My start in the world of photography was in college at the University of Cincinnati. I was a Fine Arts major with a concentration in both Photography and Sculpture. I mainly worked with film and building cameras of my own. A short amount of time after school I had my introduction into the commercial world of photography as retoucher that turned assistant and then turned shooter.
Each step along the way was a huge value to me. Starting as a retoucher taught me that… I don’t like it! At least in the ways of compositing and recreating environments. I would much rather build the set and capture in camera how I want to see it than creating in post. Both ways are completely valid and neither one is better than the other it’s just my preference.
As an assistant I worked under two extremely talented photographers. One focused on table top work being either food or product. I learned the delicateness of lighting and subtle adjustments. I also learned that product and table top work isn’t my passion.
The other photographer was a more location based photographer and mostly worked with people. This is where I found my passion. Every location is different and all subjects are different. This make things interesting and challenging which I enjoy.
As all jobs are different and some require more and some less gear. I still can’t think of a time where I have left for a shoot without these key pieces of gear in my vehicle.
Phase One D F w/ Phase One P45 back – This has been a fairly recent addition and I am loving every time I shoot with it. I have rented medium format systems before and finally took the plunge and purchased one of my own. The Phase One P45 is an older back so you can not push the ISO. I normally don’t ever go above 100 ISO. But since I am usually lighting my shots this has not been too much of a issue.
Canon 5D Mark III – This the camera when I need the higher ISO or if there is a situation where I need a camera that is a little more robust and can take a little more of a beating since the Canon 5D Mark III is dust and weather sealed.
Schneider Kreuznach 80mm f/2.8 LS – This is my go to lens on the Phase One. Extremely versatile and having a Leaf Shutter allows syncing strobes up to 1/1600. Not that that is necessary all the time but being able to just bump up the shutter speed is great and freezing motion is much easier.
Mamiya 120mm f/4 – Great lens for portraits, product when you want an undistorted very crisp and detailed image.
Mamiya 35mm f/3.5 – Well this is the wide lens in the bag. Great for interiors and those times where you need to shoot a head-to-toe portrait in small space. The beauty of shooting with such resolution on the Phase One is cropping into the image where you have all the pull and distortion from the wide lens is completely possible.
Canon 50mm f/1.2L – This would be my favorite Canon lens. I think I just love 50mm’s. They are super versatile. I believe it falls back to shooting with 35mm and always shooting with a 50mm. Great for portraits, travel and is always tack sharp.
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L – The work horse of the Canon kit. Not my favorite lens to use honestly but it has the best focal range for quick pace shooting.
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS – I don’t normally carry this on a regular basis – just when I know I am going to need it. I used to shoot a lot of e-commerce on figure and this was always the lens to use. Fast, sharp and great for details and full-body images.
Tether Tools USB capture cable
Scan Disk 16GB CF cards
Manfroto Tripod (well used so the model number has been worn away)
Slik Pro 340DX Tripod – Used with my SKB laptop case for the perfect location computer stand.
16GB Flash Drive
Profoto Pro B2 1200 – My main pack for location and normally used as just a fill in studio since the modeling light will only stay on for a short time to conserve battery power.
Profoto Compact 600 – These are the older generation of the Profoto D1s which I also own but I for some reason like the compacts more. I like the external flash tube unlike the recessed tube on the Profoto D1s. But they are workhorses and I have never had any issue with them. Throw a Profoto Batpak in there and you are now completely mobile.
Profoto Soft Light reflector – One of my favorite modifiers for all purposes along with the Grid and diffusion to make the light just a little softer and more directional.
Profoto Large Deep White umbrella – This is great for fill and also a main light for portraits. I recently (not in picture) picked up the diffusion panel for it and have been loving that as a quick and space saving soft modifier.
3 foot octabox by Creative Light aka Profoto RFI – Love the size and the light from this box especially accompanied by the grid. Bought this before Creative Light turned in to the Profoto RFI boxes.
White pop out bounce
Rechargeable AAs and carrying case
Advenger C – Stands – What can I say they are c-stands you need them and love them.
Advenger Mini Boom – Super sturdy and strong great for getting your lights up and over your subject.
Advenger A0035B – Build like a c-stand but has collapsible legs and one that is adjustable for uneven terrain.
Small Calumet Light stand – I always keep one of these around and close to me. Great for clipping foam core to or the pop up reflector for a bounce and maybe even to place a light down low.
SKB 3I-2011-7B-D – I made the switch from a back pack to this rolling hard case worried that I would miss the convenience of the straps but… I don’t. I feel so much more comfortable loading and packing up my cameras and lenses now that they are tightly secured inside this hard case.
SKB laptop case – the (SKB 3i-18135SNSC) has everything you need compartment for drives, power cords, and a notebook under the computer. Along with a sun shade so you can see the screen in bright ambient light. Also a 3/8th female thread in the bottom which I attached a tripod plate to that connects to my lightweight and small Slik Pro 340DX Tripod for an excellent laptop stand when on location.
Thanks for taking a look.
Inside Aaron’s camera bag:
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