16.04.2020 Kevin Mullins

Be Creative: Kevin Mullins x Retrospective

Kevin Mullins

Kevin is a professional documentary wedding and family photographer based in the United Kingdom. One of the first official FUJIFILM X-Photographers, he started shooting weddings professionally in 2008 and since then has photographed weddings right across the UK and internationally. Shooting in a documentary style he strives to tell the story of the wedding through photojournalism, rather than “traditional” wedding photography.
Kevin is an educator and platform speaker and has exhibited his work in Japan, The United States and Argentina. He also runs and curates the F16.Click website where he publishes tips and tricks and articles for Fujifilm users.
He has been shooting with Fujifilm equipment since 2011 since the original X100 was launched.

A retrospective of a recent time

My brief for this article was a short retrospective of a year in photography that means much to me. It didn’t take long for me to realise that 2020 has fast become the year I will remember the most.  Possibly in my entire life, personally, and probably photographically too.

Of course, I have many years of photographic archives – I’ve been photographing weddings professionally since 2008, and personally much longer. When I think back through the years since 2008, and my journey, almost entirely with Fujifilm cameras, I smile fondly at many memories. Mostly of images I’ve taken of my family, some of weddings of complete strangers and social images that I have taken.

However, even though we are only in the fourth month of 2020, it has to be the year I would choose as the one with the most impact. Had things proceeded normally, I would have photographed seven weddings by now, with another ten before August. However, as it stands, I managed to photograph the first three of the year, and the rest have been canceled.

Who knows what will happen business-wise, but one thing is for sure, the weddings I have shot already, and the personal memories from our lockdown here in the UK will stay strong in my mind forever? I’ve learnt, more than ever, how precious memories are, and how I’m afforded the opportunity to curate these – not only for my own family, but for other families too.

As the pandemic started, I shot a wedding here in London at the very famous Temple Church in the legal district. I had no idea as I took this image that the COVID-19 virus was starting to spread and would affect us all so profoundly.

I’ve always been a believer that a photograph doesn’t have to be good, it just needs to be important.  Of course, I want my images to be as perfect as possible but always, without fail, the single most important thing for me is the moment.  The memory.  The feeling.  The emotion.

That usually resonates most at a wedding as the bride and groom walk down the aisle as a married couple for the first time. And it spills out into the fabric of the moments immediately after the ceremony when the guests congregate to hug and congratulate the newly married couple.

X-T3, XF56mmF1.2 R @ 1.2, ISO 800, 1/125

X-Pro3, XF23mmF1.4 @ 1.6, ISO 160, 1/240

X-T3, XF23mmF1.4 @ 1.4, ISO 12800, 1/125

For me, the memories of this wedding extend to the fact perhaps it was the last wedding I’ll shoot for a very long time. For the clients, the memory will be firstly of happy love, but perhaps, incongruously, how lucky they were to have their wedding at all.  Many people have not been so lucky. Shortly after this, I find myself in lockdown at home.

I’m lucky.  Very lucky.  Even though my business has been wiped out, I have a roof over my head, and I have a supporting and loving family to spend my time with. This time has been stressful at points, of course it has, but mostly it’s been one of love, laughter and high emotion. We have two children, two dogs, two Guinea Pigs and a relatively small house.

However, we have made the absolute most of it.  I’m working from the living room whilst the kids have been busy building tents, cooking, playing and generally, seeing everyday as “another day off school”. The important elements of this time are the fleeting moments.  Those moments that we, as a family unit, will look back at and breathe a sigh of emotion.  We will purse our lips and remember the stoic nature of how we endured this time.

X-Pro3, Viltrox 85mm F1.7 @ 1.8, ISO 10000, 1/125

X100F, @ 2, ISO 500, 1/320

At this time of writing, I’m still in lockdown.  This isn’t being penned months after we are all freed from the turmoil.  This is live, factual photography of the now.

At this time especially, but generally, we are bombarded with images every day.  Mostly, those images are “snaps”, selfies, Instagram pics that are sometimes incredible, but often a little soulless. Using a tangible camera, one with buttons and dials, makes me feel far more likely to take a considered shot than the ones I would perhaps with my mobile phone. And it’s these memories that are critical for us right now.  In this year of 2020.

X100F, @ 2, ISO 1000, 1/320

During the lockdown, I’ve kept my X100F close by (I haven’t used an X100V yet), but I also brought home with my GFX100 as I certainly didn’t want to leave that out of my site. The GFX100 may seem overkill for documenting images in a confined space, and to a certain extent, it is. However, it’s given me an opportunity to explore other avenues of interest for me.

I’ve taken some very informal portraits of my children. The portraits that I would otherwise never have taken have made me think a lot. They have really shone a light on how quickly the children are growing up, but also they put a very firm stamp on the time we find ourselves in right now.

GFX100, GF110mmF2 @ F2, ISO 160, 1/125

GFX100, GF110mmF2 @ F2, ISO 250, 1/125

GFX100, GF110mmF2 @ F2, ISO 100, 1/140

Right now, each day is a smorgasbord of the previous.  Things blend into one but one thing remains true – a picture doesn’t have to be good, it just needs to be important.


Kevin Mullins is a documentary photographer based in Malmesbury, England.  He has been a Fujifilm X-Photographer since 2011 and is currently on Lockdown during the COVID-19 Pandemic.