Before we moved to the new homestead / studio a few years, I got rid of almost all my camera equipment from my portrait photography days.
However, I still needed some things so that I could shoot work-related images for our website, blog, and Instagram. I couldn’t let us be the design firm with ugly-ass iPhone photographs splashed across the interwebs, now could I? I had to focus in on what equipment we needed to best capture our world of paper and graphics. Plus I still needed to be able to photograph the occasion cute office pet and, of course, Opie needed his moment to shine as well. #momtog
So, to help you put your best foot forward with great photography, I’ve put together a sweet little list (you know how much we adore lists!) of my favorite camera equipment for creatives, designers and makers.
1. Manfrotto 190 Go Aluminum 4 Section Tripo + Manfrotto XPRO Magnesium Ball Head This tripod is fairly new to the office and it’s absolutely AMAZING. We shoot a lot of flat lays for our portfolio case studies. Standing on a chair and shooting shit on the floor was getting real old and was kinda dangerous for my klutzy self (visualize me in some cracked-out yoga pose, on one foot, trying to angle my head, body, and the camera towards the floor … yes, I looked like a crazy person). This guy has a cool 4th leg that comes up and flips down to a 90 degree angle so the camera faces the floor. This also means that I can use a slower shutter speed in low light situations. That’s just not possible with the chair standing yoga routine.
2. Etekcity 24″ X 36″ 5-in-1 Portable Multi-disc Reflector We mostly shoot with natural light and we use this reflector to bounce light and fill the shadows to create a more evenly lit scene. You can also use this sucker to diffuse or absorb light. When you’re done, it folds up into a nearly flat little circle and doubles as a frisbee (DISCLAIMER: Do Not Use Your Multi-Disc Reflector As A Frisbee).
3. Nikon D610 24.3 MP DSLR Camera (Body Only) I’m not shooting images that need to go on a billboard. I didn’t need a $5000 camera body. This professional DSLR packs a powerful punch at a not-so-terrible price point. It can even do video, though I really haven’t explored that yet. Personally, I’m a little partial to Nikon, but I’m sure Canon has a comparable model.
4. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 17-55mm f/2.8G For portraits, I mostly shot with prime lenses, but I got this lens when I was shooting weddings. It quickly became a favorite. I love that I can go from wide angle to a more normal focal length without changing my lens out. I won’t even buy a lens with a smaller minimum f-stop. And none of the variable f-stops either. Two point eight all the way baby, WOOT!
5. Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro Lens This is such a great little lens for close-up detail shots. And you really can’t beat the price either. It’s a prime lens so it’s tack sharp. It really shows off pillowy letterpress and gorgeous little illustrative elements that need a little up close and personal moment.
6. Lexar Professional 1000x 16GB SDHC UHS-II/U3 Card Bigger. Faster. Better. That’s sounds a little dirty, but its really not. I don’t find I need anything larger than 16GB, but I keep two of them on hand. These are just a must have if you are shooting on a DSLR. And they aren’t something to get on the cheap. These memory cards hold all your precious pics until you have the chance to download them to a real computer so treat them right.
7. Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight Flash I actually have an older model Nikon flash (which is no longer available new – The SB-800), but when / if it ever goes kaput, I’ll be upgrade to this guy. I NEVER EVER use a flash straight on. Ricochet that baby like bounce pass from the halfcourt (that’s for Amber. She likes the basketball)! It swivels around so I can bounce it off of a white wall or the ceiling or even a piece of white foamcore and that produces a nicer, more even light.
A few other things we keep on hand include, various colored foamcore and matte boards in 30×40 sheets and an ever evolving supply of props and office supplies. We’re also working on creating easy-to-change to wooden tabletops. And last year we got ourselves an account with the local floral warehouse which might have been one of the best things we did. They have all kinds of exotic stems on-hand, and they can also place custom orders.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my list of recommended camera equipment. What do you think? Did I miss something? Got a tool you think I should check out? Comment below and let me know.
Till next time, Stay Braizen,
*This post includes Amazon affiliate links.