Stark Photography

Thanks for asking us to be on ShotKit! We love this site and it’s an honor to be a part of it. We’re Daniel and Lindsay Stark of Stark Photography, based out of Portland, Oregon. We are a married couple and have been shooting weddings together for 8 years.

We describe our photography in 4 words: adventurous, romantic, fun and curious. We mostly shoot locally across Oregon but have also had the great luck of being able to photograph weddings in Greece, Australia, Mexico and the Caribbean, as well as destinations across the US. This job is awesome and we love every second of it!

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When we first started out shooting weddings, we were shooting on one Canon 20D each and I remember being embarrassed when everyone else had all these fancy cameras and multiples of them at that. Then we started winning awards using these cameras and realized that camera equipment didn’t matter as much as we thought.

I think people can go way over board on gear, thinking it’ll make you a better photographer when actually it does the opposite. Look at all the greats – they shot on 35mm Leicas with a 50mm lens. That’s it. That said, we’ve naturally upgraded over the times and we love our latest set up.

What you’ll find in our Think Tank Retrospective 30 camera bags:

Cameras:

Canon 6D
x3
Canon 5D MKIII – We’ve slowly gotten rid of our other MKIII’s – too heavy and not as snappy as the Canon 6D. And the 6D is a third of the price. We’ve won over 80 awards, photographed countless weddings using the 6D’s and no one can tell the difference. The only reason for keeping one Canon 5D MKIII is because of the external jacks that the 6d doesn’t have.

Lenses:

Canon 35mm f/1.4 x2, Canon 85mm f/1.8 x2 – We really could shoot an entire wedding with just the Canon 35mm f/1.4. It’s amazing. Best lens we’ve ever used. We picked the Canon 85mm f/1.8 over the Canon 85mm f/1.2 because of weight and focusing speed. It’s almost impossible to focus the 85 1.2 in dim light. Forget about it using it during a reception. And that lens is massive. It must weigh 50 pounds. We always say the 1.8 makes a great lens, the 1.2 makes a great paperweight.

Straps:

Holdfast Money Maker Straps – If you have a two camera setup, there really is no other option. They’re life savers for your back. Daniel took it upon himself to customize his by spray painting the hardware black so he could blend in even easier. However Lindsay thinks he’s crazy and the spray paint rubs off on his shirts so her chestnut straps have stayed the same.

Flashes:

Canon 550EX, Canon 580EX II, Canon 600EX-RT and Yongnuo YN-565 EX II – They all do the same job as far as we’re concerned. If I found out about the Yongnuo flashes before, I would just buy those. They’re a lot cheaper and work like a charm.

Flash trigger system:

Lindsay has the Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 and Pocket Wizard Flex TT5. Which means she spends a lot of time cursing when it doesn’t fire and running back and forth between her shooting position and the flash. We’re now trying out the Yongnuo YN622C triggers. I can say this, they were only 70 bucks for the pair and they haven’t misfired once. And they take double AA’s – score.

Video light:

Switronix TL-BT200 TorchLED – It’s powerful and works great. It’s a little big so we don’t bring it to smaller shoots like engagements.

Fun and Personal cameras:

Fuji x100s x2 (the other one is being used to take this photo) – love these little guys. They really do put the fun back into taking photos. We bring them on weddings and they’re great.

Hasselblad 500cm with 80mm lens. Daniel loves this camera. People love getting photographed with it. It makes them feel like they’re getting their photo taken with a “real” camera. It’s amazing to see how their body language changes when you start shooting with it.

Snacks:

We always pack potassium sticks AKA bananas. Great boost of energy and easy to eat on the go. Lindsay’s secret weapon, if she can’t sneak a piece of wedding cake, is Chocolove’s Almond and Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bar.

Hydroflask – You can go the whole wedding and you forget to drink water. The hydroflask keeps your water (or beer ;-) ), cold the entire day.

Stack of business cards. Always.

www.starkphotography.com

 

NEW! View all Stark Photography’s camera gear in one place and read reviews at B&H Photo by clicking this link!

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25 Comments

    • Love your work. I have a brand new 6D but I’m not sure if I should get the 5D3. I’m shooting fashion in a studio. I have a Profoto set up. I can’t seem to find too many fashion photographers shooting with the 6D. Thanks in advance.

