.
What are you looking forward to in photography this year? (Events, Workshops, Gear) I have a wedding fair at Cambridge Quy Mill on the 28th June. I have three weddings booked for the summer which I am so looking forward to. I have just ordered my first Queensberry boudoir sample album which is going to be gorgeous! I am also working with some creative businesses helping them with their product photography to improve their marketing. I also work closely with Golden Poppy Events and photograph at their events working with other wedding industry experts in a collaborative way such as make up artists, hair stylists, cake makers, florists and wedding planners. Working with other creative people is so great and fills my creative cup!