Wondering what cameras and lenses I use? I’m all about accessible education and I truly believe that being open with information changes the game for us all. This is one of the biggest questions I get from other photographers and I’m going to break it all down for you.
Along with that, I’m going to share what I love about my equipment and what I find myself using the most for different parts of portrait sessions and wedding days so you can really get a good grasp on why each piece is in my bag.
Starting off, I have to share I love Canon. There are multiple amazing and professional brands out there but Canon is what I started photography with and as I’ve grown as an artist, I’ve always found exactly what I needed in their gear system. Here’s what I use out of their products:
I upgraded to the 5D MARK IV (from a canon 6d) a couple of years into photography. I was super excited to step up when it comes to photographing low-light situations using ambient light and the 5D MARK IV is known for its low light sensitivity. We often think of wedding photography taking place during the day with teary first looks and glowing sunset portraits but a good section of photography coverage actually happens at night.
During seasons when the sun sets early, I can be covering a wedding day and half of my booked time can fall after the sun sets during the reception. I can easily pull out my lighting equipment and brighten up the scene using flash but because my style is known for feeling more natural and timeless, I love to photograph using ambient light, like sparklers, candles, and string lights if possible. Here’s an example of beautiful ambient lighting with my 5D MARK IV!
I’ll pull out my flashes for the dance floor because it creates such a fun party feel but otherwise, I love capturing that soft, warm evening light & the Mark IV has the dynamic range that allows me to do that, without getting too noisy or grainy. Here’s an example of how flash creates a dramatic party feel!
I have three Canon lenses that I regularly use during portraits and weddings. First up, the 35MM F1.4 L II is on almost constantly during portraits and on wedding days. I love that it’s a little wider than the human eye naturally sees which means it creates this yummy, cinematic feel in photos, especially with movement involved. This is my go-to lens for candid moments and sweeping portraits where I want to include some scenery behind my couple.
The lens that I also use on wedding days & during portraits is my 50 MM F1.2 L. This lens hits about the same viewpoint as the human eye. (So cool, right?) Portraits and moments with this lens really feel like you’re drawn into the moment and standing right there. I love this lens for smaller family groupings and for close-up portraits.
My third (and the newest edition to my gear bag) is a lens I never thought I’d use, but one I have on my camera allll the dang time.
Meet the 24-70 f2.8 L series. This is the lens I pull out when I need to be able to shoot a ton of versatile shots on a whim. It can get super wide at 24 mm to create a cinematic, elongated look. But it can also get super zoomed in at 70 mm in an instant. During portraits, I love to hit it at 70 mm so I can be up close with my clients to make them feel comfortable and at ease. During wedding day moments though, I want my clients to forget I’m there so I can capture the raw and real emotions. This lens allows me to get that close-up viewpoint while photographing from a little bit of a distance. Because this lens is a zoom lens, it can limit the amount of light that can come through so it’s not my typical go-to for low light situations.
That being said, there are several brands of cameras & lenses out there.If selecting the right one for you feels overwhelming, I have a full, free gear guide that walks through all the major camera systems, lenses, memory cards and everything in between! Leave the hours of googling behind and dive right into this comprehensive guide that covers everything you want to know, giving you confidence in your gear investment.
P.S. If you’re wondering what else I’ve found to really make the difference in my photography business, I share exactly what education has helped me here. *hyperlink to post*