I photograph colorful people. Over the years photographing these amazing people it’s given me the nickname of the tattooed bride photographer. When I was in high school I was in a punk rock band. After I became a wedding photographer I noticed no one had really gone after that market. So I put together a shoot with tattooed people in 2008 before I had ever seen a single bride in a wedding dress and tattoos. I was kind of scared to put the images on the website, but I did anyway. It took off from there.
Lenses (Clockwise from lower left)
Nikon 24mm f/2.8 D
Nikon 50mm f/1.2 Manual Focus
Nikon 55mm f/3.5 Manual Focus Macro
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 AF Art
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
Nikon 135mm f/2
Nikon 85mm f/1.4
Generic LED light for Lightpainting and Ring Photos
3 Yonguo YN-622 & Commander
Hold Fast – Money Maker Water Buffalo Mahogany
Alien Bee 400
Einstein E640 with PLM & Beauty Dish
I built my whole portfolio almost on 3 lenses and the Nikon D700. I photograph most engagement sessions with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, Nikon 85mm f/1.4 and the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. I don’t know when I bought the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 but it was before I had gone full frame. I never replaced it though. It’s a tiny bit soft around the edges at 16mm on the Nikon D600 but it doesn’t bother me. Most of the images I capture with it would be impossible with the 24mm.
It’s taken my 7 years to build up to the amount of gear that I have. I bought it slowly without loans, so it’s a very odd collection. The Nikon 55mm f/3.5 is probably from the 70s or 80s and I use it for ring shots only. I didn’t see a need to buy a nice macro when I only use it for 2 photos a client sees at a wedding. Another interesting lens is the Nikon 50mm f/1.2. I mostly use it for video work since it is the old style lens that has an aperture ring. The f/1.2 allows you to get medium format looking depth of field in video which is pretty awesome.
Ever since I got the Hold Fast Money Maker strap people stopped asking about my camera equipment and started asking about my camera straps. It’s definitely been my favorite recent investment because I can shoot faster and not get my cameras tangled up.
Inside Mike Allebach’s camera bag:
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