I am a firm Canon shooter. I’ve dabbled in the third-party lens realms and have ultimately come to the conclusion that I can only feel at my most comfort when shooting with Canon L-glass.
Below is a list of all the photo equipment I use (for all you other photographers out there who care about knowing this sort of thing when examining another photographer’s work- or at least that’s what I do when I examine other people’s work lol).
CANON 5D MARK III (PHOTO+VIDEO)
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is by far the best camera I’ve ever used. It’s such a great camera because it is so good at so many things… especially video. Additionally, I can remove the battery grip to carry it around as a lightweight camera for travel, while still maintaining that amazing 22-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor’s capabilities. Let’s just put it this way… I have to use expensive pro-grade Canon L-Series lenses because this camera’s resolution is so sharp that any other subpar lens can’t hide it’s faults (lack of sharpness, contrast, etc) when used with it.
THE ORIGINAL CANON 5D
The original Canon EOS 5D was my first full-frame camera, and opened my world to the capabilities of such a powerful tool. I ended up selling it to purchase it’s successor, the Canon 5D Mark II. However, now that I’ve done the same thing again by selling the Mark II to afford the Mark III, I decided to pick up another used original 5D to serve as my secondary camera for shooting weddings.
CANON 85mm f/1.2L USM
This medium-telephoto prime lens is by far my go-to lens for weddings, engagement shoots, other portrait sessions, commercial work, and video as well. It’s combination of astounding sharpness at it’s widest aperture, incredible low-light performance, and capability to throw the background out of focus in almost any scenario make it my most essential lens.
CANON 24mm f/1.4L USM
The “Coverage” Lens – My most used lens during wedding receptions, photojournalism assignments and travel/landscape/casual shooting. Often used in commercial work and video shoots as well. A new addition to my photo arsenal, effectively converting me to a “prime lens only” photographer.
CANON 135mm f/2.0L USM
This prime is a specialty-use lens for me. It’s an astounding prime lens and serves great for portraits, stage photography, video work, and any other close-up needs. It has a decent amount of extra reach and a capability to flatten perspective in a unique way.
CANON 50mm f/1.4 USM
I used to own and use the slightly better performing and severely more expensive Canon 50mm f1.2L USM prime lens. However, I found myself missing the abilities of the 85mm f1.2L prime I once had… and I always promised myself not to own both of the “L” versions of the 50mm and 85mm Canon lenses because they produced images that were too similar to justify owning both lenses. So, this f/1.4 non-L version of the 50mm now serves as a high-performing, yet inexpensive tool that can be used in certain scenarios where the 85 is just too telephoto and the 24mm is too wide (like bridal preparation photos). Complicated, I know, but it works for me.
An example of my lighting setup at a commercial shoot for a local hockey rink’s upcoming ad campaign:
(I also use two additional and slightly cheaper IMPACT strobes purely as backlights and rim lights when needed- as shown above) I also use gels to alter color tone from my lights as well as use a softbox grid sometimes to create a more “harsh” look when I want the main light to produce a more contrasty image.
Oh and another thing, you might have noticed a handwritten signature on some of the photos in my more recent posts… I’ve always viewed releasing photos I’ve created as having my figurative signature on them (my shooting/editing style), so I thought I’d do some branding and make it a little more literal!
Please don’t ever get caught up in the artsy “A good photographer can take a good picture with a disposable camera” philosophy. So many photographers get full of themselves and begin to actually believe that their artistic use of light is purely what makes them great. That is simply not true.
Yes, photography is an artistic profession that is dictated by the way the photographer decides to “write with light” (the Greek definition of photography). However, that philosophy originated back in the days of 35mm film, when image quality really was only controlled by the way you used light in your photographs. In today’s digital age, photos can be good or bad because of so many different factors, and as a professional photographer trying to make a living by taking photos, you can NEVER afford make the mistake of producing bad photos for a client because of a lacking in quality from your equipment. The market is way too over-saturated for a photographer to make that sort of mistake today.
Let’s put it this way: ”Saying a good photographer can take a good picture with a crappy camera is like saying an astronaut can make a career out of walking on the moon in his pajamas.”
Go out there, get the best equipment you can afford, start shooting and building a portfolio, and get two more jobs to pay your bills and save for even better equipment. Work hard and don’t stop until you do have the best equipment available for the type of photography you plan to shoot. Don’t settle!