A B Watson
The first camera I picked up to learn photography was a Canon AE-1 film camera. It was the family’s. I started learning analogue photography during my high school years. Using 35mm film where I’d develop it on my own and print my first black and white photographs in a darkroom. There is nothing that can explain the feeling you get when you see your first photo coming into being while submerged in a developing tray. I was hooked.
During my career as a Graphic Designer for three years, I did street photography too and from work with a Fuji X100, my first digital camera & my Yashica 635. After getting hooked shooting a rangefinder, I saved up and got myself a Leica M6. Shooting with this for a year, I decided to go back to University and pursue and reignite my passion for photography. It was here the stepping stone to quitting my design job and giving myself a two-year window to make a living off photography.
During my studies, I started assisting fashion photographers and later got a Canon 50mm f/1.2L lens. I did this to force myself to buy a digital DSLR. Later I got the Canon 5D Mark iii and this was my setup for a good two years. I used the university’s studio as much as I could, and did model test shoots later in my final year.
Then I landed a full-time studio gig where I shoot catalogues, look-books and product photography which further grew my skills. I’ve been doing editorial work and test shoots every weekend or days I have free ever since and have slowly been growing my kit.
Looking at my kit I like things simple, I rarely use more than two lights on my Broncolor Senso. If I can get away with it. I prefer window light and maybe one strobe light. Using a Chimera Octa 2 Beauty Dish or Broncolor Octabox 150cm. When shooting beauty I throw on a Broncolor 30×120 strip light to highlight the hair.
I use my Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro for beauty. This lens is so sharp I’d say it’s on par with the Canon 180mm f/3.5 Macro.
I love using the Canon 85mm f/1.2 for portraits and editorials. It gives a Medium format look to the 35mm sensor, and for tight spaces I use my Canon 50mm f/1.2.
I still use my Leica M6 for behind the scenes photos for my own personal archive and my Ricoh GR1. When I do test shoots I pull out the Polaroid 600 SE. This without fail makes everyone get excited. Using Fuji 100cC instant film on the back, pulling it out and peeling the film to look at the exposure. Magic.
Canon 5D Mark iii
Canon 50mm f/1.2
Canon 85mm f/1.2
Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4
Polaroid 600 SE
Mamiya 127mm f/4.7
Other gear I have:
Canon 28mm f/1.8
2x Broncolor Litos flash heads
Broncolor Octabox 4.9
Broncolor Softbox 1 x 3.9
Chimera Octa 2 Beauty Dish
X-Rite Color Checker Passport
Manfrotto 058B tripod