Hello, I’m Steve Grogan, a Manchester-based wedding photographer. I’ve been shooting weddings professionally since 2014.
If I’m being honest, if you’d have told me ten years ago that I’d have been a full-time wedding photographer, I would have laughed at you. I must admit to having a few pre-conceptions about wedding photography before I started out, I thought it was all rather boring and not for a second did I think it would be of interest to me.
But then I did my research and discovered that you could photograph a wedding any way you wanted to, as long as your couples were happy, that’s all that matters. Over the years I’ve developed my own photographic style and now I live by my business mantra – ‘Don’t Settle For Boring Wedding Photos!’
I’ve been interested in photography since the early 1990s when I was studying Art & Design at college. The art studio had a couple of darkrooms and I began to experiment with film photography using the Pentax K1000 cameras that belonged to the college. I was hooked, but it would be another 20 years before I finally plucked up the courage to quit my job in Financial Services to go full time as a freelance photographer.
I’ve just invested in two Canon EOS R6 mirrorless bodies and on first impressions, I am completely blown away by them. The advances in technology since I last bought new cameras are astonishing. I’m still completely in awe of the eye-tracking autofocus system.
I still have my old Canon 6D cameras which I’ll keep in my car boot as emergency backups on a wedding day.
On a wedding day, I’ve always worked with a very simple three lens setup. A Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II on one body and a Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art on the other body.
I love the Canon 35mm, it’s the perfect focal length for my style of photography and I would say I shoot about 80% of the wedding day using this lens.
The Sigma 85mm is used mainly for the portraits. In the past, I’ve had some bad experiences with the quality of Sigma lenses, but the 85mm is superb and has never let me down.
The evening party is where I use the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art, a truly superb lens that allows me to get super close to people on the dance floor.
I use natural light wherever possible and it isn’t usually until the evening party that I dig out my light stands and use my Canon 600EX II RT speedlites. I have a really simple setup using two light stands on either corner of the dance floor fired via a Canon remote trigger. Occasionally I will use a third speedlite on top of my camera if I feel I need more of a fill light.
Complete Gear List
2 x Canon R6 bodies
2 x Canon 6D bodies (Back Ups)
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II
Canon EF 35mm IS USM
2 x Canon EF-EOS R Mounts
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art
Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art
3 x Canon Speedlite 600EX II RT
Canon Speedlite Transmitter
Apple MacBook Pro
G Technology 1TB SSD
Compeed Blister Plasters
San Disk SD cards
Eneloop Pro AA Batteries
6 x Canon LP-E6NH Batteries
Covid-19 Vaccination Card
I’m at the stage in my career where I have complete confidence in my own style, I’m a real sucker for photographing people having fun and all the real emotions that the guests experience on a wedding day. All of the posing stuff and styled shoots really don’t interest me at all, I’m 100% focused on capturing events as they happen on the day.
One of the most important bits of advice I would give any wedding photographer starting out is to be yourself and stay true to your own style.