Hi everyone! My name is Jason Vinson. My wife Chasnie and I run Vinson Images based out of Fayetteville Arkansas. I’m excited to share the gear I use for wedding photography and to explain a little bit about why I use certain items.
I’m definitely a gear nerd and would love to own every piece of gear that I find interesting, but I also find a lot of value in having a minimal amount of gear while shooting. I feel like limitations free your mind up and allow you to concentrate on what is going on in front of you.
Nikon D750: This camera seems to be in almost every wedding photographers bag, and rightfully so! After shooting Sony for 5 plus years, this camera was enough to entice a kit change. I went with this camera over the Nikon D810 because 36MP is overkill for what I need and I enjoy working with a smaller body.
Sigma 35mm f/1.4: Another staple in most photographers camera bags. It’s fast, sharp, not too large, and outperforms similar lenses that cost twice as much. This lens is basically glued to one of my camera bodies at all times. I use this lens from the start of the day until the end of the day. If I’m leaving the house with a single lens, it’s always this one.
Sigma 85mm f/1.4: This lens is a great performer for the price. From the start of a wedding all the way through the first dances, this lens is always on my second camera body. I use it for closer portraits, when I need a little more reach, or when I want a little more separation from the background.
Nikon 20mm f/1.8: After the traditional first dances, when the crazy fun dancing begins, the 85mm comes off and this lens goes on. This lens will stay on my camera for the rest of the night. It allows me to get in close and interact with people on the dance floor while still capturing a good amount of the scene. I also almost always use this lens for my nighttime portraits because it’s fast and capable of gathering light from stars in the sky. I also use this for creative portraits when I want to encompass more of the scenery.
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Nikon 105mm f/2.8 macro: Although this is an amazing lens, it really only gets used for details and ring shots. Every once in awhile I’ll break it out for the getting ready images so that I can get really tight on some eye lashes, but for the most part, this is a rarely used specialty lens for me.
Nikon SB-910 Flash: I use this flash sporadically throughout the day. Most of the time when I’m using this flash, it’s off camera and modified. The only time I have the flash on camera is for the party dancing at the reception. For these dancing images, most of the time I’m using on camera direct flash with a slow shutter speed to capture movement.
Magmod: Pretty much 100% of the time I have some sort of Magmod modifier on my flash. Usually a grid, since most of the time I don’t want my flash spilling out and filling a room with light. Instead I want it to be direct and localized so that I can use light to draw a viewer’s eye. I also like to play around a lot with some of the color gels in their creative gel pack. These colors are great for adding interest, matching light, or playing with complimentary colors. I have also started to play around with their snoot and sphere. These two items work great and I’m looking forward to using them more this year.
Yongnuo Trigger and transceivers: Cheap with a solid performance. These give me full control of my flash from the camera. I can trigger the flash in TTL (with high speed sync) or manual and easily switch between the two without touching the flash. I don’t know why anyone would pay more for the other triggers on the market. I have never had an issue with my flash not firing or being out of range. The transceivers can also double as remote camera triggers if desired.
Holdfast Moneymaker: This strap is key for how I shoot. I always shoot with 2 camera bodies and this strap makes it so much more comfortable than any other strap I have tried! The fact that they look fantastic is just an added bonus. I get at least a few compliment on these straps at every single wedding I shoot.
3 Legged Thing Tripod: long exposures and light painting are one of my favorite things to do at a wedding, as well as outside of a wedding, so having a good solid tripod is really important.
Einstein Strobe: I used to use these for outdoor lighting to overpower the sun, but now I really only use them for lighting during the formals.
Holdfast Roamographer bag: I have used a ton of bags and nothing has looked this good. The fact that it has a removable insert so I can quickly remove all my gear and use the bag as an overnight bag is awesome! It has plenty of storage and I love that it opens like a doctor’s bag so it can remain open when I need it to.
Photon Freedom Micro light: I use these for light painting. Super small and plenty bright.
Manfrotto Nano Clamp: I use this with a small tripod ball head attached in order to attach my flash to almost any object. It easily fits in my bag and makes it so I can put up a flash while not needing to carry around a light stand.
Manfrotto Nano Stand: When I do need a light stand for my hot shoe flashes, this stand is perfect. Small and lightweight and it has a small footprint so it’s easy to keep out of the way.
Crystals: I have a small assortment of crystals and prisms that I use to create interesting effects in camera. I almost always have one of these in my pocket during a shoot and will use them after I know I have a good shot, but I want to try and add a little something different. These crystals don’t always work and are definitely not for every image, but when they work, they give some really cool effects.
Mizu Water bottle: There are so many times that I have left a wedding feeling completely dehydrated, only to realize I have gone all day without having anything to drink. So now I make it a point to always have this water bottle in my bag. It has the fancy double wall insulation so my water stays cold, but most importantly, the insulation also makes it so the water bottle doesn’t sweat. This makes it so I can keep super cold water in my bag and not worry about condensation getting on my gear.