Open a Portrait Photographer's Equipment Package, What Would You See?

A Post By: Hpusn Official

People often ask, what is the best photography equipment? If you buy expensive equipment, will you be able to shoot great works? The answer is no, causing you to find that when you browse thousands of beautiful portraits on Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, or some other photo-sharing sites, you will find that a large part of them are taken with mobile phone cameras, And most of the other photos taken with the camera are also entry-level cameras.

An excellent photographer can control any type of camera and take excellent photos. A good camera can only take very mediocre photos in the hands of people who do not understand the camera. So before you are ready to buy expensive high-end photography equipment, you need to learn photography skills first, so that you can use the equipment you purchased to have the value it should have.

A friend of my portrait photographer told me that when he first started doing portrait photography, he started his career with only rented cameras and very cheap lenses. After working in this way for several years, he invested in his own first high-end used camera and lens. He said that if he was given another choice, he would still be so. Because photography is a happy journey along the way, and the purchase of the camera should be replaced according to the continuous improvement of his skills. This way you can have more contact and growth with the least investment.

It took him nearly 20 years to accumulate the use of these “partners” in photography, and these partners have also undergone rigorous training, taking an average of about 2000-3000 photos. When you are slowly mature and stable enough, you need a long-lasting “partner” who will accompany you for a long time.

Portrait Photographer's Kit

When You Open his Bag, What Do You See?

When you open his bag, what do you see?

Followed my camera for nearly 10 years: Canon 1Ds Mark III and Canon 5D Mark II.
Canon 1Ds Mark III: This is a professional-grade camera, so it is expensive and heavy, but he can withstand a lot of use. 80% of his shooting works are done by this camera.
Canon 5D Mark II: suitable for high ISO shooting conditions (ie: shooting in very low light conditions or night shooting), this camera can play a very good role, at 400-1600 ISO resolution, this The camera is excellent.
Of course, more important is the lens and lens
Lenses: Usually we will work at a focal length of 70mm to 200mm. Long shots are a favorite for portrait photography because facial features are slightly stressed.
His most commonly used lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f / 2.8L IS, is also his favorite, he used this lens to take nearly 70% of the photos, fast, clear, and always make people feel pleasantly surprised.
It is generally recommended to use a zoom lens because you can switch between partial close-up and panorama without moving the camera. One angle can shoot different effects.

If you have a demand suggestion to try: Canon EF 85mm f / 1.2L, it is expensive and heavy and the focus is still slow, see here you may ask why you should recommend a product with such a poor evaluation. But when you see the portrait photos he took, you will also be attracted. And this lens can still play a very good role in very low light conditions, and the shallow depth of field can eliminate any background confusion, allowing you to use it in any position.

Travel life recommendation: Canon EF 24-105mm f / 4L IS, because it is light and compact enough, so I will choose to use it when traveling.

Camera and Lens
Camera and Lens is the most important partner of photographers

Another Important Helper in the Equipment Bag-Tripod

The photographer tells that most of his portraits are taken with a tripod because this way you can set up the lens, place the model, and then focus on the expression and composition of the picture. Fixing the camera at one point can do this more seriously. Because the camera is placed on a tripod, you can have 100% focus on the subject, you can free your hands to make gestures, and leave the camera without changing the lens.

Recommend some cheap but very easy-to-use tripods I recently discovered:
Geekoto AT24Pro 77 inch Aluminum Camera Tripod & Monopod – compact and lightweight tripod for travel
Geekoto CT25Pro 79 inch Carbon Fiber Camera Tripod & Monopod – sturdy tripod, suitable for outdoor shooting
Geekoto DV2 72 inch Heavy-Duty Video Tripod – heavy-duty tripod for studio
Geekoto CT32X 85 inch Carbon Fibre Profession Photography Tripod & Monopod – used in movies, TV stills, and theaters
Phopik PT244 77″ Aluminum Camera Tripod & Monopod – cheap quality and good for beginners

Geekoto DV2 Video Tripod

Remote Flash Trigger

When shooting without an artificial light source, you will definitely need a remote flash trigger, and each model will have its own corresponding trigger. This is essential.

Geekoto Sony C1-S Flash Trigger
Geekoto Nikon C1-N Flash Trigger
Geekoto Nikon C1-N Flash Trigger

Light Meter

I believe that every good portrait photographer will have a light meter, and it is inseparable from it because it can tell you the most accurate reading. I believe that a light meter is an essential tool for high-quality portrait photography, and it will never be without it. When using a light meter, you will know the most accurate reading.
I used to have a “buddy Minolta IV” that has accompanied me for 18 years. I like it very much. As a meter for so long, it is very good.


Like other equipment, it has pros and cons, it is not necessary, but there is a need. It can recommend the use of Canon 580EXii small lights when you travel or go out to work. It is also recommended to bring a portable HPUSN softbox, suitable for one person or Couple lighting.

The Complete Travel Portrait Photography Suite in his Photography Suite:

Camera: Canon 5D MKII (because it is much lighter than Canon 1Ds Mark III)
Flash: Canon 580EXii * 2
Remote flash trigger: Geekoto * 2
Memory card: 8GB * 6 (you can also choose two 32G or one 64G) The reason why he chose six 8G is to worry that if only one is lost or damaged, all the shots will be gone.
Illuminance meter: Minolta IV * 1 (This model is no longer available, try it in the Sekonic series)
Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS*1, with another Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L or Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS

Studio Lighting and Softbox

60% of his photography needs to be done in the studio, so studio lighting is indispensable, and the first choice is definitely softbox lighting. The use of softbox is also increasing according to the actual situation because his requirements for light are better, so his choice is a more professional softbox lighting kit, industrial-grade lighting.

Learn about: Hpusn Softbox Lighting Collection

So why use softbox lighting? Because of its soft light quality and satisfactory ductility, and only need to change the angle of the softbox and the subject, you can easily change the quality and direction of the light. And it can gently blend highlights into shadows. In addition, the octagonal softbox seems to be born for portrait photography. If you want to participate in the competition, I recommend an extremely cost-effective octagonal softbox and flash kit: Geekoto GT200 Flash Speedlite Kit with Octagonal Softbox (currently popular with some young photographers.)

Picture Processing Equipment

MacBookPro 15-inch, continuous shooting, the equipment for processing photos also needs to keep up, can help us to process our shooting results in detail, and let him present it in the best posture of the work.

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