Dan O’Day

Oh hey guys, it’s me, Dan. I’m a wedding photographer based out of Australia. I’m just stopping by to have a little chat about what’s in my camera bag (disclaimer: mostly just speaking about my wedding set up, here).

My story is short. I started out in paint, I come from a family of artists and I always wanted to be a successful exhibiting painter. In 2006 I decided to try photography and had my first gallery show of fine art photography (which went surprisingly well) and I’ve been hooked on stills ever since then.

Shot my first wedding in 2007 (while still working 9-5 for The Man) then 2 years later in 2009, I walked out of my 9-5 job to go full-time with my wedding photography and it kind of went crazy from there.

Still, I can’t believe the journey photography has taken me on. I get to travel all over this massive planet shooting weddings and speaking at fun conferences. I also get to see so much of my own country. It’s really big (in fact, it’s the same size as the USA – we just have no one in the middle).

Having said all that, I get tired. I love my job and I am extremely grateful that I get to do what I do for a living. In the next couple of years I am starting to wind travel down so I can get to spend more time at home with my family and my new little dog Jessie (she is 7 years old and has droopy boobs and we love her).

When shooting a wedding I try to keep my set up really simple. I find that the more toys to play around with takes time away from the thing I am most interested in documenting: the people. I generally roll with 2 DSLR bodies, 2 lenses (Canon 50mm f/1.2L / Canon 24mm f/1.4L) and a Pelican case full of cards in my pocket. I have other gear there on the day just in case but that’s pretty much it.

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I’ll bust out the Phase One from the back-pack on location if time (and loco) permits.

In a nutshell, I think that’s pretty much me and a bit on my set-up.

So let’s get going with details:

2x Canon 5D Mark iii DSLRs – I shoot with two on a wedding day to keep my most active two lenses around (50mm and 24 mm) and swap to the occasional 35mm or 85mm at a moments notice if need be.

Canon 50mm f/1.2 Lens – Classic, good for lots of stuff. I use it for mostly family formals and any other portraits.

Canon 24mm f/1.4 Lens – My fave lens. I might shoot 80% of the day with this little fella. I enjoy the amount of story I can fit into one frame.

Canon 85mm f/1.2 Lens – Love this piece of machinery for some dreamy portraits and some speech-y moments.

Canon 35mm f/1.4 Lens – Don’t use it as often lately, but it’s still a great ole’ faithful to have around.

Phase One IQ250 Digital System – It’s insane – The detail and dynamic range are absolutely amazing. I’ve been implementing this Phase One system more and more lately with my wedding work and I find that it’s the hero of hero shot tools.

Phase One 80mm f/2.8 and 28mm f/4.5 Lenses – Well, I need the lenses to go on the Phase Camera, because otherwise… well you know. no picture.

Memory Cards – I like to work on 16 GB memory cards (anything larger gives me anxiety for the ability it may have to lose too much if it punks out), and I carry around about 3 waterproof Pelican cases with those in them, on the day. I also have 128 GB SD cards in the camera bodies recording JPEG versions of every RAW file I shoot, just as an emergency backup plan.

Batteries – I’m a nervous nancy when it comes to preparedness for a wedding day, so I always go a bit overboard. I’ve included only 4 in this photo but I have about 8 batteries around in my bag, ready to rock (You know, for all those 22 hour gigs that never come around… I’m totally ready).

Canon 580 EX Speedlites – I carry two of these for a wedding day and use them a fair amount when the dance floor gets fired up.

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Fujifilm X100 – I love this camera. I use it mostly for travel and I’ve produced some of my fine art prints with this tiny power tool. It’s compact, efficient, and -bonus- pretty nifty looking. I like to take it with me wherever I go, just cause… you never know.

Fujifilm X-PRO1 – Same thing for this Fuji legend. It produces such great images and it’s a trusty companion of mine for overseas travel and capturing great images from such a small device – unlike the x100 it has lens changing capability.

I’ve been lugging all this stuff around all on my (tired) shoulders and in a Lowepro Rover AW II backpack. It’s amazing how well it can actually fit into one case. This bag has been with me for 4 gigantic years and it’s still going strong. Its also great as it just looks like a normal back pack and so doest draw much attention at check-in (for weighing) or customs (for explaining) during travel.

Any questions? Hit me up.

www.danodayphotography.com.au

 

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8 Comments

    • Dan, how is it going buddy?

      Do you think you will ever shoot weddings with just the fujis at some point?

      The frames you created with the x-pro1 of Anita & Dom (yep, a little while ago right?) were influential in my decision on buying an x-pro1 , I have now shot with two of these + x100s exclusively for the last two wedding seasons and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

      V.

      • Hey mate, yes! good memory, Anita and Dom shot with the x-pro 1. I love the fuji’s – for me to move to the next level of shooting wedding purely with the fuji’s id have to try out some other more recent systems.

        Could i shoot wedding completely with the fujis? yes if i needed too. Would they be my first pic? Not at this stage, but to be fair, i haven’t shot with any of the fuji’s more recent that the x-pro1. I do love them though, more so for travel and street photography where I would have to say they are my first pic of camera. Hope that helps.

  • Hey Dan. Really like what you said about how much story you can fit into one frame with the 24mm, you’ve inspired me to shoot wider more! Do you have a go to aperture on this lens? Also, if the background sucks all day would you still shoot 80% of a wedding on this lens? prioritising the story it fits in over the crappyness of the background or would you adapt with a tighter lens? Thanks in advance. Mike

  • Your pictures are every thing I aspire to take. Beautiful light, composition, colours, lens flares, light leaks, bokeh. I love how despite being so busy and successful your kit is very streamlined.

  • Hey mate, you are great inspiration for me. The way you show stories I find very close to my way. I love your work as a documentary wedding photographer. I would love to see some more if possible. :-)

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