  • Love your work thanks for sharing, How do you find the 6D with the 85mm f1.2 in bright conditions with a max shutter of 1/4000 over the 5D3 with max 1/8000? Or do you use ND filters?

    • Hi Aaron! Thanks for the comment!

      We’re shooting with the 85mm 1.8 and if it’s that bright out to shoot at a 4000th of a shutter we’ll just adjust the aperture or make sure we’re at a low ISO.

      I checked out your website – great work, man!

  • Thanks for sharing! Love your images and so encouraged that i’m not the only shooting weddings with a 6D. My only question is: How do you handle focusing your images in the dark receptions?
    Many thanks for your time.

    • Hi Nicholas – thanks for the nice words and great question.

      One of the greater advantages with the 6d – better low light focusing. But I am sure as you know, even with the best low light it still is a bit tricky to focus at receptions. In those situations we’ll keep a flash mounted on our cameras and use the auto focus assist beam. If you don’t want to fire the flash but still want to use the auto focus assist on the flash you can change that in the camera menu.

      Hope that helps! Cheers!

  • Love the Yongnuo flashes! They work so well.

    I have the Mark 5D III and the 6D. I got the Mark before the 6D came out and I do love both. I prefer the focus points on the Mark to the 6D, but yeah the 6D rocks!!! I was fortunate to trade my 7D at the right time with my EF-S lenses to the 6D and get a rebate on top of that.

    • Nice work! Yeah I find the focusing on the 6d actually better – even with less focus points. We did just pick up a couple of the Yon flashes too! They work great. Who would have though these less expensive options were out there. Thanks for the comment, Deirdre – keep up the awesome work! All the best, Daniel and Lindsay

  • Thank you for sharing.

    don’t you afraid to use the 6D because it has only one memory card slot?
    You can’t backup if the sd crash.
    This is the only thing that makes me hesitate to buy it.
    Do you Use a tool to save you live shoots?

    Thanks

    • Hi Dan! (great name ;))

      Even with our 5d’s we hardly use the second card slot. We shoot on a little bit smaller cards so we are changing them constantly – which will reduce the chance of loosing a large set if a card gets corrupt.

      SD cards are pretty dang reliably these days and the programs to retrieve the data if a card goes corrupt is even better. Yes, there is a chance with anything – but I don’t think the risk is that huge. Think back in the film days – all the room for error there.

      I appreciate your comment. And love your work – knack for light and framing.

      Best,
      Daniel

  • Hi Daniel and Lindsay, fantastic setup. Thanks for sharing :) I’m a portrait photographer from Melbourne that shoots weddings too. I have a Canon 5d mk2 but it’s not the best when it comes to low light and focus. I’m looking into buying another body that has better low light capabilities and focusing and was looking at the 5d 3 until I saw the price. Do you find much difference with focusing with both the 5D3 and 6D cameras? :) Thanks guys!

    • Hi Kylie!
      Yes we do feel like there is a difference. The 5D3 focuses a little slow. The 5d3 it has more focus points. However, we only ever use the center focus point anyway so it was not a problem switching to the 6D. We think the 6D actually focuses better in low light. Almost all of our recent work is shot with 6D’s and we shoot a lot of low light weddings. Still loving our decision to switch! Hope that helps.
      Thanks for your comment! D+L

  • Hi Mark. I live in Alaska and enjoy doing landscape, wildlife and northern lights photography. Wildlife can move quickly, and I am worried about being able to nail the focus with the 6D having only 11 focus points. The 6D handles noise astonishingly well and has good dynamic range, and a GPS (important), but I keep getting hung up on the 11 AF points. I’d really be grateful for any help you can give here. Thanks a lot.

    • Hey Anita! I’m sure the Starks will be able to give you a more in depth answer as they own the 6D and I don’t, but from my experience with cameras with limited AF points, I really don’t think you have much to worry about. Unless you’re keeping the camera in one place while you shoot (e.g. fixed to a tripod), you’ll do fine as long as you can keep the subject relatively centred. Also experiment with a smaller aperture and manually focusing at a certain distance to ensure that everything that appears around that distance will be in focus – this can be a useful technique for wildlife photography when you’re not confident of catching the subject in time. Just leave your camera in manual focus and hit the shutter at the right moment! Good luck!

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