I’ll first start off by saying that having a wide range of professional camera equipment does not necessarily equate to being a strong, creative or skilled photographer. I will make the claim, however, that someone with innate abilities to assess a scene and create a gorgeous photo with an iPhone, would be able to paint an even better image with a Canon 5D Mark IV and a 35mm prime lens. It’s not always about the gear, but hiring a photographer with an impressive arsenal of lenses and camera bodies can make for an incredible gallery of portraits!
I most often photograph with the Canon 5D Mark IV. I started off with Canons and have definitely developed a loyalty to the brand. I have never had a reason to make the switch as the finished product has always impressed. I also have a Canon 6D as a back-up!
I have a few lenses that I love shooting with… my 35mm is a new favorite. I read somewhere once that we are drawn to images photographed with a 35mm lens because it so closely resembles how the human eye naturally sees the world. I’m not sure whether that’s true or not, but it sounded good to me… In any case, the resulting images are creamy with gorgeous, true to life colors. I love its ability to get up close and personal, conveying a really intimate final photo of its subjects.
Another workhorse that I often leverage on wedding days is the trusty 24-70mm. This baby is so versatile and capable of shooting in many different scenarios and environments. I love that it can capture wide, scenic images but also work for portraits of the entire wedding party. Maybe it’s just Canon, but I can say with confidence that the 24-70mm also produces extremely creamy and colorful images.
The perfect complement to the 24-70mm lens is the behemoth 70-200mm telephoto. This little number is not so little… trust me when I say it’s heavy… I should know, I’ve been lugging it all over God’s green earth for years and have the muscles to prove it! :D I use this lens for the gorgeous close-up shots on wedding days when I prefer to be a fly on the wall, far enough away from the magic happening to let it truly unfold naturally. I will also be using this lens in Thailand, Sri Lanka and India while going on safaris. There’s no way I want to get that close to lions and tigers, so this lens is the ultimate way to capture the action while staying out of harm’s way!
Of course another essential lens in my camera bag is the 100mm Macro lens. This lens goes unused on no wedding day. I know how much everyone loves close up shots… the rings, lace on the wedding dress or the intricate petals in a beautiful bouquet. These images could probably be captured with other lenses but I find that the Macro capabilities of the 100mm really bring the carefully curated details of a wedding celebration to life.
A new addition to my collection of glass is the 16-35mm. This is a lens that I will be using regularly for epic landscape shots. I’ll be posting a ton of images from my travels throughout Asia using this lens. Be prepared to see amazing photos of rice paddies, mountains, rivers, rolling hills, sunsets, sunrises, ancient temples and modern skyscrapers!
The 50mm, lovingly nicknamed the nifty fifty is an amazing piece of equipment. In fact, I brought it along on my travels because not only is the bokeh (blurred background) SO creamy, but also because it’s a compact lens that packs a really mean punch. This lens delivers.
I also have the 85mm lens which is another really nice piece of glass that I just don’t often get around to using.
For external lighting, I use the Canon 600EX II Speedlite. In some instances, the flash can be cumbersome so I will turn to the Luxli video light. The continuous lighting functionality is really great for certain segments during the wedding reception and will light up guests beautifully as they shake their tail feathers on the dance floor!
A piece of equipment not frequently highlighted but that has huge importance is the memory card used to actually capture and document your precious moments!! These precious moments can happen in the blink of an eye, if a memory card’s read/write capabilities are too slow, photographers can encounter a notification that their camera is busy. This can be the difference between getting the shot of the kiss or NOT. I use Lexar Professional memory cards for all of the sessions that I photograph… their read/write capabilities are incredible!!
So, there you have it folks. The answers to your imperative question of, “What’s in your camera bag?!” Having a wide variety of tools to answer to many different types of scenarios is but one crucial component to being a professional, proactive and prepared photographer!!