I didn’t realise I had so much gear that I towed around with me at a wedding. Seeing this laid out is quite scary, as I thought I worked lightly.
I work with 2 Canon 5D mk3 camera bodies with a Canon 5D Mark 2 as my back up. I love this camera, for me its the perfect wedding camera, small, light and delivers large files, its a tough body too, both have been dropped a few times, got very wet, but still perform at each and every event.
I’ve been Canon since I started 10 years ago, except for my first few weddings that I shot with a Bronica square format. I have not been tempted to switch, even when Nikon’s flash system and pro bodies were streets ahead, as I’ve learnt that the tide always turns, at the moment the gear combination that I have is perfect for me, and as the saying goes “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.
I work with primes, 90% of my work is shot with the Canon 35mm f/1.4L and the Canon 85mm f/1.2L, with the Canon 24mm f/1.4L being used only when needed. It’s a combination I have been shooting for 7 or so years now, I used to rock up with all the zooms, the huge white one and an array of others, but I found myself always pondering which zoom to have on my camera, now I don’t worry at all, I just have the 2, I use my feet to zoom and never have to worry anymore. These lenses are really in a used state, in fact when I sent them off to Canon for a service they phoned me back to confirm the conditions as they thought they had been damaged in the post.
For me the Canon primes are just perfect, I actually have two 35mm’s one as a back up just in case the old warhorse fails me. I also have a 50mm which again makes an appearance only when needed. The lenses are sharp, light and unobtrusive, which is perfect for a wedding.
I have 3 Canon 600EX-RT’s as well as the Canon ST-E3 RT for all my flash work, which is now a lot more than it used to be. Canon’s flash system is much more advanced than it used to be and as soon as the 600’s were announced I sold all of my Pocket Wizards and invested in this state of the art system. There are also 2 Honl grids, 2 Better Bounce Cards and a snazzy video light that is very powerful and has the bonus of being able to alter the colour temperature
I use the Holdfast Money Maker to carry the 2 cameras with, its a genius strap, even if it does look a bit S&M’y. I’ve tried nearly every strap and bag there is, but there is something about this one that stops my back and neck aching, so for that reason alone, it’s up there with one of my best purchases.
The Think Tank Retrospective bag follows me everywhere and just has those essentials I may need should something go wrong, and the rest of the gear, as well as a few bits not pictures here, are in a Think Tank Airport International that either stays in the car or in a safe place.
For personal use, I have a Fuji X100s, which I love, but it has its frustrating elements.
Overall I think I work light, not too much follows me everywhere. After nearly 10 years of photographing weddings, I am now fully happy with the amount of gear I have and most of all content with how it performs. I guess what this really means is that I am now happy with my images as the gear is always second to the person behind the camera, I think I used to buy new gear hoping that it would improve my images but soon learnt that investing in myself and not my gear was the only way to improve my imagery.