Hello world! My name is Diana Ascarrunz and I am a wedding photographer based in Austin, Texas. I arrived at photography halfway through college and got myself a degree specializing in Commercial Photography.
Through a series of random events, I landed in the wedding world. I mostly photograph weddings these days but every now and then commercial work will pop up.
When it comes to gear, I love trying out new things, but I’ve found that I always seem to come back to the same two lenses. I try to keep the process as simple as possible so I can focus on what’s happening all around me. When conditions aren’t ideal, I’ll bust out all the necessary gear to make it work.
If you’re just starting out, I recommend renting gear from your local camera spot and asking for their advice on what you might need. Usually the people working behind the counter are knowledgeable and willing to give their two cents. Shout out to Precision Camera in Austin!
I’ve always been attracted to interesting design and composition. I’ve gotten to a point where I know what people will respond to and love, but I also love surprising clients and myself by creating something special with weird experiments with light and shapes. I also love the unconventional, whether it’s the couple, the location, or the time of day. Pushing boundaries and being able to achieve something beautiful in a spot that doesn’t immediately shout wedding or engagement is pretty cool.
On a wedding day, I’m a calm lady with a plan. I’m taking photos and noticing when people just need to take a moment to breathe, drink some water and regroup. I make sure my clients know they can trust me and give them options for photos they may not have expected to want. I absolutely love giving clients room to have real moments. How? No talking and make sure everyone around you also stops talking. Real intimate moments don’t happen when someone’s uncle is woo-hooing.
After investing in a good camera with a great lens, find yourself the best memory cards. I use Hoodman Steel 64GB CF Cards
Think Tank Airport Roller Derby – If you’re going to invest in a camera case with wheels, make sure it has 4 of them. This guy is big enough for me to never fill up and small enough to fit in any overhead compartment. I photograph a lot of weddings in the hill country of Texas which means lots of rocky and muddy parking lots. This guy does a great job getting through just about anything.
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG Art – This is the lens I use the 2nd most. No matter how small the room, I can always fit everything in with this lens. I like that it gets a little weird at the edges and I like that it gives you the feeling of actually being there. I tried out the 35 but it was never wide enough for me. Also, I’m not a super loud person, so being able to get close is important. I use this lens all day, but I use it the most during getting ready moments and on the dance floor which are the quietest and loudest moments of the day.
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art – I use this lens the most and it’s my favorite. It adds just a touch of dreamy to any moment and it’s the best for portraits that look natural. It’s also wide enough to use if you can only bring one lens.
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG Art – I recently picked up this lens and I see why people love it, but I’m still not sure it’s for me. Everything is sleek, the background is always a pool of softness and the photos are pretty, but the images don’t feel real yet. I will say that this lens has been useful during cocktail hours when you’re trying to get some candid moments. It’s a lot more discreet than my 70-200mm which people always react to.
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 – I use this lens the least and I have to admit it’s not my favorite, but it gets the job done for those tiny details.
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L II – This one gets used the most during ceremonies. You can’t beat the versatility and sharpness of this lens. In a pinch, I’ll also grab this one for portraits.
3 – Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT – Pair these with Eneloop batteries and you’ll be golden. When I started I thought I may have to eventually get more powerful flashes, but these are great and if you need more power, get a dual flash bracket and use two. They are SUPER versatile, tough, and they don’t require extra transmitters and receivers.
Fotodiox Pro LED 98A Video Light Kit – This little light is powerful and the battery lasts forever. I mainly use it for ring shots and the occasional night time portrait. If you get a second one, it slides onto the first so they can be used as one light.
2 – Manfrotto 3678B Light Stands – There’s a lot of crappy light stands out there. Do yourself and your gear a favor and get something that’s high quality and big enough to not fall over if you add an umbrella. These light stands are basically in the same state as when I bought them two years ago. I love them.
2 – Impact Adjustable Twin Shoe Bracket – The best dual bracket you will find. It’s adjustable to fit larger lights and it’s super well made. Most dual brackets have a lot of tiny moving parts that get lost quickly. These save me and my second shooters a lot of time.
Holdfast Money Maker Strap – I really can’t imagine a better system for holding your gear. There’s something about this leather strap that demands respect. Being 5’5″ with a voice that doesn’t really carry, it definitely helps when you’re guiding big groups at a wedding.
Badger Lip Balm
Multi-tool – This little guy comes in handy all the time. If you can get one with tiny scissors, even better! They are always handy for cutting tags.
Inside Diana’s camera bag:
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