Fujifilm Changed My Photography!

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Arran Cheetham

"I'm Arran, creator of FUJIFEELS and general photography addict. I carry my camera pretty much everywhere I go. I shoot all sorts of things but, professionally I'm a wedding photographer and my main personal work revolves around street photography."

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Hi Guys,

Firstly, a massive thankyou to Fuji X Passion for asking me to write this article for them. I’m a huge fan of the website and super excited to write this post for you guys!

So, My name is Arran, I’m originally from Liverpool, England. My wife and I have recently moved to Bangkok, Thailand. When we lived in England, I was a wedding photographer, alongside my 9-5 day job. Here in Thailand, I am hoping to pursue my photography a little more and make my living from that.

Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 @35mm . f/1.4 . 1/400″ . ISO 640
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18-55mmF2.8-4 @18mm . f/6.4 . 1/750″ . ISO 160

I’m a huge fan of football (soccer if your reading in America) and support Liverpool FC. I try to watch the games as much as possible, but the time difference in Thailand makes it quite difficult sometimes. I’m obviously an avid photography fan of all genres but wedding, street and travel is where my passion lies. My free time consists of street photography, travel photography (if I’m travelling that is) and watching football. You could also add wedding photography to that list, as I don’t see that as work, I enjoy it too much.

Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 @35mm . f/2.8 . 1/750″ . ISO 160
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 @35mm . f/1.4 . 1/125″ . ISO 1000

Since moving to Bangkok, my life has changed a lot. I now have much more free time for my photography which is the main reason I started my blog. I hope to start a youtube channel to work on with my blog sometime soon, for people who prefer that platform to find information and inspiration.

The heat is taking a little bit of getting used to while I’m out on my street photography missions, but hey, it’s better than the cold in England thats for sure. As far as street photography goes, the advantages of living in Bangkok are endless.

One of my main aims with street photography is that I never want people to feel uncomfortable or angry that I have taken their picture, but here in Bangkok, they absolutely love it 90% of the time. That paired with loads more advantages means that I love street photography more than ever. In fact, so much so that the only thing I miss about England is the football being on T.V at normal times.

Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF18-55mmF2.8-4 @18mm . f/5.0 . 1/250″ . ISO 80
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 @35mm . f/2.0 . 1/1250″ . ISO 200

Thailand actually played a massive role in how I got into photography in the first place. Wanting some shots of our holiday, I decided to buy a new camera. I don’t like doing things half-hearted, so a point and shoot wasn’t good enough, oh no! I bought a Nikon D5200 and with that, instantly realised I had a lot to learn. We flew home and I was anxious to see what my photos looked like on a bigger screen.

Wow!!!! They are so bad! This feeling of disappointment annoyed me so much, I set up a youtube account and subscribed to all the photography education pages I could find. I’m a fast learner and picked up the basics, started snapping far better photos very soon and started to fall in love with creating images!

Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 @35mm . f/2.0 . 1/5000″ . ISO 160
Fuji X-T10 . Fuji XF27mmF2.8 @27mm . f/2.8 . 1/950″ . ISO 200

As my photography improved rapidly, I decided to take my camera along to a few family weddings. Being careful to not get in the way I grabbed a few shots whenever I could.

Everyone who saw these photos loved them and my then girlfriend (wife now, love you Ash), told me to set up a business page on facebook for my photography, so I did. I picked up a few jobs for different events and in no time saved up to get, what was my wedding photography equipment, x2 D750 Nikons with a selection of fast prime lenses, oh and a few flashguns for good measure.

Fuji X-T10 . Fuji XF27mmF2.8 @27mm . f/4.0 . 1/180″ . ISO 400
Fuji X-T10 . Fuji XF27mmF2.8 @27mm . f/2.8 . 1/350″ . ISO 400

I began booking weddings slowly but surely and loved every single minute of it. The main thing I had started to figure out was this, I love shooting people (with cameras, not guns). I stumbled upon a blog post about Fujifilm and their amazing colour science and film presets. Oh dear, that caused a wave of curiosity.

So on the run up to a holiday to Milan, Italy, I got a new camera. The X-T10 arrived in the post coupled with the tiny 27mm F2.8! During our trip to Milan, I hardly touched my trusty Nikon gear and fell in love with this little Fujifilm camera. The Fujifilm X-T10 became my personal camera.

Fuji X-T10 . Fuji XF27mmF2.8 @27mm . f/2.8 . 1/60″ . ISO 1600
Fuji X-T10 . Fuji XF27mmF2.8 @27mm . f/3.6 . 1/1400″ . ISO 400

My wedding work continued on the Nikons right up to 2018. Once we knew there was a chance of moving abroad, I took the chance to change all my photography gear over to Fujifilm. X-T3, here I come. Knowing it would take a while to build on the weddings here, I focused on events and street for choosing what lenses I needed.

I used the 18-55mm kit lens and was amazed how good it was for both photos and videos. I already had my trusty 27mm for street. However, I wanted something for creative work. Enter the 35mm F1.4. WOW, I fell in love with more Fuji equipment.

Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF60mmF2.4 Macro @60mm . f/2.4 . 1/1000″ . ISO 800
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 @35mm . f/2.8 . 1/250″ . ISO 160

The way the 35mm renders images is absolutely stunning, and completely changed my outlook on photography. I now see character as more important than technical perfection. Gone are the days of pixel peeping for me! Good subject matter and good light and you can’t go wrong (well, you can but its harder to go wrong).

This new lens stuck on the front of my X-T3, made me a better photographer, no question. Since arriving in Bangkok, I have aquired the 60mm F2.4 and the 18mm F2. I adore how these older lenses handle an image, they have a quality I just love.

Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 @35mm . f/2.8 . 1/500″ . ISO 400
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 @35mm . f/2.0 . 1/200″ . ISO 1000

Due to beautiful rendering these 3 primes give me, paired with the gorgeous Classic Chrome or Acros R, add in my little tweaks and I’m more than happy to post the use the Jpegs that my setup gives me. In my blog, you will see 90% Jpegs files completely unedited. I strive to get the picture correct in camera.

Shooting Raw to the second card does give me options if I need to squeeze some dynamic range out of a file or I want to get creative with the edit. I use lightroom for editing that I do on weddings and events simply because it’s the king for editing a large number of images.

Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 @35mm . f/1.4 . 1/500″ . ISO 400
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 @35mm . f/2.8 . 1/1250″ . ISO 160

Since swapping to Fujifilm fully and even more so since getting the three older primes, 18, 35 and 60mm, the urge to get out and shoot is constant. I’m more inspired than ever, I feel that my gear now allows me to shoot in such a way and get results I didn’t feel I could when shooting Nikon. This all led me to start my own blog, FUJIFEELS.

The aim is to share my experiences with Fujifilm and pass on tips and tricks to anyone who may need them. I honestly feel that Fujifilm changed my photography completely, so I hope to be able to help people with their Fujifilm system and/or inspire people to get out on the streets and make some timeless images.

Thank you Fuji X Passion, and thank you for reading.

Arran from FUJIFEELS.

Fuji X-T10 . Fuji XF27mmF2.8 @27mm . f/2.8 . 1/125″ . ISO 6400
Fuji X-T3 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 @35mm . f/2.8 . 1/250″ . ISO 800

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