Our Gear!

The wedding season is upon us! Ceili and I are currently knee deep into Wedding season 2017, and wanted to take a short break from all the editing that we have been doing and put together a list of the gear that we are using this year. This year has been a big one for us in terms of gear acquisition. We feel like we have finally put together a kit that fits all of our needs and we will hopefully not have to buy anything else (at least for a little while!) We hope that this post helps any photographer who is interested in seeing the lenses and gear we use with a few example photos. If you are a client of ours and are interested in what we use, take a look below!

Above is the main gear that we use during weddings/engagement shoots. We also carry a large bag filled with light stands, modifiers, and other accessories. Often times, you will see us jam all of our equipment into a blue fold-up wagon with off-road wheels. shout out to our wagon! We highly recommend getting a wagon, because it lets you easily keep all your gear together during the night. Its always stressful trying to get all your gear together at the end of a long wedding, and the wagon helps you stay organized and keeps you from leaving things behind.

Justin's Kit

This is my kit that I keep in my Hex DSLR Backpack (stay tuned for a separate blog post reviewing our bags). My lenses are fairly heavy and my bag is usually stuffed to the brim with extra batteries and memory cards, but I still love having everything with me just in case I need it. I chose this selection of lenses, because it covers my most used focal lengths while giving me the option to get tighter or wider without taking the time to switch lenses.

Have a look below to see specifics on what I carry in my bag. 

  1. Nikon D750

  2. Nikon N80

  3. Ilford Delta 400 Film

  4. Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2

  5. Nikon 50mm f/1.8G

  6. Peak Design Slide Strap (Tallac)

  7. Tokina 100mm f/2.8 Macro

  8. Sigma 24-35mm f/2 Art Lens

  9. Yongnuo YN560-IV Speedlite (x2)

  10. Yongnuo YN560-TX Flash Controller

Ceili's Kit

Ceili keeps her kit in a MindShift BackLight Backpack, with extra space for snacks! She tends to prefer prime lenses over zooms because of the simplicity a prime lens gives, along with the inherent need to work with what you have and get creative! She also likes the  decreased weight of prime lenses, but as we stated before, she stuffs her bag with snacks, so it doesn't really matter. Another one of Ceili's must have items is the Movo Lens changer which lets her change lenses without going back to her bag.

Check below to see the specifics of what she carries in her bag.

  1. Nikon D610

  2. Fujifilm X-Pro1

  3. b.still Leather Strap

  4. Nikon 24-120mm f/4G

  5. Nikon 85mm f/1.8G

  6. Fujifilm 18mm f/2.0

  7. Fujifilm 35mm f/2.0 (Silver)

  8. Nikon 50mm f/1.8G

  9. Movo Rapid Multi-Lens Changer

  10. Yongnuo YN560-IV Speedlite

  11. Peak Design Slide Strap (Lassen)

Sigma 24-35mm f/2 Art Lens

The Sigma 24-35mm lens is perfect for so many situations. I bought this lens after renting the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, and I've got to say that I have been incredibly attached to Sigma since then. The color rendering is incredible and the sharpness is beyond real. I try to use this lens as much as I can during a wedding day, and I find myself missing it when I shoot at other focal lengths. f/2 is quick enough for me, and having the ability to drop down to 24mm is awesome during family formals or when space is tight. My favorite thing to do with this lens is to keep it at 35mm and get nice and close to a subject. I love the exaggerated perspective it gives and I think it really helps the viewer to feel like they stepped into the photo. An all around great lens.

Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2

This is a recent purchase for us, but we have not been disappointed thus far! When we first started photographing, I thought that I would only shoot with shorter prime lenses; however, after struggling to get close enough to the bride and groom with an 85mm during the ring exchange, I decided it was worth it. The extra reach is great and definitely feels better than trying to sneak up the aisle to get a closer shot. The compression at 200mm is really what had me sold on getting a 70-200 though. Being able to photograph a couple in front of a distant mountain and make it look like they are standing right in front of it is definitely exciting. This new Tamron performs super well, is half the price of the Nikon, and looks as sleek as the Sigma lenses. Make sure your biceps are ready!

** Full disclosure, we've only had this lens for one week and have used it on one wedding. All the photos below are from the same wedding.**

Nikon 24-120mm f/4G

This lens doesn't see the light of day much anymore, but it is awesome to have as a backup or if Ceili needs to get a little wider than 50mm or longer than 85mm. Since it is f/4, if we use it indoors, we have to use flash or make sure there is a lot of natural light streaming in. That being said, this lens is great as a walk around lens for personal photographs or for landscapes.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G

I would guess that a 50mm lens is probably one of the best selling lenses today. Its a great focal length for portraits, details, travel, and even wider enviromental  portraiture. Its fast enough to use in low light situations, gives a pretty solid bokeh, and is really cheap! There is a reason that 14,785 photos currently in our Lightroom catalog were shot with this lens. Ceili uses this lens quite a bit, and before I became obsessed with a 35mm/85mm combo, I used this lens almost exclusively. We now own two copies and we both use them throughout the day. Its my favorite lens for details like the bouquet, table settings, and cake, because you get a pretty "standard" perspective and are able to get a wider shot of the detail and then get in close for something a little different. Whether you call it the "nifty-fifty" or the "plastic magic," its worth having.

Nikon 85mm 1.8G

The Nikon 85mm 1.8G is a lens that gives you so many opportunities to create stunning images. It gives just enough compression to keep your portraits looking natural without making it difficult to discern any background shapes. I love this focal length for photographing the first dances. I like to back light the couple with an off camera flash and then make sure there are plenty of guests behind the couple. This lens gives me good compression and blur as to tell the story of the guests watching the first dance without being able to make out every face in the crowd (that would probably be distracting).

Tokina 100mm f/2.8 Macro

To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure how to feel about this lens.  When it works it really works, but often times I find myself accidentally switching to manual focus or inadvertently rotating the aperture ring. This is the first macro lens we have owned, so our experience is limited, but we feel like there are better options out there. If you are looking for a cheap macro lens and, like us, only use it for ring shots, this might be a good option. Just pack a tripod!

Thank you guys for checking out this blog post! we hope that you enjoyed it and maybe learned a thing or two. Make sure you subscribe below, so you don't miss our blog post about additional gear and bags!