Photographers have a lot of stuff. Personally, I like to keep things as simple and natural as possible, and that’s reflected in my gear choices as well. In other words, I don’t ever want to be too busy messing with my tools to miss a moment with the subject I’m shooting. These are some of my favorite, most-used items in my whole repertoire.
Mitakon Speedmaster 55mm F0.95
This is a beautiful lens. When you get the perfect light, it creates incredible images. However, shooting at .95 can be tricky – especially when children are involved. I use this lens when the person or child that I’m photographing trusts me and feels comfortable with me coming closer. Although this lens can definitely be challenging, I’m ok with little imperfections because they truly reflect the moment in time.
HoldFast Gear Money Maker
This is such a liberating and downright nifty tool. It enables me to have two cameras on me while shooting, which saves both me and my subjects a lot of time. This way, I don’t break the connection with my subject by pausing to switch lenses or cameras. I also love that the Money Maker keeps me hands-free. I talk with my hands, and I’m also a hugger – neither of which are very easy to do with a camera in your hand.
My typical setup is a Sony a7rII on each side with a 70-200 lens on one and a Mitakon Speedmaster on the other. These different lenses give me the capability to get every shot that I need without losing focus of my subject. As a photographer, when you’re worried or messing with your gear, you are not engaging with your subject. Being fully present is extremely important to me, so I choose the tools that help me to do so.
Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS
When I want my subjects to feel alone or as if they are in a more intimate setting, I use this lens. Shooting at 200 allows me to be a safe distance away, giving the subjects a sense of privacy. This is great for families with children who are a bit shy or unsure about what’s going on. I use this lens to slowly gain their trust before moving closer. It’s also the lens I tend to use for engagement sessions. I want the couple to have those special moments without feeling like they have a camera in their face.
Using prisms is a fun way to create different imagery. I’m certainly not the first photographer to use them, but I like what it allows me to do. It gives the photos just a touch of something different. I’m all for trying new things but within reason. As a photographer, it’s important to express yourself through the images that you create, and I think prisms are a neat and simple way to explore different types of imagery.
Lastly, my camera. This is my best and favorite piece of equipment. I switched from all Canon gear to all Sony. I won’t give you all of the technical specifications, and honestly, I don’t understand all of them. However, I will tell you that this camera makes me feel more like an artist. I’m not sure what exactly it is, whether it’s the compact size of the camera itself or the files and their simple editing process. When I used my Canon 5d III, I felt like an old-school, corny photographer. But when I made the switch to the Sony a7rII, I felt the same way as I felt when shooting medium format film – artistic. The way that I feel is such a vital part of my creation process, so switching cameras has made a world of difference.
Pure7 Studios is a family-owned and operated photography studio located on Florida’s Emerald Coast. We believe that the best images are created with simplicity and comfort. We capture your best moments. Please contact us with any questions or to schedule a session.