Here at Fuji X Passion, we’ve done dozens of interviews, but this time we wanted you to be asking the questions. We launched this challenge for our Premium subscribers, who promptly sent an interesting series of highly relevant questions.
This time, we have the honour to interview Miles Witt Boyer – International wedding and portrait photographer and founder of The Photographic Collective.
Nationally published, award-winning, with a company portfolio showing work from nearly 40 states and countries all over the world.
Miles is a Fujifilm X-Photographer and a Holdfast Gear Ambassador. Professor, Art Director, Marketing Consultant, Educator, Social Influencer, Entrepreneur, and perhaps his most personally valued title is that of husband and father. Husband to a beautiful wife who helps manage and run his company, and dad to two brilliant little energetic boys.
What camera system did you use previously, and what was the Fuji model that made you rethink your camera kit for wedding assignments? Enrique Delgado, Spain
I’ve honestly shot nearly every camera system, and right before I kind of dipped my toe in the Fujifilm pool, I was having a bit of an identity crisis literally shooting Nikon and Canon at the same time and unhappy with a lot of elements of both. Not to necessarily talk poorly about either system, but I had both flagship systems and about $65k in total investment between them and still, I felt like I was having this disconnect between myself, my art, my clients, the light, and the color.
I hated feeling like I was starting to blame my gear for my work not being what I wanted it to be, but in a real way, I think it was holding me back. Whether because it was too heavy, or too clumsy, or perhaps even too much to think about. I needed a camera that allowed me to just find joy in chasing light and moment again. The first Fujifilm camera I touched professionally was an X-T10. To put it in perspective I set down a Canon 1DX Mark II and a Nikon D750 / D4S because of that little sub $1,000 camera.
It was the joy, the color, the feeling of holding something that felt like it wanted to create with me and not for me, or despite me that made me switch. It’s why these days I joke a bit at people who buy whatever camera has the fastest autofocus or the highest dynamic range because I was that guy. I chased the specs so hard, hoping they would solve my problems and in the end, what I needed was a camera that was built to inspire the photographer holding it to create.
A month after I got that little X-T10, I bought an X-Pro2 and then an X-T2 and haven’t looked back since. The Canon system was the first to go, but the Nikon kit was collecting dust almost immediately. Once I committed to learning OCF with a mirrorless system which definitely takes a little adjusting in the workflow, I knew I’d never go back to a DSLR or any kind, and I was fully committed to this brand and these cameras that I felt like saved my love for creating and capturing the world around me.
What other styles of photography inspire and improve your main focus of weddings and portraits? Saul Sigalov – Canada
That’s a really fascinating question because I think it implies that we need to fragment ourselves into the genres that we shoot. I’m a photographer. I shoot where I am, what I see, and who I’m with. Sometimes that’s for clients or couples at weddings or destinations abroad, and sometimes it’s of my kids in the backyard playing on the swingset. I’m a huge believer that practice is important, so I shoot what I see.
I love to chase interesting light, try new compositions and ideas as I feel inspired, photograph for my commercial clients and families and portrait sittings with new styles of light and modification that seem interesting to me, but it’s always with the purpose of just better understanding the moments in front of me. I’m absolutely a believer in the concept that photography should be a byproduct of proximity.
My camera gives me access and opportunity to see things and share them with people who might either forget those moments or weren’t able to experience them in the first place and so I shoot with intentionality nearly all of the time. Genre isn’t as important to me as just being present and enjoying the art.
What software do you use to process the files from your Fuji cameras, and how do you organize your backup system? Cláudio Reis, Brasil
I use Lightroom to edit nearly all of my files. Occasionally using Luminar 4 or Photoshop to add a little extra love at the end but rarely. Honestly, the joy for me in shooting with a Fujifilm camera is how close to the final product my original files are. I’m not a JPEG shooter, but my Raw files are rarely more than just color corrected and stylized a little bit. I’m a big believer in the idea of worrying less about being “efficient” than being “proficient”. Do it slow, do it right, and charge for your time.
As far as my backup system goes, it follows those same basic guidelines. I keep all of my Original Raw files on hard drives in a bank vault, as well as a secondary backup in my office. I work on one editing SSD drive at a time finishing one session at a time and uploading all edited files to our online server (Zenfolio) for delivery to the client. Cards aren’t formatted until files are delivered, which means up until the moment the clients have the edited files, I have five copies of the RAW files from a shoot. I don’t love RAID systems simply because fragmenting image files can cause its own set of problems. Keep it simple, intentional, and repeatable.
For a photographer just starting out in wedding photography as a second-shooter, what cameras and lenses setup would you recommend up to $2,500? And up to $4,000? Anthony Torres – US
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International wedding and portrait photographer and founder of The Photographic Collective and Miles Witt Boyer Photography, Miles’ keen eye for light and moment are matched with a passion for relationship and the human connection. Nationally published, award-winning, with a company portfolio showing work from nearly 40 states and countries all over the world Miles feels like he is really just getting started. Miles and his team place a high value on experience for their clients noting that the most beautiful art is often a biproduct of being invited into arms length of the most important moments. He is a Fujifilm X/GFX Creator as well as a Fujifilm X-Photographer, and a Holdfast Gear Ambassador with a unique obsession with dynamic light and a love for teaching photographers to see light in special ways. Professor, Art Director, Marketing Consultant, Educator, Social Influencer, Entrepreneur and perhaps his most personally valued title is that of husband and father. Husband to a beautiful wife who helps manage and run his company. Dad to two brilliant little energetic boys who are no stranger to having their lives well documented.