Have you been wondering what I shoot with? What I bring to every session as a Northern Virginia photographer?
None of my closest friends would accuse me of being a minimalist. In fact I hinge right on the very opposite. But when it comes to photography gear I definitely minimize. Why? Having less gives me the opportunity to learn my gear inside and out. I know exactly what my settings need to be on each lens for the sharpest images. I know exactly how far I can push my camera body in low light. Knowing my gear inside and out means I’m not fumbling around with the basics during your session.
I have one main camera body, the coveted Canon 5D Mark III, and my back up is the Canon 5D Mark II.
Then I have 6 lenses:
- I bring my “nifty fifty” Canon 50mm 1.4 to all of my schools. The 50mm is small and lightweight, and the perfect focal length to reduce distortion in close up portraits but allows me plenty of flexibility to move around my subject.
- I also have the Canon 100mm Macro, because snowflakes.
- When it comes to newborn/childhood/family sessions, I always bring 2 lenses. First is the incredible Canon 85mm 1.2L II – that’s the one that gives me that creamy looking background where the subjects really stand out. It’s a monster and my favorite lens. I also bring my Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art. It’s a wide angle and lets me get the whole scene or in close for more connection.
- When flexibility is key, I have the Canon 24-70mm 2.8 L II. I use this for street photography, events, and a lot of my breastfeeding sessions so I can be wide and zoom in for details without disturbing your nursling.
- Lastly, I recently acquired the Canon 100-400 f/4-5.6L II. I use this primarily to spy on the many birds and insects in my native wildflower gardens.
Six might sound like a lot, but each serves a specific purpose with little to no overlap in performance.
Back to my newborn/childhood/family sessions, because they’re probably why you’re here. I mentioned the 35mm (wide angle) and 85mm (medium telephoto). These are the two lenses I truly couldn’t live with out.
I usually start my sessions with my 85 on. Being a longer lens it’s perfect for getting to know each other, since it naturally creates distance between us. It’s a massive lens and better for the posed “look and smile” shots. Here are a few examples:
And then there’s my 35. It’s light, fast focusing, perfect for moving in on details and fast-moving kids but I can also step back and capture the whole scene. I usually switch to it half way through or so, once everyone is warmed up, or if we’re getting close to sunset since it performs better in low light. Here’s what I mean:
So there’s you have it. An insider look at what I’m carrying. If you’re looking for a Northern Virginia photographer, you can use the #contact-form to drop me a line! I’d love to meet your family this year.