“As photographers, we’re on the hunt for great light, great stories, great moments, but often I think the most candid, unengineered moments are the most genuinely beautiful,” says Miles. He feels that while this search for perfection in photography is clearly important, it can sometimes get in the way.
“I have to search pretty hard for moments, because I’m naturally a perfectionist with a camera,” he continues. “Often I see a moment and instinctively try and add to it or perfect it. The older I get the more I realize that simply letting go of that temptation has allowed me to be so much more present with my work and my life.
“It’s easy to make something big feel big, but I think it takes a lot of wisdom, patience, and balance to see something familiar as beautiful.”
It’s for this reason and for this project, that Miles was keen to focus on the everyday moments in his life at their most genuine. “I wanted to intentionally just carry this camera with me and try to see the mundane as beautiful in a new way. No overly thought compositions, no contrived models or sessions booked, and no real plans. My goal with this project and this camera was to simply see the authentic in a creative way,” he says.
Miles’ professional life can be extremely busy. He spends a large chunk of the year traveling around the country and the world, creating beautiful wedding, engagement, portrait, and commercial photography, while the rest of his schedule is taken up with editing those images in post-production. When not working, Miles spends as much time as possible with his family. Although these are very different situations, Miles believes X100V is versatile enough to be at home in all of them.
“X100V is the only camera I trust to really bridge the gap between all of these places in my life,” says Miles. “While I may prefer the FUJIFILM GFX system on a wedding day, X100V will always be a reliable option for catching movement when things speed up. It also allows me to discreetly carry a professional camera with me throughout my daily life and have nearly immediate social media, advertising, and marketing content. And finally, on a family vacation, X100V would be the only camera in my bag.
“X100V is the smallest, simplest, and, coincidentally, most flexible camera I own and because of that it sits beside me nearly all of the time.”
Over the course of several days, Miles focused on his time in familiar places, doing ordinary things, and trying to uncover the beauty in those moments. “I love the image of the girl walking down the street with her shadow on the wall just because it’s so simple,” he tells us. “Whereas the image of my sons playing on the floor is probably the most personally powerful to me, though as a photographer it’s likely the least engaging. The story is just so pure and raw and familiar to me,” he explains. “The reality is that the stories here are all of real-life moments caught intentionally, but also organically.”
Miles is of the opinion that a great camera should be a quick extension of the photographer and in X100V he feels he has found that. “I’ve shot with so many cameras in my career and perhaps the single quality that has united all of my favorite ones is the way I feel more creative when they’re in my hand,” he says. “So many tools limit the technician, but the artist feels not only capable but inspired by the feeling of a brush in his hand.”
He goes on to praise X100V’s newly created 23mmF2 lens along with the camera’s overall design and ergonomics. “The new lens is remarkable. The way it allows the light and dynamic range of the sensor to really resolve without feeling like the clarity is too high is a refreshing update,” says Miles. “The buttons and dials are ergonomic, comfortable, and intuitive. The look is classic and engaging to clients and friends alike, but doesn’t beg for attention.
“All of the specs line up to make this camera truly remarkable. But perhaps what I love most about X100V is simply the flexibility to carry a camera that inspires me, creates beautiful art in my hands, and doesn’t interfere with the moments in front of me.”
On a purely professional level, Miles feels X100V checks all the right boxes. “This camera is the perfect carry along for any professional photographer. I love the way it silently allows me to look unassuming while still offering me a RAW file that I can deliver to my clients with complete confidence and edit to fit along with anything I shoot on my GFX system or X Series cameras,” he enthuses.
But overall, Miles just loves the way it makes him feel. “I’ve learned to love the feeling of reaching in a coat pocket to pull out a camera that I have as much confidence in as my largest professional systems,” he says. “X100V is fast, quiet, unassuming, reliable, powerful, and cool, all while making me feel more and more like an artist and less like a computer tech the way most modern digital cameras feel in hand.
“This camera brings me back to the feeling of a 35mm film camera. However, it allows me to shoot it the same way I do any other camera in my bag.”
I’ve learned to love the feeling of reaching in a coat pocket to pull out a camera that I have as much confidence in as my largest professional systems
About The Photographer
Miles Witt Boyer is a professional wedding, portrait, and commercial photographer who is part of a team of Arkansas-based traveling image makers with a passion for light, photography, and relationships.