For those that are curious, here’s a breakdown of my favorite lenses and cameras! This is not an exhaustive list of all the equipment that is used during Amber Rivas Photography sessions, but it gives you an idea of the kind of gear I like to use. Please remember that by no means does “the camera make the photographer.” I fully believe that you can be an amazing photographer without all the latest high-end gear. That being said, the gear helps! Once you’ve mastered the lighting, the focusing, the creative…upgrading a lens or two can really push your photos to the next level.
So…what is my camera of choice?
Canon EOS R – full frame, mirrorless!
My current main camera is the Canon EOS R: Canon’s full frame mirrorless camera, released in 2018. The focus is amazing. I think the touch screen is really really cool! And I love a lot of other things about this camera as well (EVF, silent mode, the control ring mount…). If you’ve heard about the new Canon EOS R5 coming out in a couple months, you can probably guess that YES, I want it!
What does this mean for your wedding day or photo session though? You will have sharp, high resolution photos, and I can take them quickly and efficiently. Because I can look through the camera viewfinder and see EXACTLY what the photo will look like, I don’t have to take as many “testing the light shots” as I might otherwise. I don’t have to push three buttons in a row to let more light in, I can just spin the dial! And during your ceremony, I turn on the silent shutter mode so you and your guests won’t be distracted by the clicking of my camera.
Canon 6D – full frame, DSLR!
My “backup” camera is the Canon 6D. This was my first full frame camera, and the camera I used to shoot all of my weddings on up until fall of 2019. It’s reliable, it works well in low lighting situations (like receptions!), and its batteries last forever! I take this camera with me whenever we go on a vacation or just on a fun day trip, as well as to every wedding I shoot.
The lens lineup…
My favorite portrait lens is the Canon 85mm f/1.4. This means it’s a pretty “zoomed in” lens, creates really soft backgrounds, and makes you look really good! It’s incredibly sharp, gets colors just right, and it’s really fun to use.
You’ll see me use this lens often during your “just married” portraits, during the first look, and during the ceremony. It’s also an engagement photo favorite.
My favorite overall lens is probably the Canon 35mm f/1.4. It’s great in tight spaces like getting ready rooms, it’s great to capture the scenery, and it’s great for those lifestyle/journalism type shots.
I love to use it a little bit during portrait sessions, especially if we’re in an epic location. Otherwise it’s my go-to lens when I need something dependable and reliably sharp. I’m also a little bit partial to this lens because it was the first “big one” that I purchased…it has a special place in my camera bag because it was the first lens that really convinced me to keep investing in the L series!
I also use the Canon 17-40mm f/4.0. I don’t bring this lens out super often because it’s not as great for low-light situations. But if there’s something that needs a REALLY wide angle, it is a really fun lens to have around!
Up Close and Personal
For those detail shots, I have the Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens. It lets me get super close and sharp photos of small things like engagement rings, earrings, flowers, embroidery…
Details may not seem super important compared to the portraits, but these are the photos that help tell the whole story of the day. I love using them to start off the blog post, and they are perfect for wedding albums.
For the Ceremony
Of course I use a variety of lenses during the ceremony – wide, up close, in the middle…but one of my favorites for distance is the Canon 135mm f/2.0. It gets me close for the zoomed in shots without actually BEING close. I can use it to hang out in the back and not disturb you or your guests while still capturing every emotion.
Plus it’s really good in low light! I love it for church ceremonies especially.
Just in General
Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 – this is my new one. I haven’t had the opportunity to use it at a wedding yet, but I’ve done PLENTY of testing around the house!
It’s a perfect lens for true-to-life sizing…it won’t distort any facial features, and I don’t have to be super far away to use it. It’s sharp and FAST. I love it. Possibly new favorite lens…we’ll see!