The number one most often asked questions is what camera equipment do I use and what camera’s would I recommend to buy for someone who want’s to start taking nice pictures…. In this post I’ll try to answer the first part of the question and I promise to put together a post on the follow up question soon! So let’s get started….
First of all, photography is subjective, so is the equipment you use… you don’t need the most expensive camera or lenses to take amazing photographs, but if like me, you are a professional wedding photographer, you should make it a priority to invest in your business and one of my priorities in the last 4 years have been to save up for gear I really wanted and splurge on lenses, memory cards etc whenever I could… Now I’m at a point where I have everything I need and I do not crave anything desperately. Sure there are some lenses I’d love to upgrade to, but is it necessary? No, it’s not….. I started with a Nikon D3100 camera and a Nikon 50 mm 1,8
lens and the cheapest Cf cards I could find (and may I just say, that some of my favorite photographs I’ve ever taken were captured by this simple setup… ) 4 years ago and one by one, little by little I went trying, changing, upgrading my equipment, so four years later this is where I stand…
I usually shoot with two cameras on each wedding. For most of the day you’d only see me with one, but during the ceremony I’d have both around my neck so I could shoot with two different lenses at once, without having to change the lens all the time.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III my newest baby, I love it… my Canon EOS 5D Mark II has been my best friend for the last almost three years but it was time to upgrade, the ISO and focus capabilities on the Mark iii are just that much better! The mark ii is my backup & second camera now.
I also own two Fujifilm Instax instant cameras, which I sometimes bring along to play with or shoot photo booths! Fun and quirky, love it!
99% of the time I shoot with prime lenses. The softness, the bokeh and the lightness of the lens itself cannot be matched by anything zoom… or at least not in my experience.
My favorite lens I own is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L . I have been debating this purchase for a long time, but I could not be happier! (I also own the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 and they are both amazing lenses, so if you cannot swing the 1,2 it just get the 1,8 and you’ll images will still be dreamy creamy! ;))
My second favorite is the Canon EF 35mm f/2 for its practicality, I use it very often, whenever I need to get a “bit more in the frame”. Getting ready, ceremony, family formals… you name it!
I also absolutely adore my Canon EF 85MM F/1.8 which gives me the softest bokeh from all my lenses, but because it’s a bit too close I don’t use it as often as the other too… love it for engagement sessions and for the portrait part of the wedding day though!
I also own the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L lens, which I usually only use for personal projects (it’s convenient when you don’t wanna take different lenses, but personally I much prefer the look of prime lenses) and the Canon EF 100MM F/2.8 Macro lens, which I actually almost never use and I’m planning to sell. (any takers? ;))
I had several other lenses in the past, but I’ve sold them whenever I felt like something was not a great fit. I am not a huge fan of renting to be honest… in Europe rental prices are just outrageous and unless you need a very specific, very expensive lens I’d suggest to save up and buy it when you can (I bought a lot of second hand equipments in the past from dealers who offered warranty) and you can always sell it on with minimal loss (especially if you buy second hand!). A lot of colleagues of mine recommend trying lenses by renting and then deciding, but I usually need to try a lens at several occasions to decide if I like it or not… (hence I’d have to pay like half the new price in rentals….) but than again, that’s just me, so if you prefer renting, by all means it is the more responsible choice!
I have a Canon 580EXII Speedlight and a backup. I’m not a big fan of flash but I’m also not afraid to use it when necessary.
I now only shoot with Sandisk CF cards (the most reliable & fastest on the market), I have 32 GB , 16 Gband 8 GB ones and I always have a ton of me…. Furthermore I own a Kelly Moore Libby bag and a Shootsac that I love!
Phewwww…. I’ve been dreading to write this post for a while, but here you have it. Like I said, this is my setup, my way of shooting and my preferences, which surely would be different for everyone else… AND always remember the moral of this funny little anecdote: A photographer went to a socialite party in New York. As he entered the front door the host said ‘I love your photos — they’re wonderful; you must have a fantastic camera.’ He said nothing until the dinner was finished, then ‘ That was a wonderful dinner; you must have a terrific stove.” - Sam Haskins (via Paris in Four Months)
Any questions just ask away in the comments, I have no secrets!
p.s: please excuse the iPhone photo!