Hi, I’m Tamara Lackey, and I’ve been shooting professionally for 12 years now and run an associate-based studio in Durham, North Carolina. I focus on portrait, editorial and commercial work, am lucky to stay really busy – and I love, love, love this work.
In terms of gear – as much as I like to keep things as simple as possible, it’s extraordinarily helpful to have the right gear on hand when needed. I do most shoots with at least two different cameras and typically work through 3-4 lenses on each shoot, and that’s the least of what I’ll travel with for my shoots. I’m a big fan of letting the lenses help me vary things up a bit while I stay focused on the subjects and, specifically, the interaction. I reeeeally care about expression and authenticity in the images, so I try to “stay” with my subject and not get lost in the gear.
I’m also quite familiar with which lenses work best in which scenarios – and, since I vary scenarios frequently in a rather short amount of time, it’s useful to have a variety of them at hand.
The Nikon 85mm f/1.4 is my go-to portrait lens, the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 is a great, fast wide lens for groups and movement, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 enables me to make something out of any situation and is also very fast to focus, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lets me step back and give my subjects room and really enhance the bokeh, the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 is very crisp lens that also gives me macro capabilities and I love the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 for architectural, landscapes, and wide, center-composed portraits.
As for lighting, I’m usually rotating between natural light and reflectors, portable strobes (Profoto), constant light in the studio (Westcott) and speedlights (Nikon) when needed.
Dasher – my Australian Shepherd/Boxer mix who likes to sits at my feet whenever possible. He loves editing time, is a very patient lighting model, and has never peed on any of my equipment, ever.
Nikon 85mm f/1.4
Nikon SB-910 x2
Reflector (quite a few – Glow and Westcott)
Westcott Ice Light
G Drive 1TB thunderbolts
Macbook Pro 15 in retina display