Part of the fun with any hobby is learning to master the tools of the trade.
I started my business in 2016 using an older non-professional camera (crop-sensor) as well as two very affordable lenses. With these, I produced some of my favourite photos to date.
These days, of course, there is big pressure on manufacturers of photography equipment, as they face stiff competition from old foes and new industries alike. This means that you only have to wait very little time before what you decide to buy is out-gunned by a newer model device with fancier functionality. If ever you find yourself having a hard time keeping up with the latest trends, and deciding when to take the plunge into some camera hardware, just remember three things:
1. Invest in what will be the most useful for your needs.
2. Once you take the plunge, take the time to master your equipment.
3. Equipment is only part of the equation.
As you grow as a photographer, you find out what tools work best for you. A few times a year, I will borrow, rent or buy a used lens from a reputable source to test it. If it is not something that I am going to use for most of my photoshoots, I return it or sell it. Something, less is more.
Here is a look inside my current camera bag:
A few months into my business, I decided to upgrade to a full frame camera. This type of camera offers a sensor the same size as a frame of traditional 35mm film. In comparaison, a crop-sensor camera offers a frame that is smaller due to its sensor cropping out the edges of the frame. What does this mean? With its larger surface area, the Canon 6D performs better in low light situations which can be very helpful when shooting indoors. Furthermore, due to the fact that the frame is not cropped, it offers a much wider field of view. This comes in handy when shooting in small spaces.
Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4 DG
I dreamt about getting this lens for a long time and I'll tell you; it does not disappoint! It's so sharp and creates the most beautiful bokeh (blurry background). With a fixed focal length of 35mm, this lens is a prime lens, meaning it does not contain a zoom. It forces me to use my feet and to be always alert and in the heart of the action. It also helps me capture scenes as they unfold by letting me get close to my subjects. To me, it's an amazing storytelling lens. It works perfectly in tight spaces as well as darker rooms thanks to its wide aperture of f/1.4. For over a year, it was the only lens I used, and is my favorite purchase to date.
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
This summer, I wanted a new lens to give myself more shooting options. After trying a few different models, I settled for a lens that helps me fulfill one of my passions: portrait photography. With a fixed focal length of 85mm, this prime lens can create very flattering portraits. It forces me to step further away from the subjects which gives me the opportunity to capture more natural and genuine moments in addition to the details. You'll often find me switching between this lens and the Sigma during a shoot. I'm really pleased with this purchase.
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 USM
I first fell in love with documentary photography when I serendipitously bought my first "pancake" lens - the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8. This thin and very light lens encouraged me to always bring my camera along while out and about. Less obvious, it also helped me to subtly capture moments with my children while not being too much "in their face." Unfortunately, since it doesn't fit on my current full frame camera, I wanted to find an equivalent. The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 is just what I needed for my own personal family photos. While on outings, I don't want to be carrying heavy and more fragile equipment. I want to be present and in the moment, while still capturing some souvenirs. It has a similar focal length as the Sigma 35mm, but for me it serves a completely different purpose. I'm excited to use it this holiday season!
What else is in my bag:
Lowepro Transit Sling 250 AW
For the bag itself, comfort and safety were important for me. Well designed and built, this Lowepro Sling bag helps me carry everything I need.
Yongnuo Speedlight YN568EX
Although I prefer natural light, this Off Camera Flash comes in very handy in situations where there's just not enough light. I use it quite often indoors for events and at home during dark winter days.
-A fulling charged and ready backup camera and a back-up Off Camera-Flash
-Multiple Lexar 32GB SD cards
-Numerous extra batteries for my cameras as well as lots AA batteries for my Off CameraFlash
-DSLR cleaning tools.
-On a personal note: a Burt's Bees Lip Balm and a Kashi Chocolate Chip Chia Granola Bars!
I hope you found this sneak peek inside my camera bag helpful. Don't be shy to reach out if you have any questions!
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