Equipment time

What’s in my camera bag!


Right lets talk tech.  I do family photography in London and this dictates what kind of equipment I need but first up lets face it, it’s expensive, there’s no way around it, the equipment is pretty amazing but it costs.

Now I photograph with a Canon 5D Mk111.  The reason I chose this camera is because it’s smaller than the 1D and if I’m going to put a heavy lens onto it I need to be able to be agile whilst running around with kids in the park so it’s a good size.  It’s also brilliant with low light conditions and when I’m doing home shoots with newborns this is a real bonus.

Now to be completely honest with you if you’ve got a fixed budget, I would get a slightly less top of the range camera body and then splash out on some fab lenses, it’s the glass wear that makes the biggest difference here.

The lenses I have and that I use on a regular basis are both L Series lenses and are:

-The Canon 70-200mm F2.8 which is brilliant for location photography, though I still get too excited about the F2.8 and use it when I probably shouldn’t do!!

-The Canon 24-105mm F4 which I use as my standard lens for studio work and wider angle location shots and newborns

-The Sigma 105mm f2.8 Macro lens which I use for close ups of baby’s eyes, hands and feet

I’ve got a couple of other lenses but these 3 are my go to lenses and I feel very comfortable with them.

I also have a speedlight 430ex for the occasional on camera flash but it’s only used for filling in shadows on bright days and event photography in the evenings.

Oh and my camera bag is from KATA which are brilliant, bright yellow interior means you can’t loose any of the bits (which are of course always black!).

Baby photo shoot london003

My Studio equipment is from Elinchrom and I’ve had the same set up for over 10 years, amazing quality and reliability.  Always worth having a spare flash head though in case one decides it needs a holiday.

I am a strong advocate for Ebay with regard to camera equipment.  There are loads of people out there who will buy the latest stuff just because it’s new and sell on their old stuff to lucky people like us.  You can save thousands in your initial set up costs if you buy second hand.

One bit of advice, always take your new camera out for an outing and follow your work flow through to completion before trying it out on a customer/friend as there’s usually one setting you’ve forgotten to set ..they are complex pieces of equipment and knowing how they work with loads of different situations is imperative to knowing how to get the best from it.

Susan Porter-Thomas Family Photographer London UK


Equipment time