The constant question on everyone’s mind is what gear do you use? It’s a question that I get often and I never feel like I explain it the same way twice. Let me explain. The gear you own does not make you a better photographer, nor will it generate millions of dollars. It might cost that much, but never will it improve your experience and learn from mistakes. I never started with digital and it was back in my early film days when I fell in love with photography. The darkroom was my “safe space” and my place to create. Quite. Dark. and a creative atmosphere.
Some key points to consider, purchasing equipment you can afford, making do with what you have, and having fun! Photography is a craft that only becomes better with age and experience. Immersing yourself in the beginning with expensive equipment will not make you an award-winning photographer overnight. But starting upon humble beginnings will teach you how to “see.” And most cameras have the ability to preview the image in black and white, but render a full-color image on the computer. I would recommend shooting all of your images in black and white, it helps to see the contrast more clearly.
My Camera Gear (Updated 2022)
- Sony A7 III
- Sony FE 24-70 mm F2.8 GM
- Sony Sonnar T FE 55mm F 1.8 ZA
- Sony FE 20mm F 1.8 G
- Sigma 85mm F 1.4 DG
My Equipment Gear (Updated 2022)
- Sekonic LightMaster Pro L-478D-U Light Meter
- Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader Switch-55 Backpack/Roller
- Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum 3-Section Tripod with MVH502AH Fluid Video Head
- SmallHD Focus 5″ IPS Tochscreen On-Camera LED Monitor
- X-Rite ColorChecker Passport 2
- X-Rite i1 Display Pro
- DJI Ronin RS 2
- Wacom Intuos Pro – Medium
My Studio Lighting Gear (Updated 2022)
- Paul C Buff DigiBee Flash Unit 800w
- 64″ White PLM™ Umbrella
- 64″ Soft Silver PLM™ Umbrella
- 47″ Foldable Octabox
- 14″ x 60″ Foldable Stripbox
- 24″ White Foldable Beauty Dish
- 24″ Silver Foldable Beauty Dish
- Cyber Commander™
- CyberSync™ Trigger Transmitter 2
Recently some upgrades and changes were made to the current equipment gear to realign with my primary focus which is male portrait photography. The opportunities to shift everything from the start have been a major benefit for me professionally. I also went back to the drawing board with my editing style and techniques. From 2020 to 2021 there was ample time to grow as a professional and allow for a different perspective in my overall portfolio. This shift allowed me to consider what I really wanted and how to achieve my goals.
Hopefully, this provides an insight into my equipment bag and gestures you to look into your own gear bag and realize that you can still create beautiful work with the equipment you have. I recently read Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon and this brought a much different perspective to my thinking. I would look and get inspired by other photographers’ work and wanted to recreate their images, but then I considered that stealing. This book helped me consider the alternative, that there is no such thing as an “original” idea anymore. You are simply “borrowing” from someone else to recreate your own creation. I would recommend anyone to read this book if they feel trapped or stuck.