Hi there! Thanks so much to Mark for asking me to submit my kit! My name is Jessica Hill and I’m a wedding and boudoir photographer based in Portland, Oregon. Originally I started shooting film in 1999 in Detroit, Michigan, which is where I fell in love with the magic of still moments and realized I wanted to be a photographer when I grew up.
I started shooting weddings professionally as an assistant while attending the University of Michigan in 2001. Post-graduation I moved to Alaska to photograph nature and more weddings, and later moved to Portland, Oregon where I started my business in 2007.
Living in the Pacific Northwest has been rewarding and inspiring and I really enjoy the weddings and culture here.
I photograph with a variety of lenses depending on the shoot. I love my trusty Canon 5D Mark III Camera with the Canon 5D Mark II as a backup. I used to use a battery grip, but removed them in 2015 for weight reasons. I always use dual slots for both CF and SD cards for instant backup.
My two go-to lenses are the Canon 35mm f/1.4L for photojournalism during the wedding day and environmental portraits of the couple. I like that it doesn’t distort the edges of the frame and has a great depth of field.
I also love the Canon 85mm f/1.2 for portraits. It’s a little on the heavy side, but it’s got great bokeh so I pull it out when I want to focus on the couple and remove distracting elements from the frame. I also adore this one for boudoir, and often shoot it wide open for a more sensual feel.
I just added the Canon 50mm f/1.4 to my kit and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it lately! It’s super lightweight and great for shooting through elements at weddings and it’s perfect for boudoir. It’s not great in low light, but for an inexpensive lens, it’s pretty swell.
For weddings I usually bring along two zoom lenses for ultimate flexibility, especially when given restrictions at specific venues. The Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L and the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L are my faves.
The Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L is the OG in my kit and I’ve had it for over 10 years now. I usually only pull this one out if I need something wider than the 35mm, but I do use it on the dance floor and it gets down!
The Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L is a wedding photography staple, but I don’t like relying on it, because it’s almost too easy. I love this one for portraits of the couple during the ceremony at the altar, or across a busy room for reactions from their toasts or during their first dance. It’s quite heavy, but the compression is beautiful and I really enjoy it for when I have a client that’s not so keen on being photographed.
When I shoot flash it’s almost always off-camera for the look and feel of it. I currently have four Canon Speedlite 580EX II using the PocketWizard PWP-TR 801-125 PLUS II Transceivers.
I also use the Quantum Turbo SC Battery Pack to ensure no lag time for my batteries to recycle, and it’s lightweight for portability around a venue. I plan to upgrade this year to the Canon 600EX-RT Speedlites, which I can’t wait to get my hands on.
I keep my Think Tank Photo Retrospective 30 – Leather bag neat and clean and I use the Delkin Battery 8 Cell Storage Case Battery Holder for my AA’s and the Lowepro DMC-Z Accessory Wallet one for SD’s and one for CF’s.
I also use the Think Tank Airport Navigator and the Think Tank Photo Airport International. I love the durability and timelessness of Think Tank bags. They are really built to last. I use the BlackRapid Women’s Sling Camera Strap.
Staying hydrated is super important on a long shoot, and I couldn’t go a day without my Hydro Flask Water Bottle, with the straw lid so I don’t pour water all over myself when I go to take a quick swig.
Gotta have my iPhone 6S for communication throughout the day and to keep an eye on the timeline, which I always take a screenshot of so I don’t have to worry about service issues. I also keep Altoid mints, a Builders protein bar and lip gloss in there at all times for pick me ups throughout the day, of which weddings need many.