Hi, my name is Zachary Long, and I’m a New York-based wedding photographer.
I have been shooting weddings since 2009, and full-time since 2011 when I went on paternity leave from my corporate job and never went back.
I started out, as most people do, with a keen interest in cameras and photography, back in the late 2000s, taking pictures of flowers and friends. After being the second shooter at a wedding, I got hooked on the craziness of the day and the opportunities to photograph everything from candid moments, to still-life details, to posed portraits.
I’m based in New York, but also serve my former home of Atlanta, Georgia. I moved away from Atlanta five years ago, but I continue to commute down to Atlanta for weddings all the time. This has made me tone down the gear I use to just the essentials and favor some lighting choices that can be achieved with things that can easily fit in my ThinkTank Airport International and be carried onto a plane.
I tried both Nikon and Canon for full wedding days at the start, eventually settling on Canon for the color renditions and the ergonomics which just felt better to me.
I started with a Nikon D700 and a Canon 5D Mark II, and after confirming with Canon, I upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark III the day it was released. I upgraded again to the Canon 5D Mark IV the day it came out as well. The Mark IV is still my go-to for everything.
The lens that is on my camera for at least half the day is the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 III. I photograph mostly Indian Weddings, where large groups are the norm, and having the flexibility to go medium-wide to ultra-wide is great for flexibility in a variety of situations.
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I bounce between the Canon 50mm f/1.2 and Canon 85mm f/1.2 for getting ready photos or on the dance floor when I’m not grabbing a wide shot of a group.
My middle of the day lens is the reliable Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 for ceremonies and reception speeches, which tend to take place in large ballrooms where I definitely need the extra reach.
I have been a huge fan of off-camera lighting since the beginning, using PocketWizard PLUS IIs back in 2010 with sync cables while reading every page of David Hobby’s Strobist blog and any forum post from the beloved Starting a Wedding Photography Business (SWPB) Flickr group at that time (shout-out to all the early timers back then in the early 2010s).
In 2011 I upgraded my PocketWizards to the “lightweight” 8kg (approx. 17.5 lbs) Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed AS kit, which I simply adored due to its sun overpowering 1100 W/s output and the Elinchrom Deep Octa modifiers; however. my back now says otherwise.
Godox AD200s have been the greatest addition to my kit, striking a great balance between with power output and carrying weight when traveling for weddings and moving around throughout the day.
Indian weddings tend to be indoors, so both on-camera and off-camera lighting is essential. The Canon 600 EX-RTs have been the other major tech advancement that has cemented me in the Canon ecosystem since they came out. Gone are the PocketWizards and manual everything, the 600s have made my life so much easier by being able to adjust the external flash’s power output from the camera during receptions.
I’ve tried all the modifiers, from the OG Gary Fong sphere to my current favorite, the MagMod system, which solves the flexibility issue and fast adaptability needed during a wedding.
I use MagMods on both my on-camera system, throwing on the MagBounce as needed, and have MagMods on my AD200s whenever I need to add a grid, ND filter, or MagSphere for extra spread.
Canon 5D Mark IV – Workhorse camera.
Canon 5D Mark III (Backup) – Old reliable.
Canon 50mm f/1.2 – Getting ready and on the dance floor.
Canon 85mm f/1.2 – Getting ready and portraits.
Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 – All day lens from portraits, group photos and ceremony to dance floor.
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 – Ceremony and reception speeches.
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 – Group photos lens.
Canon 600EX-RT (x3) – The built-in radio transmitter is essential.
Godox AD200 (x2) – Great power in a portable package.
Godox X1T-C Wireless Transmitter – Trigger for the Godox AD200s.
Glow 28” EZ Lock Deep Parabolic Softbox – For the AD200, before MagBox was a thing.
ThinkTank Airport International v2 – Still going strong for 7+ years on hundreds of flights.
ThinkTank Pixel Racing Harness v2 + Pro Speed Belt – For carrying equipment throughout the day.
MagMod Adapters – MagSphere, MagBounce, MagGrid, and MagGel with ND Filter.
Sony RX-100 V (vlogging camera) – Started vlogging the behind the scenes 3 years ago.
Apple MacBook Pro 15” – Apple makes a really durable product that just works.
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Western Digital 4TB Hard Drives – On the go backup and working from the plane until everything is archived at home.
Manfrotto Lightstands – Paying slightly more for quality, these take a beating.