Sun and Life

We are Doriana + Jeff Hammond of Sun and Life Photography, a husband and wife photography team based out of Santa Cruz, CA. We mostly document weddings but also shoot commercial as well as continue our own personal projects around documentary photography.

Santa Cruz is a small coastal community set on a National Marine Sanctuary and surrounded by ancient redwood forests. Our surroundings are our inspiration and much of our work and play takes place in the ocean and trees that we live near. We also travel quite a bit, and love how new environments push us creatively.

We both have backgrounds in Documentary Photography and believe in getting close and personal with our subjects. For us, working with prime lenses allows us to be light on our feet which is super important. We shoot with the Canon 24L, 35L, and 50L 90% of the time, but love to experiment with other lenses and tools…they often force us to embrace a new perspective which is invaluable.


3x Canon 5D Mk III (2 for Jeff, 1 for Doriana)
1 Canon 5D Mk II – super backup camera


What’s on our backs on wedding day:

2x Canon 24mm f/1.4 L – Often on Jeff’s left hip. Great lens for getting wide, getting close, or just a nice atmospheric feeling. This lens is clutch for environmental portraits.

1x Canon 35mm f/1.4L – This is Doriana’s Go to. A total workhorse – fast, dynamic and the sharpest Canon lens.

2x Canon 50mm f/1.2 L – Often on Jeff’s right hip. This lens lets us get personal and intimate with our subjects.

1X Canon 45mm TSE f/2.8 – This is typically in Jeff’s bag and is great for slowing things down and getting a little artsy.

What’s not on our backs on a wedding day, but close by when we need to use them:

1x Canon 85mm f/1.2 L – This lens is typically not in our bags. It’s a bit heavy and when we do use it, it’ll be during portraits and the ceremony.

1x Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L – This lens is also rarely in our bag, but when we need to go real wide, it’s a gem.

1x Canon 40mm f/2.8 Pancake – Super compact, great vignette (guide) and an awesome lens when you need to be a little less obvious with your camera presence.

1x Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L – We’ve had this lens for a really long time and just couldn’t commit to selling it. It really only makes it’s appearance when we bust the water housing out.

Isco Anamorphic 1.9X – This lens is beyond tricky and slow. We really need some good time allowed for portraits if we are going to use this beast, but it’s results are stunning.


2x Canon 600 EX-RT – We only use these when necessary. This flash is fast and powerful. The remote features can be super helpful as well.

1x – Litepanels MicroPro Hybrid – Great for when we need a moody element in darker situations.


SPL Water Housing – This is our underwater tool. It’s heavy, bulky and reliable. It’s always inspiring when a client will brave the ocean or climb into a cold river for a different perspective! It’s made for surf photography, so no matter how many times Jeff has tumbled it around in the ocean, we’ve never had a problem…knock on wood.

Extra Camera Batteries: We have a few of these in our bags just in case.

Extra Rechargeable AA Batteries: We also carry a lot of these, just not on our backs.

Hoodman Steel CF Cards – We’ve had CF cards go corrupt in the past – stoked we always double back with SD cards in the second slot of the MK III so we have never lost anything. But, that has made us critical of what cards we use. The Hoodmans are solid, made in the USA, fast as hell and have a lifetime warranty.

Sandisk Extreme Pro SD Cards – Because of the situations that happened above, these babies let us sleep at night.

Lens cloths, static dust brush pen – We work in dusty places a lot.

Kind Bars / GU or anything else that prevents us from getting hangry.

Tools we use for carrying all this gear:

Doriana – She’s had two situations where the strap of her bag broke because of faulty hardware. No Bueno. She now uses the Ona Chelsea bag and loves how sturdy it is.

Jeff – Incase Ari bag. This thing hugs him like a Koala Bear all day long.

2x Spider Holsters – These go on Jeff’s everyday belt. They take the weight off his shoulders and he is grateful for that.

Lowe Pro Suitcase – It has wheels, an extendable handle and a cable lock. It looks like a clothing suitcase and holds all the gear we don’t want to sherpa around with us.

Cheers and have a great day!

11 Tools for Wedding Photographers

Check out the 11 essential tools and apps every wedding photographer should be using this year.

Includes limited time discounts.

Learn more here

Leave a Comment



Enter your email to be sent
today's Welcome Gift:
19 Photography Tools

🔥 Popular Now:

Shotkit may earn a commission on affiliate links. Learn more.