Brett Butterstein

Wedding | Last Updated: July 16, 2021

My name’s Brett and I’m from San Diego, California. I’m a minimalist with my equipment and have always tried to go as light as possible. Here are a few reasons why: 1) I fly to most of my shoots 2) I take better photos when I can move freely and quickly 3) I’m less obtrusive and blend Inside my camera bag

LENSES Everything in this picture is what I bring with me to shoot a wedding. If I’m not shooting a wedding event, I only bring my Olympus OM-D E-M1 with a wide-angle lens (34mm – the Olympus 17mm f/1.8). Everything pictured except the cameras (which I carry on my shoulders with the lenses mounted) fits into my small, black Think Tank Retrospective 10 shoulder bag. I never unmount my Canon 35mm f/1.4 and Canon 85mm f/1.2 lenses from my Canon Mark III bodies and did so only to take this picture. I only use prime lenses and always have my Canon 50mm f/1.8 macro lens with me for detail photos.

STRAPS All of the camera straps that I use have grip on them so I can hang them off of my shoulders. I shot a story in Thailand where I had to take a motorcycle taxi to and from my hotel to get to my subject. It was very liberating to have my flashcards and batteries in my pockets, and my cameras on both shoulders. My Canon 5D Mark III ’s have the 1.5” Domke Web Strap with Swivel to avoid twisting. My Olympus has the Think Tank Non-Slip camera strap with grip on both sides.

FLASH The Canon 600EX-RT speedlites have allowed me to stop carrying transmitters and transceivers for off-camera light. I rarely use my Canon ST-E3-RT transmitter since the Canon 600EX-RT ’s have built in transmitting abilities. One of my speedlites has an orange filter taped to the front of it for warm, off-camera light. This combined with my speedlite grid are what I am using until my new MagMod speedlite modifier system arrives.

CARDS I use 64 gb Extreme SanDisk compact flashcards so I don’t have to carry a lot of cards. When I am shooting for several days in a row, I carry more card wallets with me.

TRAVEL When I’m shooting in other countries where I might be a target, I try my best to not look like a tourist. I also conceal my camera under a jacket or button-up shirt. For example, I’ll wear a t-shirt (guide), put my camera strap over my shoulder then put on a second, long sleeved button-up shirt unbuttoned. You can do the same thing with a jacket – put the camera strap over your shirt, under your jacket. You can still shoot this way and no one knows your carrying a camera. I usually only do this in transit until I know I’m safe.

Photography is the most fun for me when I’m blending in with my subjects and shooting with one camera. At wedding receptions when everyone is dancing on the dance floor, I stash my second body with my 85mm and shoot everything with my wide angle. When I’m traveling or just with friends or family, I only shoot with my Olympus. I look forward to the day when technology allows me to have a smaller and lighter camera bag.

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  1. Shawn on December 25, 2016 at 1:56 am

    I love the simplicity of your gear. I can’t find a 50mm f/1.8 macro lens did you mean the 50 f/1.8 stm or 1:5 magnification or the 50mm f/2.8 macro? Or do you reverse mount the lens or something?

  2. brett butterstein on April 3, 2014 at 4:58 am

    thank you ShotKit! It’s always fun to see what photographers are carrying

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