Hello, my name is Maarten Mellemans and I’m a photographer from Antwerp, Belgium. I work mainly as a portrait and event photographer for inspiring companies and people.
During the summer months, I’m also the house photographer for a couple of large music festivals and bands. That said I like to do different things and experiment, so I’m open to shooting almost everything from furniture to boudoir and fashion.
After doing photography as a side job I kickstarted my career with my Fools With Dreams project, during which I lived and traveled for a year trading my photography skills.
Lately, I have also run some local workshops, created guides and online photography courses through my website Photography Domination (link below).
As far as gear is concerned, I like to keep things light and simple, so I don’t have a huge kit. This probably comes from traveling with all my gear for a whole year, but also enables me to pack up and leave in a matter of minutes and to create images in any situation. Any other gear that is needed can then be easily borrowed or rented.
I’m also a big fan of using prime lenses, so those are the only ones I own. As I said, I borrow zooms when needed. Prime lenses make me a lot faster as well because I can visualize a shot before I even raise my camera. During events with low light (like weddings and music festivals), they’re also much more useable.
Nikon D800 (x2)
Old but gold. They haven’t failed me once (one even has 300000+ clicks) even though I’ve put them through a lot, from rain to heat and letting them fall.
They produce incredible images that can be printed to huge sizes. If they fail me I might upgrade them to the Nikon D850 or go mirrorless with the Sony AlphaR series.
I’ll either use one with a zoom (and the other as backup) or both (each with a prime) during an event.
Nikon 24mm f/2.8 AF-D
Wider than a 35mm and indestructible, sharp and light. Great for everything from architecture, events photography and even creative portraits.
Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G
My go-to lens for almost everything. It’s on one of my bodies 90% of the time. Beautiful bokeh, lightweight, and good in dark situations. I know this lens by heart.
Lenses I Borrow
Nikon 14mm f/2.8 AF-D ED
For some creative shots now and then.
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR
The only zoom I would ever want for the things I do. I sometimes shoot a whole wedding with only this lens. Incredible images, but also huge and heavy.
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL
I might borrow this lens for very specific situations, like shooting surfers (although 200mm might not even be enough then).
Flashes & Triggers
Cactus Wireless Flash RF60X, Nikon SB900 and Nikon SB700 with Cactus V6 II Wireless Flash Transceivers
These small speedlight flashes pack a punch. I just take a couple in my bag and suddenly I can shape light anywhere I want. I started out with the Nikon system, but a while ago I fell in love with Cactus. Their quality, ease of use and price are incredible. The transceivers let me control the Nikon or trigger a second camera remotely.
I’ve taken this tripod on all my travels. Folds up small, can get very low and as high as a regular tripod while still being sturdy.
Western Digital MyPassport HD 2TB (x2)
I always use these in pairs to backup everything. When on the road I put them in protective pouches. I like the 2TB version because they allow me to store a lot of images from the D800s while still keeping everything manageable.
Manfrotto 5001B Nano Light Stand
Same as the tripod. Folds up very small and is perfect for putting a speedlight flash up in the air.
Elinchrom Rotalux Octa 100cm
My go-to octabox. Beautiful light and easy to carry.
Rogue Flash Gels – Combo Kit
I often throw these in my bag. They don’t take up any space but can help your shot go from meh to wow in seconds by adding some color.
Inside Maarten’s camera bag:
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