Hey Shotkit! My name is Colin and I am a wedding photographer based in Philadelphia, PA. I’ve followed this project for years so I am pretty pumped that Mark asked me to be a part of this amazing community!
You’re probably wondering why there is a ukulele in the middle of my equipment shot. At one time, I was a professional ukulele player – and the ukulele was how I really got my start into photography. I’m actually on a train heading to a festival in Indiana called Ukulele World Congress! When you read this, I’ll be in a middle of a field playing the ukulele with people from all over the world.
Photography was always a fun hobby for me. One day I was browsing YouTube and came upon this band called UkeCanDoItMan who was a full Filipino band playing 90’s hip-hop covers over in Cherry Hill (basically over the Ben Franklin Bridge).
I remember thinking that their videos looked GORGEOUS and I decided to reach out to see if we could all meet up and jam. We did, and I realized that they were all photographers.
I traded ukulele lessons for my first photography lessons, fast forward 7 years and here I am!
I’m a supported artist of KoAloha and this is a KoAloha-KTM 00 Signature Series that they made for me a few years ago.
Okay, now to why you are really reading this. At the beginning of 2017, I switched from Canon to Nikon and have been really enjoying my time with the D750’s. I, of course, have had the D850 in my sights but right now, the D750’s are doing great. I also shoot on all prime lenses.
Since switching to Nikon, my goal this past year has been to eliminate any unnecessary equipment and really be as minimal as possible the entire wedding day. I feel like having less really takes the “what piece of gear should I switch to” thought processes out of the situation making you quicker. It challenges you to be creative while having less. Also, there’s less of a wedding hangover the next day which my body appreciates.
The Nikon 45mm PC-E f/2.8 – my newest toy. I love this lens – it can make a not-so-great scene seem more interesting or be used to enhance and target a moment. I’m definitely still in the “I use this way too much” phase of owning this awesome lens.
The Nikon 58mm f/1.4 – my favorite Nikon lens. This basically never leaves that camera ever and would be the one lens I’d miss if I ever moved back to Canon or switched to Sony. The character it has is unlike anything else in Nikon’s lineup and I feel it’s long enough that I don’t need an 85 (helping me have less gear) to make up for any distance in the focal length between my 58 and 105.
The Nikon 35mm f/1.4 is another lens that’s almost always on my other camera and it’s one of my workhorses. My friend Tony Hoffer always says that the 35mm focal length is the hardest to compose and he’s 100% right. But it’s something special when everything hits just right.
The Nikon 105mm f/1.4, I feel, is to Nikon as what the 135mm is for Canon. This lens comes out for portraits, ceremony and a little bit of reception. It’s huge, way too heavy but makes awesome imagery.
The Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED is slowly getting phased out of my kit. I usually use this lens for detail and some getting ready shots, but it mostly stays in my bag at this point.
Nikon 24mm f/1.4 – I have a love-hate relationship with this lens. I’m using this lens less and less now as well. It’s mainly for portraits and for the party portion of the reception.
My Younguo YN-360 is the lighting tool that’s used throughout the entire day. I use it to light details, portraits, composites and anything else that I don’t feel like using a flash on. I’ve dropped it a million times and it’s still running strong.
Cheetah/Godox/Flashpoint AD200 and 860’s. I have a mixture of these lights from all of the manufacturers, I’m not sure why. This system is the best lighting system I have ever used. I mainly use lighting during receptions (860’s on camera and my AD200’s are for OCF), dark ceremonies and specifically the AD200’s for portraits. I’m using the Cheetah X1N trigger if I am doing portraits with OCF and don’t want to have a cumbersome flash on top of my camera controlling my other flashes.
Magmods are one of the best products ever made. If you currently don’t use them you are missing out on so much light control and creative things you could be doing yourself. I use the grids and gels specifically, they are always on my OCF cameras during the reception, gels are to correct for any white balance issues. And I also use the gels during any creative portraits.
The Cheetah Qbox24 is my main light modifier I use for portraits. It’s really well made and produces great light.
The Manfrotto 1004BAC 144” Light Stands are the best stands I’ve ever used. They’ve held up solid and pack smaller then 1 of the light stands I used before I switched to them. The Manfrotto Snap Tilthead with Shoe Mount is an expensive light bracket but is also made really well and reduces your light setup during reception into only a few seconds.
I love camera bags and have way too many, but for weddings I basically have my entire kit split into my ThinkTank Retrospective 30 and ThinkTank Airport Navigator bags. The retrospective being my mobile bag and the navigator is the “HUB” for everything else. That stays in the car usually until reception time.
Holdfast Money Maker – I just switched to this strap this season and I really like how it distributes the weight of two cameras. It also makes you look way more attractive then you actually are, so that’s a bonus.
Sandisk Extreme and Extreme Pro 128GB SD – I hate switching cards so I use two really big cards in each camera that can hold the entire day.
My Full Wedding Kit:
2x Nikon D750’s –
KoAloha KTM-00 Signature Series
Inside Colin’s camera bag:
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