I frequently receive questions about the gear I use to capture my images. The following list has grown to include the items I continue to reach for and want to use.
First off, I am a firm believer in using the equipment you already own- especially when you are starting out. Purchasing expensive equipment and expecting fabulous results is not a good investment or expectation. Rather, the best investment you can make is to spend your time, not money, on making your images the best they can be. I have never regretted the time and effort I have put into improving my photography; however, I have regretted a few impulsive purchases along the way.
I recommend purchasing used gear, from a reputable source, when you are starting out. Most of my gear is second hand, and I highly recommend either Adorama or B&H Photo. I have made purchases from both of these businesses with positive results. One of the best features when buying from either of these is the grading system they use to describe the gear. In most cases, I did not mind paying less for a piece of well functioning gear that had a few cosmetic flaws. The grading systems allow you to know exactly what the issues are and if they are something you can live with.
Like many beginning photographers, I received an entry-level Nikon camera as a gift. I shot many images on that camera and not only learned to love photography, but also the Nikon interface. When I started to take photography seriously, I was most comfortable trading in the “kit” for a lightly used full-frame Nikon camera body.
Tripod vs. C-Stand
I’m a C-Stand convert and LOVE sharing my new found piece of gear! If you are not sure what a C-Stand is, please check out this blog post. I use both a C-Stand and Tripod regularly, depending on the shot and what I am trying to capture. To me, they are both “must-haves” for a still life photographer and serve different purposes.
I shoot tethered most of the time when I work. If you are not sure what “shooting tethered” means, please check out this blog post. There are a few extra items you must have in order to capture your images this way- a laptop/computer, cable, and software- however, this method can dramatically improve your workflow.
Here’s my current list of gear:
- Camera- Nikon D810 (full-frame, DSLR) *
- Lens- Nikon 105mm f2.8 (macro) *
- Lens- Nikon 60 mm f2.8 (macro) *
- Lens- Sigma 50 mm f1.4 Art *
- Lens- Nikon 50 mm f1.4
- Tethering- Tether Tools Cord
- Tethering- Tether Tools Jerkstopper
- Tethering and Editing- MacBook Pro 15″
- Editing- Adobe Creative Cloud (All Apps) includes Lightroom, Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Acrobat, Premiere Pro, etc.
- C-Stand- Matthews Pro 40″ with Arm and Grip Head *
- Tripod- Manfrotto 055 *
- Tripod Head- Manfrotto X-Pro 3 Way *
- Camera Strap- Peak Design Slide
- Camera Bag- Peak Design Everyday Backpack
Artificial Lighting Gear:
- Light Shaping
- Foam Core Board (Black and White)
- Reflectors – Handheld
- Diffusers- Large