In the efforts of sharing more information with those in the industry or even those with just a simple interest in photography, I wanted to share a little about the gear I use. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions about gear; I am an open book and would love to try to help when I can. The below list is a pretty simple break down of what I use and carry with me. I also expect my 2nd shooters to have comparable gear and the same level of knowledge about their equipment.
Lets start with my actual bags. I do use 3 different bags. I have found that one is too big for portrait sessions and one is not big enough for weddings. I know for some, sticker shot on these bags might be happening… but a
good GREAT Bag, is worth the investment as it protects your gear and makes your life easier.
- Think Tank Airport International
- Shoot & Tote
- Ona Capri
- Spider Holster – this thing is a life saver! It completely saves my back – I would recommend this dual holster belt to every photographer! and not to mention, it makes you look like a total goof and bad ass at the same time! HAHA
So what’s in these bags:
- 2 Canon 5D Mark iii bodies: I typically shoot with 2 bodies and 2 different lenses attached during weddings. Some photographers shoot with 1 body at all times, maybe 2 during ceremonies and that is great. However, I find that 2 bodies combine with a spider holster and hand strap is better for me – I like to rotate lenses frequently so this allows me to not interrupt a great moment to change lenses.
- Canon 70-200mm 2.8 VII VR – This lens is a beast and very heavy (IMO) Because of this, it really only gets used 2 different times at your wedding, during the ceremony and during speech to capture all those important moments without being intrusive. I know many photographers who favor this lens and use it almost exclusively, that just not for me though.
- Canon 24-70mm 2.8 – this lens is so handy one of the reason I use it only for travel. It allows me freedom in focal length without carrying all of my prime lenses.
- Canon 100mm 2.8 – I use this pretty little thing to capture your gorgeous rings and other details… bust mostly just gorgeous rings!
- Canon 85mm 1.2 – This lens is my baby! I could easily leave this lens on my camera for your entire wedding! funny story, until I bought the 1.2 version of this lens I never used the 85 focal length and now I just can get enough. It truly was a game changer for me and worth the investment.
- Canon 50mm 1.2 – This is my 2nd favorite lens, and it’s so versatile. Most likely your entire portrait session will be shot with 1 of 2 lenses. This and my 85.
- Canon 35mm 1.4 – Every photographer needs a great wide-angle lens and I adore this one. Although I don’t use it as much as I would like I don’t think I could ever part ways with it.
I wanted to also make a quick note about finding the best gear, FOR YOU! I see time and time again in photography forums that people ask the same question over and over again… “whats the best lens for shooting this or that”? Well, there is no right or wrong answer to this question, AND it’s not a bad questions to ask… However, I do feel that the only wrong thing to do in this scenario is to base your purchase off someone else’s opinion. When you ask a question like that you should be taking what they say and using it as a starting point for your own research. You will be the only one who know what the best lens is for you.
I am a firm believing in renting lenses from places like borrowlenses or local shops like Service Photo (Zoom Lenses only folks, SAD!) here in Baltimore BEFORE YOU BUY! Take the recommendations from those photographers who gave you their opinions of what lenses you should purchase and test drive them before you make such a large purchase. Your style my be different from theirs or you may realize you really don’t a specific lens they raved about.
XOXO – J