Steve Womersley

Photojournalism | Last Updated: May 17, 2021

My work focuses on captured and constructed portraits, often trying to convey something of people’s fragility and the uncanny nature of their relationships with each other and the world around them.

I try to work simply and to concentrate on the subject rather than the gear. I mostly purchase secondhand equipment from a reputable dealer, so I have some level of warranty, although I’ve never had any problems.

Over the years I’ve noticed that when I am in a creative rut or struggling to develop a creative proposal, I start Googling photographic equipment; this is a warning sign. In these moments, I now know to set aside the camera porn and to push through creatively.

I remind myself that many of the world’s great photographers produce compelling work with equipment far less expensive and sophisticated than what’s already in my kit.

I have only two cameras: a Canon 6D and a Fujifilm X100F, both purchased secondhand. The Canon is my workhorse and the Fujifilm is my on hand camera; it goes with me everywhere. It is lightweight, discrete, rugged and produces excellent results. It’s a good little camera to have in a harsh, dynamic situation. I’ve used it for everything from street photography to portraits to covering bushfires.

I mostly work with a Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens purchased new (an indulgence I’ve never regretted). I love taking portraits with my Canon 85mm f/1.8 (also purchased new). The only other lenses I use are a Canon 70-200mm f/4 and a Canon 35mm f/2, both secondhand. If I need something different for a particular shoot, I hire it.

Most of my kit fits within a Wandrd Prvke 21L. It’s waterproof, travels well on planes, accommodates a laptop and portable hard drive and provides good security for passports, phone, wallet etc. It’s also a good ergonomic choice for a photographer who likes to walk the streets.

I mostly work with natural light, but when that’s not possible, I resort to a pair of Godox V1-C and matching trigger. Their battery life is excellent and they were a fraction of the price of their main marketplace competitor.

When I’m in a tight spot or the terrain conspires against a regular tripod, I pull out a Platypod Ultra with Neewer metal pro ball head.

Along with the usual spare batteries, filters and such, the only other items found in my kit when I’m on the road are a small multi-purpose tool for running repairs and any of the titles from Henry Carroll’s excellent series of photography books, which are regular touchstones for ideas, inspiration and problem solving. | @stevewphotos

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