Hello, hello! My name is Sage Justice and I’m a wedding photographer based out of San Diego, California. I lived in Detroit, Michigan for 10 years, which is where my love for photography first began. I started out shooting for a local nightlife company with a Nikon D5000 and a broken flash – the rest is history!
I still take one or two college classes a semester in the hopes of someday graduating, but I stay busy year round with weddings, corporate work, and events. I like to describe my photography as artistic, moody, and colorful. :)
For the last 7 years, I’ve been back and forth and back again between Canon and Nikon, with my most latest being a switch from the Canon 5D Mark III to the Nikon D4s. I chose to jump ship simply because Nikon’s files are amazing shot at high-iso and have fantastic dynamic range – two things that are very important to my photographic style. The Nikon D4s’s autofocus, color rendition, high-iso, and FPS are what make it a brilliant wedding camera.
For 90% of the day at weddings I use a Nikon D4s and a Nikon D750 with a Nikon 58mm f/1.4G and Nikon 35mm f/1.4G, respectively. It’s an odd combination, but I absolutely love the 58mm for portraits and the 35mm for photojournalism and a “wider” perspective. I also use a Nikon 24mm f/1.4G in place of the 35mm when I need a wider shot and a Nikon 85mm f/1.4G during the ceremony (and when I need that amazing 85mm compression for the Brenizer Method).
At night, I use the Nikon SB-910, Nikon SB-600, and Nikon SB-700 for off-camera lighting (depending on the location), which are triggered by Yongnuo YN622N trigger/receivers. I just got into this off-camera system though, so 99.8% of my work thus far has been with a bounced Nikon SB-910.
Although I very rarely use the Manfrotto XPRO4, it’s great to have around for light painting or room details. Also pictured is a glass prism (thanks Sam Hurd!) which I love to use for getting-ready photos and select portraits throughout the day, Vidpro Varicolor 312 LED which is fantastic for details and a night portrait or two, and a Fuji Instax Mini 90, which is great for giving your clients something tangible before leaving.
I also have a few other lenses not pictured, including the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G & Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G, which I use during the reception, Nikon 24mm f/1.4G, which is great for portraits, the Nikon 60mm f/2.8G Macro, which is used for rings, and the Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II, which I keep in my bag as a backup in case my 85mm isn’t long enough.
I use the Think Tank Retrospective 30 to easily & comfortably carry a handful of lenses around and the Lowepro X200 roller to transport the majority of my gear – I love having a bag with rollers, which really helps to save my back.
I love the Nikon D4s for weddings, but for whatever reason, the autofocus, low-light focusing, and dynamic range aren’t on par with the Nikon D750, which is why I’ll be upgrading to the Nikon D5 when it’s released in March! :)
The Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II is the camera I use for all of my personal work and street photography – the flip out screen, tap to shoot, quick AF, small size, and awesome stabilization make this camera an amazing travel camera for the money. It has a 2x crop factor, so the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 & Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 are ~35mm and 50mm, respectively.
Since the original post, I’ve switched my Nikon D4s to the Nikon D5, which was definitely a worthwhile investment. The Nikon D5’s low-light focusing, insanely quick AF system, color tones, and high-ISO make this my go to camera for weddings.
I’ve also switched flash systems – I ditched the poorly made and sometimes unresponsive Yongnuo transceivers for the Godox/Flashpoint system. I use three Flashpoint Zoom Li-On TTL flashes (Godox V860II) and a Godox X1R if I want to use my Nikon SB-910 as a fourth off-camera light. The Godox X1T triggers everything and is a near-perfect trigger – it allows you to change each group with a dial, mount a flash on top to use on-camera flash simultaneously with off-camera flash, and it even allows you to zoom your off-camera flashes wirelessly.
The best part about the Flashpoint/Godox system is the lithium-ion battery (1.5 second recycle time on full power flashes) that provides 650 full power flashes on a single charge, the built in transceiver (similar to the Canon 600ex-rt series), and the cheap price tag.
I added a Nikon 50mm f/1.8D to my kit because of the awesome flare – something the 58mm doesn’t have, unfortunately.
I also started using the Holdfast Moneymaker, which alleviates back pain, allows me to shoot with two camera bodies effortlessly, and looks pretty dang good too! :-)
Holdfast Moneymaker strap
Inside Sage’s camera bag:
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