Guest post by Lyndsay Hannah Photography
When you are a professional photographer, it’s fairly common to be asked about what kind of gear you use. The last time I talked about what was in my camera bag, I was a Canon user! I’ve made some significant changes since then so I figured it was time for an update.
So, what’s inside my camera bag now?
In November of 2019, I made a huge change and switched over to a Sony mirrorless system. Selling all my Canon camera gear was nerve-wracking as I had been a Canon user for over 10 years. Why did I make the decision to switch systems? A few reasons topped my list:
- My current system felt heavy and bulky and I wanted something lighter and more compact.
- I wanted a quicker, more sophisticated Autofocus system.
- I was unsatisfied with the low-light capabilities during my in-home sessions and wanted a system known for being able to handle higher ISO.
A two-body method of family photography
I shoot all of my outdoor family sessions with two bodies, attached to a dual camera harness. I am a big fan of providing a variety of images in my galleries and shooting with two bodies allows me to have the best of both worlds. Currently I shoot 95% of my outdoor sessions with my Sony GM 70-200mm 2.8 on one side and my Sony Zeiss Planar 35mm 1.4 on the other side. This allows me to get that absolutely gorgeous compression and bokeh with one body and those wide landscape style shots (as well as overhead and detail shots) that I love with the other.
Before Autumn 2020, I used to shoot with a 35mm on one side and an 85mm on the other side. While I still love the 85mm, I am enjoying having an increased range of focal distances with the 70-200mm. For example, this shot was taken at 200mm and would not have been possible at 85mm:
My lens choices
As I stated above, I use my Sony Zeiss 35mm 1.4 and my Sony GM 70-200mm 2.8 for most of my outdoor sessions. For my in-home family and newborn sessions I rotate between my 35mm and a Sony GM 24mm 1.4. You might wonder why I don’t have a zoom for indoor work. In the past, I have tried out a 24-70mm but in our Boston area homes, I found it difficult being limited to f2.8. Many of our homes and city apartments have small windows and little light to work with. My 35mm and 24mm allow me to open up a little wider for that extra bit of light to my sensor. While I prefer the 35mm for most shots, the 24mm comes in handy pretty often. I reach for it in small apartments, Fresh 48 sessions, and overhead crib images like this one:
I also have a Sony GM 50mm 1.4 and a Lensbaby Velvet 56mm in my camera bag. The 50mm is my go-to for headshot sessions because I find it a flattering focal length. It’s also great for when I want a little more compression in a tighter space.
I use my Lensbaby Velvet 56mm for a dreamy effect when I am playing around with photographing my kids as well as for macro work. Because it’s a manual focus lens and tricky with moving subjects, I don’t use it for professional work.
What's inside your camera bag? Let us know in the comments!
Thank you to Lyndsay Hannah Photography for sharing her insight for this post, as well as for the imagery featured. In the Boston area and looking for an award-winning photographer to capture your family photos? Contact Lyndsay today!