Here is a comprehensive rundown of the gear I use. Every item of this list I have tried and tested, and has a crucial role in my photoshoots. Finding the right gear with so many options can be daunting, but I’ve created this list to show how you can solve problems in photography with the right kit.
I’m going to preface this by letting you know that I am including affiliate links with each of these products; affiliate links really help me out because if you click on this, go on Amazon and buy anything as a result of this link, I’ll get a little bit of payback. It helps support me creating amazing content, and more education materials.
MAIN CAMERA – CANON 5D MARK III
This is the godfather of DSLR Camera’s due to it’s amazing 22.3 Megapixel full frame CMOS sensor, and insane 25600 ISO capability. This has also been my first full frame DSLR and has been with me ever since I purchased it in November 2012. For 5 years this camera has done me well.
It comes with a hefty price point but it’s full frame capabilities and especially it’s crazy quality in potentially low light situations is what made this a concrete choice for me all those years back.
Another point I’d like to make is that whilst I do look after my equipment a lot, wear and tear does happen. I do go out in rubbish weather, I do go out in freezing temperatures, and I do go out into sandy dunes (dun dun duuuun). The body of this camera is second to none and has endured all of this, and still works like a charm.
CANON REBEL T5 WITH 18-55MM KIT
Whilst I don’t have this camera anymore, I feel like it is worth mentioning because a common question I get is:
“I want to get into Photography but don’t know which camera to get?”
Well I couldn’t recommend the highly dependable, highly affordable, and brilliant Canon Rebel. I picked this up back in 2005 and it stood by me for around 8 years before I traded it in towards the monster 400mm lens that I’ll be talking about soon.
Needless to say the Canon Rebel holds it’s own incredibly well, and I picked it up for only about £250 back then. It comes with a stock 18-55mm lens (CHECK) and is perfect for anyone wanting to get into photography.
Having a good variety of lenses can always be useful for a photographer dabbling in a wide range of subjects and genres.
I picked this lens up back in 2012 and it is perfect for those beautiful landscape shots which span miles and miles into the distance. I used to mainly either shoot wildlife or landscape photography, and so this lens was one of the biggest parts of my main arsenal. It comes in at f/4.0.
If I had to make one recommendation to anyone looking to get into fashion and portrait photography…actually scrap that, any kind of photography, it would be to get this lens.
I have looked and simply cannot find a more affordable, most versatile, and more awesome lens than this on the market.
Want to do portrait photography? Slam that baby down to f/1.8 and you have your insane bokeh photos so you can focus on the subject.
How about food photography? Ding! Yet again the low aperture of f/1.8 can help you get those focused photos that will show off everything from your home guacamole to your out-of-this-world Spiderman cake.
Surely it can’t help with landscape photography? Sure it can! The 50mm length of this lens means you get an incredibly distortion free photo, perfect for those straight on or overhead shots to capture those rolling hills or urban streets.
At only $110 I can promise you, you will not find a more affordable lens with so much power. Pinky swear.
Worth mentioning at an extra cost of $220 but it just gives that little bit more of a drop of aperture without sacrificing quality. If you want to go nuclear with getting really focused photos, this is the ticket for you.
I used to call this the Telesaur, because of it’s incredible zoom length. One of the heaviest pieces of equipment I own but one of the most perfect for wildlife photography. With image stabilisation and an incredible ability to focus and lock onto a target, this lens has helped me capture endless streams of wildlife without the fear of disturbing them nor it being a pain to handle.
Another one of the infamous portrait lenses, this lens serves as an industry standard in portrait photography, and for the right reason. The balance of having a zoom of up to 200mm, along with the impressive f stop of f/2.8 means that you can easily create those singled out portrait shots that draw the entire focus onto the subject.
My baby. The lens I adore and shoot with most commonly at the moment (2016-2017). Coming it at a set focal length of 35mm, and the incredible aperture of f/1.4, this lens serves as a versatile portrait and landscape lens.
Lighting can be one of the more daunting subjects that faces a photographer starting out in fashion and portrait photography; however with the current setup I have, lighting has become a breeze.
The Profoto B2 package is insane. It is basically an incredibly well designed setup comprising of two studio power heads with the compact feel of a flash gun. It has to be seen to be believed.
The recharge time is fantastic, and possibly the most useful aspect of the entire setup is that you can wave goodbye the those pesky AA batteries which line the inside of your camera bag like bullet shells to charge your flash gun; the Profoto B2 runs on a mains-charged battery pack which pops into the bottom of the main unit. Not only that but included are two batteries. Two of them! Monster power.
I have used the setup in full sunlight and it hasn’t even batted an eyelid.
In order to get the most out of the Profoto B2, this small device acts as the remote trigger to connect the camera to this incredibly powerful setup.
Granted in the above write up of my love for the Profoto B2, I did knock flash guns quite a bit. However we all have to start somewhere and for a good 7 months into my fashion and portrait venture I did roll with the awesome Canon EFX Flash Gun.
To work with getting the best out of the Canon EFX Flash Gun, and indeed all flash guns which are capable of HSS, you’ll want to make sure you grab a trigger which is compatible with High Speed Synch. This can especially help when you are faced in sunlit areas where you do need the extra punch of power from the flash gun. These are charged with two AA batteries.
No camera gear list is complete without a tripod. I’ve found the Manfoto tripod to be an excellent all-rounder, allowing a sturdy setup, along with easy camera screw on. Essential for stabilisation in landscape shots, long exposures, or simply for taking a boss selfie.
Come on. I had to put this in here, especially when talking about Flash Guns. You need a rechargeable battery unit, unless you are some kind of battery god who can summon piles of AA batteries by clicking their fingers (if you are please PM me, I want to collaborate with you).
Now here is an essential piece of kit. The remote trigger. This baby will help you with so many things:
The classic ‘look at the birdie’ photoshoots where you can stand to the side whilst the camera snaps away;
Long exposure photography, as the trigger can be set to ‘hold open’ the shutter for as long as you programme beyond the default 30 seconds;
Night time photography, with the remote shutter firing and meaning you won’t leave the camera wobbling after hitting the camera trigger;
Day / night cycle photography, with you being able to set up the camera to take photos every x amount of seconds;
Narcissistic selfies (come on, we know you are all thinking it).
RECOMMENDED LEARNING RESOURCES
SLR Lounge have created so many incredible courses. I love to teach people how to use their camera, and especially how to work on shoots but sometimes there are people out there who have created flawless resources. SLR Lounge are one of them, and their programmes are brilliant. I have learnt from them, and couldn’t recommend Lighting 101 and Lighting 102 highly enough. Check them out.
DIANE VILLADSEN’S WARDROBE & COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS
This isn’t an affiliate link but Diane’s course is essential viewing, as I have written before in my review.
There is a point you will get to in Photography and that one course or idea will help you get a better grip on what your focus and direct is. Diane’s course did that for me and I highly recommend you check it out. It gave me a better sense of direction, as well as allowing me to say that I am now a stylist on more or less every shoot.