This is another post I have been meaning to put together for a long long time! I get emails weekly asking for advice on cameras, lighting and even which fabrics are best to use etc. I thought I would put a post together of my current kit and other bits I recommend when people ask. The post contains some affilate links for Amazon amongst other non affiliate links.
My Camera & Lenses
For the past 5 years I have been using my old faithful Canon 5D mark III DSLR, I can highly recommend it and it is a trusty work horse, you can probably pick one up second hand for £500-£1000 at the moment. I am thinking of upgrading in 2019 to make the move to mirrorless and will update the post if I do!
I have collected a few lenses over the years but only use a small number of them! The lens that never leaves my camera for studio work is the very awesome sharp Sigma Art 35mm https://amzn.to/2HJUbpq for the money it is such a cracking lens, any of my work from 2017 or 2018 in the studio was taken with this lens. They do Nikon, Canon, Sony and Sigma fit versions of their ART range and their 50mm is equally as great.
For my close up Macro shots of ickle fingers and teeny toes. I use the Canon 100mm f 2.8L USM IS Macro lens https://amzn.to/2t4SBnT there is also a non L Canon 100mm Macro too which is cheaper and has good reviews but I haven’t personally tried it https://amzn.to/2D6YA0
I also have the super little 40mm Canon Pancake lens which I use when out and about with my family for “snaps” as it is a cracking sharp lens but is so small it makes the kit easier to carry around! https://amzn.to/2WBkt0E super affordable too as well as handy to carry around.
I use the same lighting set up for all of my studio shoots at the moment, it is very simple and based around the Elichrom D-Lite RX One flash head with the huge Westcott 7Ft Parabolic umbrella with a diffuser cover which gives a lovely soft diffused light. If you have a smaller softbox or a more powerful flash head you can always use extra layers of diffuser fabric to soften things.
Other Studio Equipment
For a working soft, flat surface I use a Stocksund ottoman footstool from Ikea which has a great working area. Before this I used a newborn posing beanbag for many years, I was however so pleased with the change to the footstool and wish I had done it sooner! If you need something more portable or something you can fold away into a cupboard easily then take a look at this elevated dog bed! It sounds odd but it is being used by many newborn photographers and is cheap, a great starting point or ideal for those who are mobile/ have limited space.
I use an extendable backdrop pole with some cheap lightweight lighting stands like these. You could also use a T bar style of stand to hold blankets/ backdrops. The “bendy legs” that I clip to at the side are from ShootBaby many years ago and I am not sure if they still offer them. The best way of clipping blankets and backdrops I have found is giant duvet mega pegs! You used to be able to get them in Matalan but the only ones I have seen for a while are Lakeland’s Megapegs mine have now been going about 7 years so they last well and I find the metal or DIY clamps much harder to use.
If I need to boost the heating in the studio then my faithful Bionairre fan heather is always up to the job. Remember not to point any heater directly at baby though. This one is also now 7 years old and going well (touchwood!) you can set the required temperature and it has a safety cut out too, I got through 6 smaller cheap fan heaters in one winter and manage to melt a plug to the wall, so whilst this is more expensive it is definately on my list of buys that is very worth it’s weight in gold!
So that is it…. the basic kit you need. If you have any questions please do comment and ask and I will be happy to help!