food photography, travel photography & cinemagraphs

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7 Things on my Photography Gear Wish List

Some product links below are affiliate links but all are where I've made my gear purchases.

It’s so easy to get lost in photography gear lust. I am a total sucker for every launch marketing email that hits my inbox. The temptation is real. I’m also just wrapping up my 2nd year as a professional photographer and trying to make sure that I maintain the financial foundation that I’ve worked hard to build over the last year. 

Most of the time, to combat impulse purchases I make potential purchase lists. These help me plan out everything I want to buy and assess price point and need. Sometimes I get around to everything on my purchase list, sometimes I realize that I don’t actually need something and sometimes I live a little and make an impulse purchase. So here’s everything on my list right now. 

Lateral arm

There is no need to rehash my endless tripod woes on here. If you’d like to read my novel worth of thoughts, that’s over on my photography gear list. So I have this manfrotto tripod and it works. Whatever. I don’t love it but I bought it and I would like it to be more useful to me. I think that getting a lateral arm would give me additional angles and make me feel a bit more enthusiastic about my manfrotto tripod. 

Gimbal

I’ve been creating cinemagraphs for years now. For cinemagraph footage, I just need things to be stable so I usually set my camera up on a tripod. Recently though, I’ve become more interested in video beyond cinemagraphs. I’m not sure how far I’ll go with this but I’ve been contemplating picking up a gimble so I can shoot stable footage. I’ve been looking at the DJI Ronin-M, DJI Ronin-S and the Zhiyun Crane 2. All of these are available on BorrowLenses so I might just need to come up with some sort of video project and rent these to test them out. 

Canon EOS-R

This camera isn’t even out yet and there’s already been so much said, from the usual intros to initial reviews before testing the camera out. Anyway, I purchased the Sony a7rii right when it came out back in 2015. I was tantalized by reviews and the video capability. On paper, it was a perfect camera for me but in reality, it just didn’t click. I try to be rational and strategic about my actions and my purchases but I just found the sony joyless. After about a month, I returned the Sony and switched right back to my Canon. I love the Canon 5d mk IV and am generally happy with it. My one woe is that it can get heavy depending on what lens I’m using. I’ve been wanting to shoot more videos but struggle to keep things light and mobile, so I’ve been looking at mirrorless systems again. I think I might find the jump from DSLR to mirrorless a bit less jarring if I stay within the same system. Who knows. I’ll probably wait a few months and to see more reviews and work samples come out. 

40mm pancake lens

The heaviness of my camera has been on my mind a lot. I don’t mind it so much when I’m working on a project but I occasionally find it difficult to convince myself to take it out just for fun. When Eli and I are traveling, once I’m done shooting everything I need to shoot, I’m often very tempted to leave the camera behind. Most of the time the sensation that I might miss some perfect moment is enough to motivate me to carry it around but I think the whole experience would be more enjoyable if I just stuck the pancake lens on. Another bonus of the pancake lens is that it’s really inexpensive for a lens. 

Profoto a1 or a profoto b10

Earlier this year, I got the profoto a1 and have written a bit about how I use it for food photography. It’s been a great purchase. It works wonderfully in low light situations and it’s incredibly small and light so I’m rarely tempted to leave it at home. Every now and again, I find the single profoto a1 is not quite enough and I find myself wishing I had a fill light to help me out a bit. Plus, Profoto just announced another new light, which seems to sit somewhere between the profoto a1 and the profoto b2s. I feel the same way about lights as I do about tripods, which is that there is no perfect single solution. The profoto a1 I have is great and I’ve only run into 2 or 3 situations where I wanted an additional light so for the moment I’m holding off. 

Sirui ET-1204 Carbon Fiber Tripod

I love this tripod. I bought it way back in 2014 and have been using it ever since. Initially, I got it so I could shoot travel cinemagraphs. This thing is sturdy but really small so it’s just about perfect. These days, I have a bunch of other tripods as well but I find that they’re all a total pain to travel with so I want another one. At home, I’ll often set things up with 2 or 3 tripods. I use them to hold up my profoto a1 or my reflector. In theory, I could also just get a c-stand but this tripod is 2.5 pounds and that’s hard to beat. 

All of the things on Food52

So I have to tell you that I’ve already gotten a wooden spoon, some pink bowls and a spoon rest. Somehow it only dawned upon me that I could count kitchen props as an expense in the last few months. I was working on a commercial shoot and needed to grab a couple of extra items last minute that ended up being outside of the production budget. I tend to be cautious with my spending and the things I write off for tax purposes but I also legitimately often need kitchen props. Anyway, it turns out that I have a boundless love for all things nicely designed that can go in a home. I can spend a terrifying amount of time pinning beautifully appointed dining spaces and oogling all the new items on Food 52. I’ve gotten a couple of items thus far but am holding off on some of the larger ticket items that have caught my eye but feel more difficult to justify like this Copper Tea Kettle or this Live-Edge Appetizer Board.

A clamp for my reflector

When I started writing this, the clamp was actually at the top of my list. I’d been intending to buy one for a while and as I was going over the list, I realized it was by far one of the most inexpensive items. Plus, finding odd ways to prop up my reflector had become a bit of a pain in the butt. I actually decided to purchase the clamp as I started this draft. It recent arrived and is great.

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