Some of my favorite photographers have dedicated blog post to share what they’re shooting with, which I find both helpful and informative. Whether its for weddings, head shots or other shoots, each photographer uses certain tools to get his or her’s desired results. Additinoally, almost all photographers have their favorite must have piece of equipment. The more I shoot, the more I understand why certain photographers absolutely need certain pieces of equipment and why they might love one particular piece more than the others. I thought it would be fun to do the same here and share my equipment lineup and favorites with you.
My Gear …
Nikon D200: This is the first real piece of photography equipment I invested in back in 2008 when I decided it was time to dig in. This Nikon at the time was considered the beginner pro grade camera body – I figured I’d start with this and see where it leads me. This body came with a decent kit lens (18-135 3.5/5.6) and it was just what I needed to get the ball rolling. In the beginning stages this camera made a lot of angry words come out my mouth. It was the most technologically advanced piece of equipment I had ever touched (aside from a computer) and sometimes scary. As I became acquainted with it and learned the general rules of photography, I came to love it. I still have it in my bag and often use it as my play camera or for personal stuff.
Nikon D700: This camera rocks my world! I upgraded to this model March 2010 when I decided I wanted to pursue wedding photography and boy was it just what I needed! What makes this camera worth it, in my opinion, is its impressive ISO capabilities. The D700 has the ability to photograph high quality images in low lighting conditions (ex. a Church ceremony where flash is not allowed or concert photography). It blows every other model before this one out of the water with that very important feature. This camera is a serious MUST have for certain types of photography. I love my D700!!
Nikon 50mm 1.4: This lens was the first lens I purchased in 2009 and used on the D200. I decided to get rid of the kit lens, and invest in some good glass. Isn’t it cute?!?! This lens is super sharp, super fast and surprisingly, super budget friendly. The 1.4 f/stop gives this tool the ability to grab available light from anywhere. Even when you think there isn’t much light available, it can work if you have this lens. When paired with the D700 the 50mm 1.4 is really more like a secret weapon – really.
Nikon 105mm 2.8: I picked this one up in 2009 as well. This is absolutely my most FAVORITE lens – I can not put enough emphasis on the word favorite. This lens is sharp, fast, and smooth like butter! If you come to me to for your head shots or your portraits, 95% of the time, I will be using this one. I prefer this lens first above the others because this lens will make you pretty-ER. I’m not kidding. It has magical inner workings that flatters all faces. The 105 also has a red “VR” emblem on the body that sands for “Vibration Reduction” – its a special feature that allows photographers to get sharper hand held images with long lenses, in dim light. Its all too technical if you ask me. I’d much prefer the “VR” stood for “Very Rad” because thats what this lens is. Oh, and the BOKEH on this bad boy is bea-U-tiful making this a go to lens for macro work or when you want to shot ‘the details’ of a beautiful Wedding day.
Nikon 24-70 2.8: I purchased this lens March 2010 when I picked up the D700. I was fighting with myself hard between getting this one or the much more expensive and magnificent 70-200 2.8 VR II. I knew I would need both eventually, but this one fit my budget at the time. So, here she is! I like this lens because of its zoom range. The 24 end is wide enough for big group shots and wide shots inside a Church or venue. The 70 end works great as a portrait lens if needed. And of course, as with any lens, to work with an f/stop of 2.8 is pretty awesome. Its an all ’round multi-purpose lens, really. Aside from it being quite heavy (which I get over pretty quickly because there’s nothing wrong with a little arm workout mid-shoot) there isn’t anything I don’t like about this one.
Nikon SB-900: I prefer to shoot in natural light and rarely use flash during the day. I think natural light is beautiful, and most photographers would agree too, BUT we aren’t always able to choose an ideal time of day or location to work in – especially in the Wedding industry. With that in mind I purchased this speedlight at the end of 2009. This little unit packs a lot of punch. The trick with this type of flash is to never point it directly at anyone – that is unless you’re going for that deer in headlights look. I strategically bounce or diffuse the light to make it more attractive –– its rather impressive and has definitely come in handy.
So thats it in a nutshell – this is the stuff I work with right now. I tend to rent different things if needed for a specific job or when I want to test a piece of equipment and see if would work with my shooting style. There are definitely things I would LOVE to add to my arsenal, and I will own those one day down the road but for now – This is My Gear and I love ’em all!