Potential clients often ask me about my gear. Sometimes it’s because they want to know I have enough to get the job done, and back-ups just in case something fails. Others want to know because of their own interest in photography (awesome!) and want to understand the tools that I choose to use. Some are simply curious. In any case, here’s a list of what I use and some examples of how I use it.
For most of the day, I shoot with two cameras – a Canon 5DmkIII and a 5DmkII. I usually pair these with Canon’s 35mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.8 lenses. The 35mm is a normal-wide angle lens that helps capture how the day feels – there’s a strong sense of presence and place in images taken with this lens.
The 85mm is a short telephoto lens. It’s small, lightweight, and I use it throughout the day. 85mm is a very flattering focal length, and it particularly shines for portraits.
These cameras stay on me via my Moneymaker camera harness. This strap is made of black leather, so it makes me look and feel a little like a ninja. Here are a couple of photos of me sporting it.
My other favorite lens is the Canon 135mm f/2. I use this telephoto lens during ceremonies, and sometimes for the couple’s portraits, first and parent dances, and toasts.
I also have a few zoom lenses. The Canon 24-70 f/2.8 lens is the first professional lens that I bought in 2009. It’s a versatile lens that I use when I can’t move around a lot and and when I want to get a wider shot than the 35. It’s also a back-up for my 35mm lens.
Finally, I have the Canon 70-200 f/2.8. This lens is great for portraits, ceremonies, and toasts, but it’s so big that I feel like a paparazzi using it. I usually prefer to use smaller lenses as guests don’t notice them in the same way as a big lens and I am able to capture more candid and intimate moments. This lens serves as a back-up to my 85mm and 135mm lenses.
I also bring four Canon flashes (two 600 EX-RTs, a 580EX II and a 550EX). I try to shoot most of the day with available light, but come time for the reception, I’ll usually pop a flash on my camera and may put an additional flash or two off-camera. To sync my on-camera lights with off-camera lights, I use a set of four PocketWizard transceivers.
That takes care of the major gear. Then I have a ThinkTank cardholder for my compact flash cards which is always attached to me when shooting a wedding, a Manfrotto Justin clamp for putting up an off-camera flash, and a small video light. The last thing that is always stashed in my bag is a Kind bar or two. Wedding days are long, and these are great for keeping my energy up. All my gear is stashed and transported in a ThinkTank Airport International V 2.0 rolling bag.