What’s in My Bag?

What’s in My Bag?

As a Minneapolis wedding photographer, I often get asked what camera gear I use when meeting new clients. While I often say “Canon professional gear and backups”, I thought it would be helpful if I took some time to review the items I use and explain how I use them. I’ve got A LOT of gear, so this will be quite a post!

First of all, yes, I am a Canon user. When people ask about using Canon vs Nikon, it’s a bit like asking “Coke vs Pepsi?” They are both equally great at what they do, and in the end, it’s all about how comfortable each person is with their gear. I happen to fall in the Canon camp.

My primary cameras are the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. They are amazing workhorse cameras. They have fast and accurate focusing, quiet operation, and excellent low-light capabilities, among many other things. The fact that they also have two card slots, for making two copies of each image, makes it a natural choice for wedding photographers.

Minneapolis Photographer Canon EOS 5D Mark III

I also use a Canon EOS 5D Mark II which has been converted to an infrared camera. Infrared is a certain wavelength of light that is not visible to our eyes. While the images I create are in black-and-white, the biggest difference is that all greenery looks white in an infrared photo, giving the images a dreamy, “otherworldly” feel to them. I have a lot of fun with this camera!

Minneapolis Photographer Canon EOS 5D Mark II

I use a Canon A1 film camera when I want to use film. One of Canon’s best – and the last – film camera they ever produced.

Minneapolis Photographer Canon A1

Now, on to the lenses. I primarily use fixed-focal length lenses for all my work. The benefit of them is their excellent sharpness and crispness, as well as the ability to go “wide open”. That means I can open the apertures very wide to let a lot of light in low-light situations where I may normally need to use additional lighting. It also creates a very sharp plane of focus so my backgrounds can often blur out to help the focus settle on my subjects.

First up is the Canon 35 1.4L. This is a lens I like to use for full room photos, large groups of people, and wide shots where I want to get a lot of the environment (such as details during the reception.) This is one of my most-used lenses at weddings.

Minneapolis Photographer Canon 35mm Lens

Next is the Canon 50 1.2L. This is a good mid-range lens that I use for portraits of small groups or families.

Minneapolis Photographer Canon 50mm Lens

Next is possibly my favorite lens, the Canon 85 1.2L. This thing is all glass. It weighs 2 pounds by itself! It is the perfect portrait lens, and along with the 35 is my most-used lens for weddings. I also love it for engagement and individual portraits, so it gets a lot of work.

Minneapolis Photographer Canon 85mm Lens

The Canon 100 2.8L Macro is the lens I use for all my ring shots and other fine detail work (such as invitations, flowers, jewelry, etc.) There is really no other lens that can do what it can!

Minneapolis Photographer Canon 100mm Macro Lens

The Canon 135 2.0L is an amazing lens for very low-light weddings, smaller weddings and even toasts where I need to stand far away from the action.

Minneapolis Photographer Canon 135mm Lens

Next I have a series of zoom lenses. While they are not my favorite for using all the time, there are times where I do use them. They also serve as the perfect backups for all of my fixed-focal length lenses, as they cover the entire spectrum (and even a bit further) of the fixed lenses.

The Canon 16-35 2.8L is an amazing lens. It is super-wide angle, and I love it for large room and environment photos. It’s perfect for capturing dramatic environments during weddings and portrait sessions. It may not see a lot of action during any wedding or session, but the images it captures tend to be pretty jaw-dropping.

Minneapolis Photographer Canon 16-35mm Lens

The Canon 24-70 2.8L is a pretty standard mid-range lens. I keep it primarily for times when I can only use lens and know I will need both wide-angle and telephoto images. It doesn’t see a lot of action, but is great to have as a backup.

Minneapolis Photographer Canon 24-70mm Lens

My last lens is one of the most important – the Canon 70-200 2.8L. This is my go-to lens during wedding ceremonies when I have to be at the back of a church or far from the action (which is often.) I occasionally like to use it for portrait sessions too, but only when I have a lot of room to walk around.

