Gear! Photographers Love It
Photographers love it and of course they need it, at least most of the time. It seems that every time I am around new photographers, or interested doctors, lawyers or businessmen f photographer near me or that matter, there is always that one inevitable question: what do you shoot with? So, what do I shoot with? What lenses do I use? Do I only shoot available light, or do I use flash? The answer: yes.
Just kidding. So for those that are curious, I will break down my typical setup for a wedding, and why I own each piece. There is quite a bit of gear, but don’t worry, we will get through this, even if it takes more than one blog posting. I have spent years building my photography equipment, and will keep adding to it for the rest of my life (just don’t tell my wife that!), and you can too! So let’s get to it.
First off are the camera bodies. I shoot all digital SLRs, which stands for single-lens reflex. Essentially, these are the cameras that accept interchangeable lenses, which, among other reasons, makes them vastly superior to point and shoots. Note* I do love my Canon G9, great when I want to travel light. I shoot all Canon equipment, and love my gear. Nikon is an excellent brand as well, and I don’t call them mean or silly names, just so we can move right past that whole Ford versus Chevy thing. I always take three cameras to my weddings; a Canon 5D Mark II, which makes gorgeous high resolution files; a Canon 1D Mark IIN, which is great for fast/low light focusing and high speed; and finally a reliable Canon 20D that functions as a stationary ceremony camera, extra cam for an assistant or as a triple backup camera. I would recommend that you always carry at least two high-quality machines with you, because you never know what will happen. If you can’t shoot the rest of the wedding due to equipment malfunction, you will have one incredibly unhappy couple, not to mention the parents that footed the bill. So just be smart, you can even rent cameras if you need to.
Next, I would like to give a quick run-down on other items in my bag, especially my lenses. Before we get in too deep, please keep something in mind: if you buy a really nice camera body, then buy cheap glass (lenses), you are not going to get the best quality. Remember, it doesn’t matter how nice the body is if what you are seeing through is not well made. The same goes for the UV Haze filter that you bought, or will buy, to go on the front. Don’t go for the bargain basement brand, as they go a long way in keeping the front glass on your lens nice and happy.
Here are the lenses I typically use during a wedding: The Canon 16-35mm f2.8 wide-angle lens; the Canon 50mm f1.4 lens, and the Canon 70-700 f2.8 IS telephoto lens. Also, I love shooting the Canon 85mm f1.2 lens; it is a very sweet (and very expensive) lens that I rent from time to time. Let me tell you, it makes for amazing portrait and detail images. As you look at this list you may have noticed that all the lenses I mention are Canon. Remember that whichever brand camera you have, use the corresponding lenses (kit lenses typically aren’t so good though), as they are engineered specifically for your camera, and the optics will be of better quality than third party gear. If you have a question about your particular lens, please feel free to ask. Now, on to why I use all of those lenses.
16-35mm f2.8: This is a beautiful wide-angle lens, and perfect for catching wid