One of the most common questions I get asked as a photographer is what camera and lenses do I use. Seeing as this is one of my most commonly asked questions I cannot believe I didn’t create this blog post sooner, and while I’m at it I’ll show you all the equipment I carry in my camera kit. First and foremost I’ll start with my baby that is practically surgically attached to my hand, my Canon 5D MKiii, a full frame SLR which I have been using since 2016. Prior to that I had the Canon 5D MKii which I still use as my back up body. I love having a full frame sensor SLR which allows me to be closer to a subject when shooting, which for me works really well for capturing portraits and interacting with my model or shooting lifestyle/content imagery and being able to adjust the position of items quickly between shots.
My go to lens that I use on my camera body is the Canon 50mm 1.8 lens, this is the cheapest 50mm option from Canon. I have had several of these lenses in the last 5 years, some have broken due to accidents and the fact that the old design wasn’t very robust. The latest design however is a lot sturdier and feels heavier and better built. The 50mm lens is my favourite lens and I love it for capturing the majority of my work from fashion and lifestyle to travel imagery.
Next up are my other lenses, the Canon 85mm F1.8, amazing for portraits and I’ve loved using this lens when shooting behind the scenes on a look book shoot. My other lens is the Canon 28-80mm f3.5, great for getting wider angle shots. This is the only lens in my kit at the moment that I’d like to upgrade as I’m working with some interiors based clients and I think a wider angle zoom with the option of a lower level aperture would be ideal. I never leave for a shoot without two memory cards. One of the great advantages of the 5D MKiii is the dual memory card slots and it can hold both an SD and CF in the camera simultaneously. Whilst the SD can be slower than the CF card, I love being able to shoot to the SD when out and about. I have an adapter which lets me upload photos to my iPhone so I can quickly edit them on the go if I need to, ideal for instagram or if a client needs images quickly for social purposes.
Then there’s my film camera collection. The Olympus OM10 was kindly given to me by my Dad who originally bought it in the early 80’s, I love that the camera has that piece of history. I have been shooting and experimenting with this camera since my interest and passion in photography was first sparked, all the way back in 2009 nearly 10 years ago now that’s scary! As you may already know I have been shooting 35mm on a regular basis as I love capturing moments on film, whether they’re posed or candid I love having a record of them in analogue format. You can check out all my latest film posts through my 35mm Diaries series. I also recently purchased a Canon EOS 300 based on my friend and fellow photographer Kirsty’s recommendation. One of the immediate draws to this film camera for me was that I could use my Canon lenses on the camera as it has the same EF mount as my digital. I had a spare 50mm which I broke and Ollie repaired (he’s an absolute whizz with those sorts of things). I have just run my first roll of film through it and I loved the results. They’ll be posted in my next 35mm Diaries post (which I’ll link here once it’s live). I used to buy my film from Poundland, but sadly they’ve stopped stocking it; the AGFA Vista 200 is great film and I’d buy it from another retailer, but sadly for more than £1. I now mostly use Kodak Colour Plus 200, and I love the colours that this film captures. I’m finally gonna treat myself to some Portra soon too because I have never used it and would really love to experiment with it.
I have some instant cameras too. I usually use my Fuji Instax Mini which is fab and really fun to play around with. I also recently got the Fuji Instax Share 2 on my trip to Cornwall with Joules which was gifted to me. It is operated via an app on your phone which you connect to the printer via bluetooth and print your photos onto mini instax film. I love the idea of this printer for being able to print more than one of the same image, even though it kind of goes against the idea of instant camera prints being a one off. But I like that I could print an image that I love to give a physical mini copy to a friend or model whilst on a shoot. I own a few Polaroids but I don’t get to use them on a regular basis as the film is so expensive. But I love the history behind Polaroid and Polaroid Originals (which was previously Impossible Project) so when I can afford it I will shoot with it.
Other items I couldn’t live without for work. My MacBook Pro acts as my portable office, and comes pretty much everywhere with me and allows me to work on the move. I can set up in a coffee shop and get some admin or editing done whilst on the move. I have clogged up my laptop hard drive one to many times so I always have work saved on an external hard drive. I do think its a great idea to help keep your computer memory and hard drive clear, photos sure do fill them up fast. So having an external hard-drive always means your computer runs well. Then finally the chargers, couldn’t be without those. Always have spare batteries to hand on shoots, and always be sure that they are fully charged before leaving the house. I hope you’ve liked this insight into my camera kit and the equipment I use when shooting.