Abby plus Dave
Hey! This is Dave from Abby Plus Dave. My wife Abby and I are wedding photographers from Calgary, Alberta (north of the Wall up in Canada). We’ve been shooting together for almost seven years now, and we photograph almost exclusively weddings, though Abby occasionally shoots some boudoir work.
We started our business three months after we started dating as we were both shooting weddings on our own and thought it’d be easier to tackle them as a team. In hindsight this was a super risky move, but it has totally paid off!
We bring all the gear laid out here to every single wedding, except for our dog Bowen. Though if we could bring him I’m sure we would all be happier.
We shoot entirely with Nikon bodies, three D750s and one last trusty D600 that just won’t die. We love our 750s for their low-light capabilities, awesome fast focus, and that tilty-screen which allows us to get some great angles without getting mud on our shirts.
These babies are strapped to us with the Holdfast Camera Swagg straps, which we absolutely love both because we’re vegan and Holdfast hooked us up with non-leather versions, and also because they have been the best strap for long wedding days. Our backs are eternally grateful for these wonderful inventions.
We keep trying to shrink down our lens collection, but always end up adding to it by accident. I’d say our workhorses are our 35mm Nikons, the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 for me and the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 for Abby (she loves how light it is), which we use to capture most of the candid moments (which is what we love at weddings). Next would be the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 for me and the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 for Abby, to give us both some reach and compression.
Moving down the priority list would be the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 which is a great and cheap lens which is why we have two of in case we aren’t nearby each other for getting ready. Abby also loves to use this lens for all of our detail shots and for portraits.
Two Nikon 24mm f/2.8 lenses are our newest additions, which we use for landscape portraits and all of our dance party shots as we love to get as close as possible to make the photo viewer feel like they are there in the action.
Then there are the outliers, loved but only used for specific things. Our Nikon 45mm f/2.8 PC-E (Tilt-Shift for the rest of the world) is our baby, and we love this lens for portraits, or for creative wide shots of ceremonies or first dances. And finally our Nikon 60mm f/2.8 Micro (macro for everyone else, what’s up with the weird names Nikon?), which we only use for ring shots.
Flash is a whole other beast, mostly because Nikon refuses to put out something even close to the Canon 600EX. We hope for this every year, but Nikon has yet to deliver.
Right now we have a quartet of the Phottix Mitros+ for Nikon flashes, which give us fairly reliable Off-Camera Flash with radio triggering, as well as the Phottix Odin when we just need to trigger OCF and not have On-Camera flash as well. We are still hunting for the perfect OCF flash kit and will probably change up again for next season after we can do some research and testing over the winter.
We also bring two Nikon SB-910s just for extra bounce flash if we have the Phottix kit out on stands (Manfrotto 5001B Nano Black Light Stands not pictured) or our clamps (Manfrotto 386B-1 Nano-clamps with Manfrotto 492 Micro ball heads).
We’ve also started to use the MagMod grids and gels recently as they are so much faster than any of the other light modifiers we’ve tried in the past.
For bags, we use one Think Tank Introspective as a shoulder bag for most of the mobile portions of the day (portraits and getting ready), and then a Think Tank Airport Security v2.0 roller to carry the bulk of the stuff to ceremony and reception.
And then to keep ourselves going throughout the day are an endless supply of Cliff Bars, apples off our backyard tree, and never enough water.
Once we get home we unload our SanDisk 128GB Extreme SDXC cards into a 27” iMac which time machines onto two Seagate 8TB Backup Plus external drives, and then everything eventually ends up on our Synology NAS (currently the discontinued 1010+ but we’ll be upgrading to a new model eventually).
Backup is extremely important to us, so we then will copy everything to two Western Digital Red hard drives (I do this using the Karen’s Replicator software on my PC) where one lives in our fireproof safe, and the other goes to an off-site location for geo-redundancy.
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So happy to be on here, thanks so much Mark!
I especially love the link to Clif Bars, those things are life-savers =D