Often times I get questions from fellow photographers asking what camera I used and what lens was on it, etc.
Let's get this out of the way: I am a gear-head. I like trying out new gear and seeing what it can do to improve my work. Nevertheless, expensive gear will not make you a better photographer. Reading, taking workshops, trying new things and meeting experienced models will.
What you'll find here is a list of all the gear I use in my photography and why I chose it.
I’ve gone through many digital cameras since I first started photography. The first one I ever got was a Fuji, then switched to Sony and got the first a9 they ever made. I had that for a while and ended switching to Canon’s 7D Mark II, which sucked for portraits. I got all kinds of distortion from my lenses on the aps-c sized sensor on that one. I then tried a Canon 6D, and even though I liked it very much, I wanted more resolution to be able to crop my images while retouching and still get a very detailed photo, so I ended up with a Canon 5Ds R, a 50.3MP beast. It delivers extremely high quality images, as sharp as it gets.
After using really wide aperture lenses comppletely wide open for a while, I felt I needed something with better Autofocus capabilites, even if that meant sacrificing some resolution; so I switched to the Canon EOS R Mirrorless Camera. I has given me the opportunity to create better compositions while being ale to focus faster and better on my subjects while using f/1.2 and f/1.4 apertures.
Polaroid cameras have a very unique appeal. They print a photo which is unique in color, really warm and a little out of focus. It is what many digital filters were trying to replicate when they first came out. I got mine new, original from 1981. These are very hard to come by (in good condition) and the film can be quite expensive at $18.99 for only 8 prints, but I do love the look of the pictures I’ve taken with it; they do take me back to how photos looked back then.
Check out the Polaroid 660 Instant Camera by clicking here.
Being able to record video has always been a challenge for me, particularly during my shoots. The DJI Osmo Pocketk allows me to keep a steady had, wether it’s holding it in my hands or having it on top of my camera. The gimbal basically reacts to subtle movements I make while shooting and keeps the model in the shot no matter what.
It’ definitely a life saver!
One of my main go-to lenses for portraits is a zoom lens. Most people prefer prime lenses, but I like the versatility of having a zoom lens that allows me to go in and get a very nice close-up as well as a very dreamy full-body shot (if I’m standing far enough from the model).
For this I chose the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens , a very well-made, rugged beast that can do just about anything from very low light to sunny beach shots. A little pricey, but definitely worth every penny.
This lens, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM, is just magnificent. It gives me great low-light performance and it is tack sharp, particuarly now that it is paired with the Canon EOS R Mirrorless Camera.
I use it a lot for face-framing portraits. I get beautiful soft bokeh from it and the compression you get from this focal length is just perfect when you need to get that close to someone’s face and don’t want their features to come out distorted.
If you do a lot of portraits and can only afford one lens, I would definitely suggest you invest in this gem from Canon.
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens is very close to being perfect. It gives me incredible low-light performance when wide open at f/1.2. It’s not as sharp as my 85mm f/1.4L but the bokeh is incredible. I use it a lot for wider portraits.
If you do a lot of portraits and fashion photo shoots and can only afford one lens, I would definitely suggest you invest in this gem from Canon, it will give you the best of many worlds.
This is a mix between a portrait lens and a travel lens. I like having the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens in my bag when I travel. It gives great performance in low light conditions, like when you go to those “no flash photography” museums. Beautiful portraits both indoors and outdoors as well as great landscapes. It is also an incredible lens to get those shallow depth of field full body portraits when you don’t have a lot of space. I’ve gotten to a point in which I rarely take this lens off my camera.
There are many images in The Private Lens galleries which were taken with this beautiful lens from Canon.
The Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L IS USM is the latest lens I acquired. It has quickly become one of my favorites. It allows for me to take full-body shots with beautiful depth of field in the smallest of spaces, which I see often in this line of work. It's light and super capable.
Modern cameras can go pretty high in megapixels, and when shooting RAW files can get pretty big. Having the reliability of a great memory card, that can hold enough images and save them quickly into the card allows to shoot models faster, without the camera making me hold to take the next picture. I highly recommend the Sandisk 64GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II Memory Card. The performance has been impressive since I moved from another brand.
I use strobes in some situations, and the Neewer Vision5 is my go-to light when it comes to those moments. I own 4 of these and they have been with for over 4 years now, helping create images that wouldn't be possible without artificial light. I highly recommend this light, as it has been proven to overcome the even the brightest sunlight, because it is wireless and the batteries last long. If you're looking for strobes, this is the way to go in a short budget.
C-Stands help me move around the studio and keep my lights and modifiers safe. These are very reasonably priced and are really sturdy. I highly recommend this for you if you're a photographer.
I usually place a GoPro on top of my camera to record the photo shoots for both Behind The Scenes content and for the models themselves. The GoPro HERO 10 is an outstanding camera, capable of recording up to 5.3K video.
I like Godox softboxes and beauty dishes because they are great quality, easy to assemble, lightweight and reasonably priced. I have many in various sizes and they do the job perfectly.
I use rectangular soft boxes with grids to back light the models in studio situations. I high recommend these. They work very well and are very durable in studio conditions.
The Godox Barn Door with Honeycomb Grid also allows me to control the light and even give it some colors with color gels. This can make your photography a lot more interesting. Highly recommended.
These reflectors are great for when you're working alone and trying to shoot well-lit portraits in studio conditions.
The snoot allows to create light shapes different than most. This one has worked very well for me so far as it allows me to focus it, trim it and it use light films and gobos to make it more interesting.
I use a snoot very often in studio conditions. These light film modifiers help me make it instersting.