Jay Beyer

I am a photographer by accident. Twenty years ago my wife, Rachel, bought a camera and asked me to help her figure it out. After six-months of rock-climbing and living on the road we ended up in Salt Lake City, Utah and the camera was mine. I took it on all of my climbing and skiing adventures to document my friends and travels and wound up with outdoor gear companies wanting to license imagery.

It was a weird hobby at first that I never thought could end up as a career. Lots of rejection, more hard work, and years later, I put my hammer away and picked up my camera full time. In the beginning, I shot mostly climbing, skiing, and snowboarding.

As my interests broadened, so did the activities I wanted to shoot. Mountain biking, trail running, and fly fishing followed, and in the last ten years hunting grew into a category I never thought I would shoot.

I love all these sports and can’t imagine my life without them. Luckily, I have a hard time sitting still and now I can call all of these pursuits work!

Currently, I travel the world over 200 days a year for my clients, capturing the imagery they need for their marketing and storytelling purposes. When I’m home I spend as much time as I can with my wife, and son, and bird dog Stella.

I’m not easy on gear and expect it to keep up with me no matter what. I view cameras and lenses as tools that should perform as well as I do.

I choose Canon equipment because their cameras can withstand the full spectrum of weather I experience in the field from torrential downpours to dust storms and extreme temperatures.

Their construction, weather-sealing, batteries, and color profile are the best in the industry and that is what I need when I’m out in the wild.

My gear changes depending on the type of shoot I’m on. Many of my shoots are multi-day backpacking trips into the middle of nowhere, and my kit has to be tight and light so I can keep up with the professional athletes I’m shooting.

On trips like this, I tend to bring a Canon 5D Mk IV, Canon 24-105mm f/4; Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6; and Canon 14mm f/2.8. This kit is fairly lightweight and I can capture most of the shot variety I need to get.

When I’m on a single-day action shoot (skiing, snowboarding, or trail running) I’ll bring a Canon EOS 1DX Mark 2; Canon 16-35mm f/2.8; Canon 24-70mm f/2.8; and a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8. Depending on the shots required that day, I may bring my 14mm as well.

For mountain biking, I typically bring my mirrorless (Canon EOS R with the Canon RF24-105mm f/4) because it’s light, I can throw it in my backpack, and when I see a rad shot, I can hop off my bike and go to crushtown.

To capture underwater imagery for fly fishing, I use an AquaTech Elite2 5D4 and PD-85 Dome. The Dome allows the ‘half in half out’ shots of fish to have a clear waterline as well as allows some flexibility with the lens choice.

Last but not least, is my Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro. I don’t use this lens frequently, but it is in my kit in order to capture the eye of a fish or a snowflake on a glove. When you need that short focus of a Macro, nothing else will do!

Lately, I’ve also jumped into the drone world. I was hesitant at first because the sensors which were fine for video were always too small and had bad dynamic range for photography.

The Mavic 2 Pro from DJI changed all of that. This camera finally had a big enough sensor to make quality stills. It has been super fun to learn and it provides a unique perspective to any shoot.

I haven’t found a camera-specific backpack that can actually carry weight well and has the features I need for the activity that I’m shooting. I use Mystery Ranch backpacks because they are extremely durable and built for carrying heavy loads.

Plus, they make specific packs for the category I shoot, whether that’s hunting, backpacking, or skiing. I just load them up with the camera gear I need for that day or trip along with all of the other gear I need and they carry awesome.

Please reach out if you have any questions on my job or gear. Happy to answer anything as long as I’m in town and not out on a shoot.

www.jaybeyer.com | @jaybeyerimaging

3 Comments

  1. Mel on April 12, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    Visited your website. Striking images of the outdoors. As a Cannon photographer, I was happy to hear how the gear performed. However, the hunting images of beautiful animals being killed were heartbreaking. So sad.

  2. Robert Perez on April 11, 2020 at 12:56 am

    Visited your website and loved the imagery…

  3. K Evans on April 10, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    Jay, thanks for the peek into your kit and your down to earth, matter of fact, coverage of Canon’s gear. I didnt know about the backpack co you mentioned but because I spend a lot of time in the outdoors also I will check it out.

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