I get quite a lot of emails from photographers asking me what camera I use and whats the best lens for particular shots. I thought it would be a good idea to make a list of all the gear I have, what I use it for and where to get it. As you will see I don't use that much equipment. To be honest, in my experience, I don't even know how some photographers manage to use all their equipment. I dont have the time to be changing lenses and swapping this and that. I've mentioned this a few times throughout my site...I like to keep it simple. Don't over complicate things and get bogged down with getting the best camera possible. There's cameras 10x better than what I use currently, but if you don't know how to take pictures, the best camera in the world isn't going to help you.
This is my main camera, my work horse and I use this 90% of the time. It has a 22.3 megapixel sensor and it's full frame meaning you can fit more into the frame than some budget cameras. This is a must if you're serious about photography. Having that little bit extra in the frame allows you to capture more of the environment and also frees up a little space in case you need to crop an image. It has dual memory card slots which is another must have as a wedding photographer. Having dual slots means if one of your cards fail, you still have another set. It can be a real lifesaver. Imagine you lost all the images from a wedding because of a faulty card??? It doesn't bare thinking about. I keep the Sigma 35mm 1.4 on this pretty much all the time.
Aww my wee baby. I shot weddings on this for a full year before upgrading to the 5D MKii. The quality of images from this camera is amazing and it's not even Full Frame although it does have a meaty 18 mega pixel sensor.
I keep this as my back up, and sometimes feel a little sad that I dont really use it anymore. It has actually come in very handy for video however. Its shoots fantastic footage and I have used this on the odd occasion for filming at weddings by my trusty second shooter.
I actually only bought this recently, but I have fallen absolutely head over heals in love with it. The Sigma 35mm 1.4 ART is a stunning lens! It's tack sharp and a great all rounder. You can get in close or stay far away and it's wide angle allows you to get beautiful scenic shots. It truly is a stunning lens.
So, I only use 2 lenses. Its all I need. This 24-70 allows me go to 24mm focal length and get nice wide shots. Fantastic for landscape shots. The 70mm allows me to get in a bit closer and is great for portraits. It's a great all rounder and i'm not ashamed to say that I have shot entire weddings with just this lens.
Its pretty expensive but totally worth it. The F2.8 Aperture means I can get beautiful bokeh with a shallow depth of field which is also handy for those low light situations. I would never part with this lens.
As the name states, this is a prime lens. Prime lenses are fixed focal length meaning you cannot zoom in or out. This lens has a fixed focal length of 50mm. The great thing about Primes is they usually have a lovely wide aperture. This one opens all the way to 1.4 and gives you incredible sharp pictures with gorgeous bokeh. Amazing for portriats and I find myself using this lens more and more. With an aperture of 1.4 it can handle super low light. Always handy.
It is a little expensive but you can pick up a 50mm 1.8 for much cheaper but if your serious about it, splurge for the 1.4. You wont regret it.
These flashes are so cheap but so awesome! Theyre like, £40!!! They're completely manual flashes which means you kinda need to know what your doing but you'll not meet many wedding photographers who use ETTL (automatic flash) as we like to have full control over how our pictures are taken. The output is fantastic on these. I use 3 of these during the reception. I put one on my camera and 2 on lightstands at 2 different point of the dance floor. I use triggers to make sure they all flash at the same time. I can hear you asking, "what the hell are triggers??" Well...read on below.
So these are triggers. As I have mentioned a couple of times in this site, I don't like to over complicate things and I keep it simple but I'll attempt to explain how these work quickly.
Basically these are called radio triggers, meaning they work on a frequency and if they are all on the same frequency, they'll all work together. I have 3 of these and put a flash on each one. I put one on my camera, and 2 on the light stands i mentioned earlier. Every time I take a picture the triggers send a signal to the flashes and they all go at the same time. The amazing thing about these triggers is you can set them to send signal to specific flashes so that they don't all go at the one time. They're amazing but thats starting to go against my "Keep It Simple" Rule so i'll maybe address this at another point.
So this is really boring but you can't do much without memory cards so these are what I currently use. I use 16gb cards as I dont like to go any bigger just on the chance my card corrupts and I've lost half a wedding. Thankfully, this hasn't happened but I am prepared that one day it might and I'd rather lose 16gb of pictures rather than 32gb or 64gb. This is entirely up to you though and I'd recommend going for the big brands like Sandisk. They're awesome! Different camera take different types of cards. The Canon 5dMKii takes CF and for the EOS 550d I use these SD Cards. I like to keep these in a handy little case that cost less than a fiver.
So where are you going to keep all this gear??? In something like this! This is the Lowepro Vertex Notebook Camera Backpack! It's Airline Carry on luggage size and holds a 15" Laptop nicely along with space for so much stuff. Its a fantastic bag and has been flung about all over the place and looks as good as new.
Tip: Get yourself a smaller bag (like this one) to keep your other lenses, batteries, your phone, wallet etc so that you don't need to carry the backpack around. I like to do this as it frees up my pockets, i feel a little more comfortable and have quick access to anything i need.
This is another must have for any photographer. You will rack up thousands
of pictures and the RAW files have huge file sizes so you don't want to store
these on your computer or hard drive. I keep everything on External Hard Drives
meaning I can take them with me and work from any computer if I needed to and
also if anything went wrong with my computer, i would still have my files safely
stored on the harddrives.
I recommend going for large storge drives like the Samsung 2TB slim line. I also
use Seagate and Transcend Drives (transcend drives are tested to Military Standards
and are almost indestructable but maybe dont throw it off a wall to find out).
Jose Villa is one of the most inspiring photographers I have ever seen. His work is incredible and his use of natural light is awe inspiring. I bought this book for a measly £20 and I still use it to this day. It's full of amazing tips on how to photograph weddings but teaches you to do it in your own way and how to form your own style. Grab it here, you can download the e-book and start learning straight away.