“Cameras don’t take great pictures, people do.”
It’s true. No amount of gear will ever replace a patient and considered approach. So, although this list exists, please don’t consider it a short-cut to compelling photographs. Practice, perseverance and patience will bring you greater rewards than new lenses. That said…
The list below exists, in part, because I’m frequently asked what gear I prefer and so this is an easy reference guide. I have no strong allegiance to brands, gear has to do a job. It’s got to be reliable, robust and able to withstand challenging environments. If the gear doesn’t work on one shoot then it doesn’t find its way onto the list for the next job.
Gear gets upgraded when the need arises so this list changes periodically but the core elements remain the same. Different jobs dictate the need for different gear so not every item comes on every shoot. I’ll sometimes hire additional gear on location to cut down on transportation costs but can work out of the bag you see here for the majority of the work that I do.
Camera bodies and lenses
I have always used Canon gear. That’s not to say that other camera manufacturers are not just as good, it’s simply that I’ve grown up with Canon camera. These are the 3rd and 4th Canon bodies that I’ve owned and the selection of lenses below covers every focal length I need whilst giving me the wide apertures that give creative exposure opportunities and the ability to work in relatively low light.
- Canon EOS 5D Mark III body
- Canon EOS 600D
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L IS USM
- Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
I don’t often work with a flash but these sources of extra light always accompany me on location, when you need them, you really need them.
- mecablitz 52 AF-1 digital
Like the additional light sources, I rarely use it but when you need some stability then you’ll find that a robust tripod is essential. But my Carry Speed is always with me.
- Carry Speed FS-Pro Strap System
- Vangard Espod 203AP Tripod
Your list will inevitably be determined by your specific needs. If you’re a fashion or lifestyle photographer then your gear list will obviously be very different. However, if you’re a travel photographer or just somebody who likes to make the most of the opportunities that arise as you travel around then I hope there are some items on this list that will give you food for thought.