// GEAR LIST AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Almost every week I get a DM asking about what cameras or lenses I use, what I would recommend to a budding photographer, what camera you should buy to document your vacation, etc. and I LOVE that I get to answer those kinds of questions! I thought I would just write up a whole blog about it because I have more thoughts than I can fit into a response on Instagram so HERE WE GO!
// WHAT'S IN MY CAMERA BAG?
Canon 5d Mark iii
Canon 35mm f/1.4L ii
Canon 50mm f/1.2
Memory Cards (roughly 10 SD cards and 4 CF cards)
Camera Battery Charger
That's it! For every engagement session, wedding, vacation this is genuinely all that I bring. Now before anyone freaks out and starts yelling at me about not having a backup camera or a flash or a zoom lens or anything else, let me explain a few things. Firstly, I have an INCREDIBLE associate/second shooter/BFF that comes to almost every single wedding with me that has an additional 5d mark iii that she shoots on and a Canon 6d that we have on hand as a backup body in case of emergency. Luckily, this has never been an issue but if all else fails and one of our cameras stops working, we've got it covered!
Secondly, I have and will always be a gear minimalist. I believe that a successful photography career has nothing to do with the cameras you own or the lenses you carry but truly has everything to do with how hard you hustle and how well you love your clients. Yes, there are times I've rented a 70-200 lens or borrowed Mary Hayden's (the associate/second shooter/BFF) flash but I built this entire business and booked a 40-wedding year with a portfolio of weddings I shot on my old camera body and a 50mm f/1.8 lens. Yes, you read that right; a hand-me-down camera body and a $100 camera lens. Do I think this was super wise? Probably not. Do I think you should have the right equipment before jumping into the photography industry as a professional? Absolutely. But, let this encourage you that your work ethic and ability to serve your clients will take you farther than any gear ever could.
You didn't expect this to turn into a motivational speech, did you? Me neither, but here we are (insert face-palm emoji). I'll add one more thought before moving on; if you want to go out and photograph weddings or landscapes or families, just go do it! Don't let what you do or don't own be the deciding factor in what you have to offer your clients. Yes, you should be responsible and make sure you are equipped to provide the quality you are being paid for but you can make it work with whatever hand you're dealt. You've got this!
OK RANT OVER. You still there? Thanks for sticking around. Let's hit our next topic:
// WHAT GEAR WOULD I RECOMMEND?
This depends on what your end goal is: do you want to photograph weddings? Do you want to take nice pictures of your kids and not have to pay a photograher all the time? Do you just want something nicer than an iphone to document your life with? I'll add cameras at different price points so you can find whatever best fits your need!
From most expensive to least expensive:
Canon 5d mark iv
Canon 5d mark iii
Canon Rebel t7i
Canon Rebel t6i
** Bonus: I always recommend the Canon 50mm f/1.8 as a starting lens if you're wanting to upgrade to something nicer than what came with your camera. It's $100 and will honestly change your life if you've never tried out a prime lens.
(I know these are all Canon camera bodies and that's because it's what I've always used and know the best! Nikon is wonderful and has so many great things going for them, I just didn't want to try and recommend anything I haven't personally used for a season or tried out myself.)
So there you have it! What I use, what I'd recommend and what I started with. This is not the end-all be-all list of camera gear but it's one I can genuinely put my stamp of approval on and feel good about sending your way! If you have any other questions for me about camera bodies, lenses, etc. please let me know! I'm here to help in any way that I can. Thanks for reading!