I get asked frequently what gear I use and why, so I thought it would be fun to make a little rundown of my gear and what I love about it. Let me know in the comments if this is helpful information or if you have this gear too and love it!
The Bag Itself
The Gracie bag in mint from Jo Totes is perfect for a portrait session or to keep my essentials on hand on a wedding day. My Think Tank Airport bag (not pictured because it’s big, dull and loaded down) is where I keep all my extra gadgets, gizmos and backup gear.
I’m a big fan of full frame cameras. Not everyone can afford a full frame (heaven knows I had a crop sensor camera when I started out in my business.) However, the difference between crop and full sensor is night and day! When the D750 was released, it was a game-changer in the camera world and is still a top pick on everyone’s list. It’s the lightest and fastest full frame camera at 29.47oz and 6.5 frames per second. This means I won’t miss a shot because of limitations in my gear and my hands, arms and back are saved a bit of stress after carrying this camera for 8 hours at a time.
Nikkor 70-200mm 2.8
This lens has been in my bag for years and I still use it every single time I shoot, hence the well-loved appearance. I love the painterly quality it lends to my images, as well as the speedy focus and low light capability that makes it a rock star for those dark church ceremonies.
Sigma ART 35mm 1.4
This lens gives me big Disney princess eyes. It’s sharp enough to shave with and the way it renders colors and bokeh is nothing short of dreamy. The focal length is great for details and editorial-style images.
Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8
Though a newer addition to my gear bag, the 24-70 is becoming my new go-to lens. I used to be more of a “move your feet, not your lens” kind of gal, but wedding days are fast-paced, once in a lifetime events. Sometimes, you can’t move fast enough AND maintain your ninja stealth!
Tokina 100mm MACRO 2.8
This is my only “dedicated” lens in the bunch. In general, I prefer to have versatile tools over one-trick ponies, but some scenarios call for special tools. Macro (close-up, detailed) photography is one of those scenarios. This lens can focus on such minute details, it beautifully displays that engraving on your wedding band or the intricate details of the lace on your dress. I may not use it a ton during a wedding, but when I need it, it’s indispensable.
This is my workhorse flash. I have more, but this is the one I use on my camera since Nikon designed these to communicate with each other. I am not a gear snob, so I don’t tend to shy away from 3rd party manufacturers (see my love for Sigma’s ART series) but flash HAS to be reliable and TTL shooting is notoriously tricky without care, and getting an on-brand flash eliminates a variable.
This is the cheapest piece of gear in my bag (at 99 cents from the craft store) and never fails to attract attention from astute observers. Believe it or not, this little piece of craft foam does an unbelievable job of shaping light from my flash to look natural and clean. I learned this technique from Neil van Niekirk and am eternally grateful to have this in my arsenal.
Nikon D600, Nikon D90
Yes, I carry TWO backup cameras on a wedding day. H-E-Double-hockey-sticks or high water, I am shooting a dang wedding and I will have a camera, so help me!
Nikkor 50mm 1.8
The Nifty Fifty has graced every photographer’s camera since the dawn of time and I am no exception. I’ve fallen out of love with this lens recently (mostly due to the 24-70 taking its place,) but I keep it handy as a backup because I can practically shoot a whole wedding with it because of its simplicity and versatility. Having backup equipment is a necessity! (noticing a theme?)
Yong-Nuo Speedlights and Triggers
These are my off camera lights for brightening dark reception halls or perfectly lighting family portraits every time. They simply work and work well, which is all I can ask for from my lighting equipment on hectic wedding days.
SD Cards and Card Holder
Extras, backups, extras. I keep them in a nifty case with a system for distinguishing empty from full.
I carry 4 backup batteries for my camera, even though one battery usually lasts a whole day. I also carry a frightening amount of AA batteries to power my flashes. Backup, backup, backup!
That pretty much covers it! Let me know if I missed a burning question you have in the comments!