What do we bring to an on-location portrait shoot? We bring the right gear to fit the needs of the shoot and it can vary widely from job to job. But generally for portraits in your home or at your favorite outdoor location, our set up is designed to keep things fun, easy and fairly simple.
We do most of our shooting with a Nikon D800 or D600. Why Nikon? When we were first starting out with photography, we tried different camera bodies to see what felt good in our hands and what made great images. We loved both Canon and Nikon and have shot quite a bit with both, but we've been thrilled with the quality of the images our Nikon cameras produce.
Lenses! Our favorite lens by far is the 50mm 1.4 lens. This versatile lens captures gorgeous photos every time and has a lovely, soft bokeh (the pretty little dots you see from lights and shapes in the background or foreground) when we shoot with a shallow depth of field. We also enjoy using a 24mm or 35mm prime lens for wider angles and a 70-200 mm 1.4 zoom lens when we're on location in a wider open space.
What about Lighting?
We do most of our shooting on-location in the daytime (portraits we try to do first thing in the morning or at golden hour - right before sunset) and use natural daylight/available light as much as possible. We have reflectors we often utilize, but we also love our speed lights and Gary Fong filter when we need a little boost. Artificial lights in portrait photography can look harsh (or just plain awful), so we've spent a lot of time honing our skills to keep our artificially lit portraits looking natural and beautiful. Occasionally we may use soft boxes on stands, but our goal is to be active with less fuss as much as possible.
Other essentials include extra batteries, lots of SD cards, gaff tape water, Lara Bars, change of shoes, hand sanitizer and tissues. Oh, and our iPhones to capture behind the scenes. And coffee if it's before noon!