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Photography gear {Calgary wedding photographer}

August 27, 2015 , Wedding

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Photography Gear Calgary Wedding Photographer

Probably the best advice I’ve ever received about gear for your business is to buy the best you can afford. Don’t go into debt to fund gear, but don’t cheap out either. When I was a newspaper journalist, my first DSLR camera was a Canon 20d with a couple of kit lenses. I plodded along with that setup for a couple of years before buying my first “big girl” lens, the Canon 24-70 (the 1st version). At this stage I was beginning to charge for portrait sessions.photography gear bag

As years have gone by and my photography company has grown and prospered, I’ve been able to invest in the highest quality gear to produce the best for my clients. I have specific lenses and cameras that I use for certain types of sessions as well as an array of strobe lighting (that’s an entire other blog post that I will talk about at a later date).

I often have family or friends at weddings peer into my camera case, curious about my gear and what I have. Often they are photography buffs and love to see what other people use.

To begin…..I’m a Canon girl; for no other reason, other than that’s what I first started with, what I’ve invested in and what I love to photograph with today.

My camera bodies: I carry three cameras with me because I’m fanatical about being able to shoot through an apocalypse and still have a camera that works. The idea of a camera that stops working, breaks or has an error come up on it during a session terrifies me. I need my clients to feel comfortable knowing that I’m prepared for an emergency and can shoot on, even if something happens to one (or two) cameras. I have two Canon 5D Mark III bodies and one Canon 5DSR body. The two different types of cameras are used for different types of portraits and sessions.

My lenses: I have six lenses. Just like my camera bodies, each serves a different purpose.

  • The Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II is my wedding ceremony lens. It really doesn’t get pulled out much more than for the “I dos’.”
  • The Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro is another lens that doesn’t get used that often, but it’s integral for ring shots at weddings.  It gets used for about five minutes at each wedding and is put back in the bag.
  • When I need a wide shot, my go-to lens is the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II. I use it for outdoor wide shots, and bridal prep when I’m in tight places.
  • The Sigma ART AF 35mm f/1.4 is my newest addition and my current favourite. It’s true-to-life in the images it helps create and I love it. It’s also my only non-Canon lens.
  • The Canon 85mm f/1.2 L II is my favourite lens and the one I use most.
  • The Canon 50mm f/1.2 L II doesn’t get used as much anymore, but it’s there in case I need it. If the space is a bit tighter and I want somewhat of the same effect as the 85mm, then I will reach for this lens.

Flashes: I have two speed lights. The first one is the Canon 600EX-RT. The second one is a knock-off Chinese brand that I like just as much as the Canon one, at a smidgen of the price. The Yongnuo YN600EX-RT is every bit as great as the Canon 600….but it’s priced at $150 compared to $550 for the Canon version. If you are in the market for a flash, go the Yongnuo route. You won’t be disappointed.

Memory Cards: I only use SanDisk cards. The brand has been good to me. I’ve only ever had an issue with one card, and the company replaced it for me straight away. I prefer to shoot with 64gb cards because it worries me to change cards in and out during weddings with the potential to lose one. My cameras also shoot RAW files onto two cards at once, so the added protection of having photos automatically placed onto two cards comforts me. I know I’m safe if one card corrupts. My clients’ images are safe.

Batteries: I use Canon batteries for my camera bodies. For AA batteries for my flash, I’ve recently fallen in love with Panasonic Eneloop Pro rechargeable ones. They fire fast and last long; exactly what I need for reception dance photos.

I also have everything else for studio lighting, outdoor lighting, etc. That’s an entirely other ballgame 🙂


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