I remember getting into the photography industry with so many questions—what camera should I get? What lenses do I need? Is there software to help me speed up my workflow? Seriously, the questions could’ve gone on for days. That coupled with the fact that I’m a research junkie, meant I spent way too much time trying to make equipment decisions than doing what I love—being in front of clients. There have been a few trusted leaders in the industry who’ve shared their preferred gear and tools, and that has been more compelling than Google searches for me. So, now that I have nearly a decade of experience behind the camera, I thought I’d pay it forward and share my preferred gear and what I’m saving for.
It should be noted that my gear collection’s been a long time coming. Since I was a teenager, I pledged to not go into debt for photography gear and do everything Dave Ramsey style. Nearly a decade later, I’m proud to share that I have kept that pledge to myself! (Truly a miracle, ha!) To make it happen, I’ve been reinvesting my “income” back into my business and renting equipment as needed.
I hope that sharing my preferred gear serves you well, saves you time, and brings joy back into your business (because who wants to be stuck behind a computer doing research)!
I absolutely love Canon. Big fan girl over here! I’m in love with the “Canon Color,” as well as their lens quality and versatility. I’ve recently switched over to having a full-frame body, and I wish I had done it sooner! It’s a world of difference. The dynamic range for color is tremendous. The focus is sharper. I’m also now using the full potential of my L-series lenses! (Before I shot with a Canon 7D Mark II and focused on buying top-of-the-line lenses.)
I love the versatility of this lens. It’s helpful when I’m needing a wider angle or may want to zoom in/out quickly. There isn’t as much compression and bokeh as I like though, so it doesn’t create the dreamy effect for portraits that I love, but it focuses fast!
Used for: tight spaces, mobile children, large groups, landscapes, architecture, dancing shots at receptions
Not usually recommended for: details or other macro shots, intimate portraits, in settings with distracting backgrounds
If I could only have one lens, this baby would be the one. There’s not as much compression as the 85mm, but there’s significantly more bokeh than the 24-70mm. This is the lens I have that most closely mimics what I see with my eyes, though in my research the 35mm does mimics it the best.
Used for: ANYTHING
Not usually recommended for: …it’s just a great all-around, sorry! 🙂
This is my favorite portrait lens. It’s a workhorse. It creates gorgeous compression and bokeh. It really draws out the subjects so that they “pop” off the background.
Used for: Portraits, some detail shots, settings with distracting backgrounds
Not usually recommended for: ceremony, large group shots, epic wide shots
This lens is for all things details. The compression and bokeh is unreal, so the eye really focuses on just the subject.
Used for: Detail shots, ring shots, extreme closeups (such as eyelashes, lips, lace, beading, etc.)
Not usually recommended for: large group shots, epic wide shots, most portraits
I call this guy the sniper because it allows the photographer to be unobtrusive and remain as unnoticed as possible. My second shooter uses it the most often. Since the zoom is incredible, he/she will get different, unique angles while I’m working on portraits or more intimate shots. It’s also a fantastic ceremony lens because of the zoom! This guy is hefty though. It’ll give you a great arm and shoulder workout! Side note: this lens is SO special to me, click here to find out why.
Used for: second shooter, ceremonies, toasts, reception candids
Not usually recommended for: non-wedding shots, primary portrait lens, details, epic wide shots, large group shots