Howdy from Texas y’all! My name is Geoff Duncan, and I don’t talk like this all the time. I’m a wedding photographer residing in Austin, but I secretly desire a nomadic lifestyle.
During the summer of 2008, I was a junior in college when I purchased my first camera on Craigslist before traveling to Ethiopia with a non-profit. For whatever reason, I was instantly hooked and read the users manual from cover to cover on the airplane. From that point on the camera never left my hands and I couldn’t wait to get back and share the photos with everyone. Sometime after that, I began shooting concerts, local musicians and anyone else that would stand in front of my camera.
The first wedding I photographed came in 2010, but before I hit the ground running with that I took 6 months off to travel the world, which was an incredibly influential time in both my personal and professional life. Eventually, I ran out of money and settled down in Austin, TX where I have spent the last 4 years making friends and snapping photos of the coolest people on the planet.
Over the years I have experimented with a ton of gear, buying and selling equipment like it’s going out of style, but I have finally found a system that works for me. Because I am on the road a lot, I am always looking for ways to simplify. One of the things that I love about this craft, is that you can make it as complicated or as simple as you want. When I’m shooting a wedding it’s very important that my clients feel comfortable in front of the camera, so the less time I spend messing with my gear the better. All that said, I am very intentional with what I choose to pack in my bag for a wedding.
The Think Tank Airport Takeoff Rolling Backpack. This guy is my work horse and the bag I take to every wedding because it holds anything that I could possibly need. Plenty of room for multiple camera bodies, lenses, flashes, batteries, etc I have owned several Think Tank bags, and settled on this one because of the optional backpack straps, in case you find yourself on rugged terrain or in a tight spot.
The size is great and fits just about any over head luggage compartment during flights. The front compartment is made to hold a laptop, but I learned that it is also the perfect size for a ShootSac if that’s your jam. Sometimes when I arrive at a wedding I will just leave my Think Tank bag in the car and just take out the gear I need.
ONA Berlin II bag – I love this bag! Not only does it look amazing, but it is excellent quality and the perfect size to hold up to 3 extra lenses, cards, and miscellaneous accessories that I might need when shooting.
Holdfast Gear Money Maker Harness – I’ve tried lots of straps and holsters through the years and these straps are my favorite. I own the water buffalo tan because the leather is supposed to be softer, but they offer plenty of options. Tip – you can order the straps without the D rings, which keeps the look clean and simple.
2x Canon 5D Mark III – I keep two bodies on me at all times, and typically have a 50mm or 35mm on one of the bodies.
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II – For a long time I rocked the 24mm f/1.4, but came back to this lens for a couple of reasons: It’s tack sharp and focuses super fast. Although I prefer prime lenses most of the time, the focal length comes in handy during ceremonies. As soon as the dancing starts, I grab a flash and drag the shutter with this lens.
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 – I did my research and Sigma won this match. A great focal length, fast, sharp and sexy. Great for capturing moments, as well as portraits. If you have a Sigma Art lens in your arsenal, I highly recommend calibrating it from your computer with their USB dock. I used the Datacolor Spyder Lens Calibration System and it made a world of difference for me.
Canon 50mm f/1.2L – The one lens that I have had since the beginning. It’s super fast and the image quality is excellent.
Canon 85mm f/1.8 – I once sold this lens and upgraded to the f/1.2L, only to learn that I favored this over it’s big brother so I bought it again. My reasoning: It’s inexpensive, tact sharp, light weight, and focuses heaps faster than the Canon 85mm f/1.2L. Sure, I miss the buttery bokeh at times, but my back thanks me at the end of the day.
Canon 135mm f/2L – This lens usually only comes out during a large ceremony, or if for some reason I can’t get as close as I want. In these situations this lens gives me the length I need, and it takes beautiful photographs. It’s not terribly expensive and surprisingly light weight, which is one of the reasons I prefer it over the 70-200mm.
2x Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite Flash – I own two, incase one craps out on me, or if I want to work some OCF. The new wireless system allows you to control up to five groups of flashes.
Litepanels Croma LED Light – I rarely use an LED light at a wedding, but this one is perfect for me because it’s so compact, and has excellent color temperature controls.
Memory Cards –
Hoodman RAW Steel 32GB – I haven’t had one of these cards fail yet.
SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB – Just incase; backup JPEGs
Extra Fun Stuff
Fujifilm X-T1 – I bring this mirrorless camera with me on all my travels to shoot personal work and I love the images that it produces, plus it looks pretty slick. It has lens changing capabilities, but if I had to choose one lens it would be the Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 – Another powerful mirrorless camera body that I like to bring on my travels (typically I only bring this or the Fuji, depended on my mood or the situation). Check my blog for side by side comparison of the two cameras. My lens of choice for this is the Olympus 17mm f/1.8.
If you want to drop a line and say hi, please do.
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Love the Tennis court wedding shot.
What a great group of images. I really enjoy seeing your work, looking forward to see more.
I love reading these and hearing different photographer’s particular reason for which lens’ they use. Where is your thin leather camera strap from? I dig it.
I love the shot of the couple behind the window. I saw it in Rangefinder and it has stuck in my mind ever since. Creative stuff!
Great to see a fellow Texan on Shotkit!! I’m based in Fort Worth, TX. I’m curious as to know if you have considered switching to Fuji? I’m thinking about it, and wondering what you think about that for full time wedding coverage?