So, what equipment do I bring to a shoot? I don’t bring that much, actually. I’m only small and petite and I don’t want to be lugging lots of heavy camera gear around with me.
Usually I work on outdoor portrait shoots with my main camera body, a large lens plus one or two smaller lenses and a second camera body for emergencies.
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Canon 5D MKIII camera body - it’s heavy, it’s expensive and it makes beautiful photographs. I love it!
Canon f4 70-200mm lens - the big long thing stuck to my camera. It lets me get in for the close ups or pull back for a wider view. I can move away and give you some space while still getting some intimate shots. I used to own the Sigma f2.8 version which let more light in, but was twice the weight and was awkward to carry, so I recently exchanged it for the Canon.
Canon f1.8 85mm lens - for when you are more comfortable with me pointing my camera at you and are willing to let me get closer. This does not have the reach of the Canon f4 but its optical quality makes it one of the best portrait lenses around. It gives a sharp focus on the face while blurring out the background.
Canon f1.8 50mm lens - this is my favourite lens for all purpose photography. It also helps that it’s ridiculously cheap in an expensive market, usually around £100 or less used. It’s small and light, has a wide aperture to let lots of light in; which also makes for a small area to be in focus while the rest of the image is blurry.
Canon 100D camera body - the baby of the DSLR world! It’s so cute! It doesn’t look that small until you put it beside the monstrous 5D models. I leave a 24mm pancake lens on it 95% of the time so it’s a small, compact system with all the features I need from a DSLR without much of the weight and bulk. I used this very combination to take my “Stars and Lightning over Kilimanjaro” photograph.
Peak Design strap - a change from the normal, uncomfortable, “Look at me! I’m carrying an expensive camera around!” branded straps that come with the cameras. The Peak straps are made of seatbelt material. Their hooks attach one on the camera lug on the side, the other to a plate that screws into the tripod socket. That way the camera and lens point downwards rather than sticking out from your body at an awkward angle.
Mini tripod camping stool - okay, this is mainly for doggy shoots. After 45 minutes to an hour of bending and crouching down to their eye level, my legs are killing me for two days afterwards; so I invested £5 in the hope it will help me get the same shots without the pain. It’s light, it’s small, it folds up neatly and I like the colours!
Accessories - spare memory cards and batteries! A lens wipe, a rain cover for the camera and lens, plus my phone for emergencies.
Bag - my “bag of the moment” is Peak Design’s Everyday Sling. It is small enough to not overwhelm me while at the same time big enough to carry everything for a shoot. I can change lenses without taking the bag off or putting it on the ground, or I can hitch it up across my back out of the way while I’m shooting. It can get a bit heavy when full, but when I’m on a session I’ll always have a camera and lens in hand so it doesn’t stay full for long!
And there you have it! My gear for a photo shoot! :)