Hi guys! I'm making this post because lately I've been getting a lot of questions asking what I use and stuff like that. Here's a basic rundown on what gear I use in order from how I set it all up and a little about why I use them.
Before using this C stand I was using a 13 ft Paul C Buff Heavy Duty stand. My awesome girlfriend and assistant would struggle to hold that down when the wind would go crazy at sessions. I use a big octabox and it picks up wind fast. With the C stand she's able to get right on top of the stand and that helps her out a LOT. It also features really great handles that tighten so so easily. Yes, the extra bit of weight is slightly an issue but the build of this stand alone is worth it. Think of all the muscles you'll get carrying that thing!
This one is majorly important. I absolutely LOVE this light. It has a lot of features you can read up about here, but I'm just gonna state the ones I use all the time. To start, the life of the battery that's included lasts 500 full power shots! Yup, you read that right. Five frikin' hundred! So if you use the light at lower outputs you'll get a lot more shots in. Battery fits right inside the strobe so it's really simple. The most super important feature of this light is High Speed Sync (HSS)!!! It's crucial for my work. Another reason I love this light is because I can adjust the power output wirelessly with the included Flashpoint remote/trigger. The setup I had before getting this light didn't have that and I'd need to adjust the light every now and then. Final reason I got this light is the power of the strobe. Being in South Texas the sun can get pretty intense. To battle it I need power and 600W does just that. On the other end of the same spectrum, I can lower it down to 1/128th power which helps when I need just a kiss of light.
I love this modifier! Prior to using this one I had used Paul C Buff's 47" version and although that one will always have a place in my heart it's silver inline is starting to fall apart after so many years of use (had it since December 2011). The light spread of this 5 ft octabox is just beautiful. It is PERFECT for full body portraits and even large groups.
Update: Apparently the octabox is sold out til April. If you guys still want a 5 ft foldable octabox I suggest this one right here. Fotodiox makes great modifiers. I have their 48 inch but never use it because I have to assemble it. Bought it before I know about the foldable ones they offer. When ordering make sure it's the Bowens mount.
Okay, one more update: This one is good too! If it somehow gets out of stock too then just look for any big modifier (octabox!) with a Bowens mount. =)
Once again, I love another item on my gear list, haha. Back in 2013 I came across the brand name Yongnuo and have been a fan ever since. These triggers are so awesome. They have HSS auto enabled all the time and use two AA batteries which are great as well because I have a bunch of those for my speedlites. I still use my older ones but recently I picked up new ones because of the quick lock. Don't worry, I linked the new ones above. I got your back. If you shoot Nikon then you'll need these ones.
Update: You'll also need this mini cord to connect one yongnuo yn622c trigger to the Rovelight.
This camera is a beast. I shoot at high ISO levels a lot at events and family trips and being able to shoot at ISO 6400 is so great when I can't use flash. The wifi is something I rarely use to share photos. I use it a lot more to connect to my phone so I could take what I call 'Advanced Selfies' which require OCF and a wide aperture. The app lets me adjust focus manually and it's so helpful when shooting at f/1.4.
Saved the best for last. If you are familiar with my line of work you know how much I love this lens. If I had to choose just one for whatever reason it'd be this one. It's soooo sharp, has quick focus, it's light, and it's aperture of f/2 at 135mm makes for great bokeh. If Sigma makes a version of this lens my thoughts might change but this lens is so important to what I do.
(A.k.a. Stuff I use too but in a separate area for no good reason)
47 inch Paul C Buff Foldable Octabox
This baby right here is now retired... sort of. I still use it every now and then, but currently all my love is going to the 5 foot octabox. I got this 47" back at the end of 2011 and it's had so much use. Too much use maybe since the inner silver lining (is that what it's called?) is falling apart a bit. If you don't want a 5 ft octabox then I definitely recommend this guy. It's actually built a little tougher on the outside than my 5 ft and that's always a plus.
Sigma Art 35mm 1.4
My second Sigma lens and first of the 'Art' series. This lens is AMAZING. It's tack sharp wide open and the look it has wide open at f/1.4 and close up to your subject is just something unique. I got it for weddings and it shines on those days. However, since I do mainly portrait work it serves as a BTS maker almost all the time, lol.
The flashpoint trigger is something I use a lot. When I first heard about the Rovelight I was excited to hear it also came with a trigger that could adjust the power wirelessly. Walking to my previous strobe to adjust the power was such a pain! I usually have my strobe high up and angled down so adjusting the power was a hassle. I seat this little guy on top of the yongnuo yn622c that goes on my camera. You know what, let me just show you instead of explaining.
This is how my camera looks like at my sessions. I get asked a lot why I have two triggers. Although I explained here in my FAQ blog entry I'll let you know right now. The Yongnuo Yn622C is what communicates to the Rovelight for HSS. It doesn't have the ability to change the power of the Rovelight. I use the Flashpoint trigger to do that. The FP trigger doesn't need to be seated on the Yongnuo Yn622C to change the power. I just have it there for convenience. A lot faster to change the power when the trigger that does that is literally right in front of your face and not in your camera bag or pocket.
Hooray! You finished reading my boring technical blog entry! And now a special treat just for you...