Minneapolis Photographer Canon 70-200mm Lens

Last but not least, I also use a full portable lighting kit – 4 flashes with stands and triggers, various soft boxes and other lighting modifiers, battery packs and additional backup equipment. I love shooting with off-camera flash to give more natural lighting to my images, so these tools are essential.

Minneapolis Photographer Flashes

I hope you found this tour of my camera gear helpful! You can see that I am well-prepared for the challenges of perfectly capturing weddings and portraits.

Minneapolis Wedding Photography Album | Katie + Brett

Minneapolis Wedding Photography Album | Katie + Brett

I’m excited to share my latest wedding photography album with you today! Katie + Brett were married on a warmish January day (well, warm for MN anyway!) They held their wedding prep at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown St Paul. Their wedding was at St Stephen’s Catholic Church in Anoka, and reception followed at the Landmark Center in St Paul. You can see images from their day in my recent blog post.

After the wedding, Katie + Brett knew they wanted one of my gorgeous custom-designed Graphistudio wedding photography albums, all of which are handmade in Italy. Together, we designed an album that perfectly reflected their beautiful wedding day. Their wedding featured an elegant black/white/silver theme. Starting with their album box, they chose the refined black touch material on the outside with a silver linen on the inside. The cover of the album was printed with a silver foil. Along with their names, I recreated the lace pattern from their wedding invitation on the box cover as well. The box was finished with a black satin ribbon.

The album itself features a brushed silver metal cover overprinted with a beautiful photo of Katie + Brett walking through the Landmark Center. The album is finished with black leather for the spine and back cover. The pages are printed on professional photo paper, bound into a patented lay-flat binding system, and finished with a satin laminate to protect against oils and fingerprints.

Katie + Brett’s album was so perfect for them, and they were thrilled with it! It is such a wonderful heirloom for them to share with family and friends, share with any children they may have, and enjoy themselves over the years. Congratulations again, you two. It was such an honor and joy to work with you, and I wish you the best in your lives together!

Wedding Photography Album

Wedding Photography Album

Wedding Photography Album

Wedding Photography Album

Wedding Photography Album

Wedding Photography Album

Wedding Photography Album

Wedding Photography Album

Wedding Photography Album

Minneapolis Wedding Photographer Branding

Minneapolis Wedding Photographer Branding

Today on the blog I’d like to reveal my newly updated branding and packaging! As a designer in a former life, I always enjoy working on projects that reconnect with that side of my creativity. I’ve worked for several months to update my logo, business card, and digital and print packaging, and I love how everything looks! I wanted to reflect the fine art, elegant, artistic nature of my photography into a visual brand. I chose to use a metallic gold and dark charcoal gray as the primary branding colors. I also used an elegant combination of a capped serif font along with an elegant script font for the logo.

First up: my business cards. I chose a unique size (for memorability!) and extra thick, textured paper. I worked with expert letterpress artist Todd Thyberg at Angel Bomb Design + Letterpress. He was great to work with and very accommodating, and made my cards really pop! I really love the gold foil paired with the subtle metallic dark gray tones.

Minneapolis Wedding Photographer's Business Cards

Next up: my flash drives. I chose sophisticated crystal and gold drives with engraved logos. They are so gorgeous!

Minneapolis Wedding Photography USB Drive

Next: the flash drive packaging. Starting with a soft-touch black box with debossed logo, a gold ribbon secures the box together. The ribbon is accented with a delicate photo charm with a cute photo of my couple.

Minneapolis Wedding Photographer's Flash Drive Packaging

Minneapolis Wedding Photographer's Packaging Logo

Minneapolis Wedding Photographer's Photo Charm

Once inside the box, you see the Print Release card enclosed in a glassine envelope and sealed with a gold wax seal of my watermark.

Minneapolis Wedding Photographer's Wax Seal

Underneath the card is the flash drive itself, protected by a bed of dark gray shred.

Minneapolis Wedding Photographer's Flash Drive

Finally: my print packaging. Using the same soft-touch black boxes with debossed logos, gold ribbon and photo charms to tie together with the flash packaging. Inside, prints are presented wrapped in gold tissue.

Minneapolis Wedding Photography Print Packaging

I am so happy with my new branding and packaging. I cannot wait to show off my new website too – coming soon!

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