Erika Sneeringer's Gear
The Canon 7D Mark II is my primary camera body. Not only is it one of the fastest crop sensors available, it also has 65 cross sensor auto focusing! I use it for everything but where it really shines is with speed. With the ability to burst 10 pictures per second, it is an excellent choice for sports photography. Being in a hockey family, it was an easy choice to upgrade to this awesome camera.
The Canon Rebel T3i is an excellent entry level camera. It was my first Canon DSLR. I've passed it down to my daughter and have it for a backup body if needed.
This is the lens that you will find on my camera body 80% of the time. The perfect focal length for indoors and lifestyle photography. It has super fast, has nearly silent focusing and creates beautifully sharp images even when shooting wide open.
I love this lens! For years I dreamed about it and fell in love with it after renting it a few times. It is an excellent macro lens that I use for ring shots, products and still life photography. I used it exclusively for this reason for awhile before Aaron Taylor suggested that I try it for portraits. I was skeptical to use it for a family session because it is pretty slow to focus. However, it quickly became my go-to lens for nearly everything. While it is slower to focus than any of my other lenses, it makes up for it with its superior image quality.
The good old nifty fifty. It took me years to jump on the band wagon. However, for the price I figured why not see what all the hype is about? While the image quality is the lowest of all of my lenses, I still find myself drawn to it. What's not to love? It is cheap, light weight and has silent auto focusing. Honestly, I love the simplicity of the focal length and use it mostly for everyday lifestyle pictures.
This may be my least used lens for the simple reason that I don't shoot landscapes nearly as much as I'd like to. I bought this for the sole purpose of shooting landscapes and not wanting to spend a fortune on a lens that I would rarely use. I occasionally will use it for wide angle environmental portraits. I don't care for the narrow max aperture. However, for most landscape work I will use a narrow aperture anyway, in addition to using a tripod and slow shutter speed which means I haven't really been affected by this limitation.
I actually recently sold my 85 1.8. It was a really tough choice, but after it sat on my shelf collecting dust for a few months I knew it was time to move on. Once I purchased the Canon 100mm, I found that the 85 just didn't produce as high quality photos as that gorgeous L series lens. However, I'm putting it on my list because it is a spectacular lens for an affordable price. The 85mm was actually my first non-kit lens that I purchased. It compresses the image beautifully and creates some dreamy bokeh. It's a wonderful portrait lens and is one of the fastest focusing lenses I've ever used. It was a go-to for sports photography due to the focusing speed but also because the extra reach with it on my crop sensor made it an excellent focal length. A lot of articles tell you to go buy the nifty fifty for your first non-kit lens, but I disagree. I urge you to save a little but more money and buy this lens. You wont regret it!
Best investment you can make as a portrait photographer is learning off camera flash. It has been a complete game changer for me. I own three of these YN560s and love them.
While not a necessity, the MagMod was a fun purchase. For me, it is fun to experiment with different off camera flash modifiers and the MagMod has a lot to choose from. The ease in which all of the modifiers and gels going on magnetically make this product worth the price.
I haven't tried all of the MagMod modifiers yet, but I can tell you the MagSphere is amazing. It is great for everyday indoor pictures of the kids and also a go-to for event photography. When you are shooting events and running all over the place, off camera flash is just not going to cut it. That is where the MagSphere shines. While a speedlight on the hotshoe on your camera will cause harsh highlights and dramatic shadows on your subjects, the MagSphere is the perfect modifier to soften the light and create soft even light. I don't shoot a wedding or event without it!
The MagSphere certainly isn't limited to using it on camera. In fact, it's a great off camera modifier as well. Not only is it more portable and easier to lug around than umbrellas and softboxes, it also can save a shoot when it is just too windy for those modifiers.
This is my absolute favorite modifier! It creates gorgeous soft lighting for portraits and is as portable and easy to set up as an umbrella. It comes with a beauty dish which eliminates the hotspot that you would get with an umbrella. This particular size is limited to mostly individual portraits. However, it can be used for larger groups when coupled with a second off camera flash and modifier.
This one is another awesome modifier. Just as easy as the above Octabox to transport and set up. While I'm sure it could be a great addition to portraits, I typically leave this one at home and use it mostly for my still life and product photography.
I really love this modifier. Using it solo for portraits is a lot of fun because it really creates dramatic lighting and shadows. This stripbox makes a great hair light or back lighting for individual portraits and headshots. The only drawback is that it is limited to at home or studio use due to the difficulty in putting it together. It's not something that I would transport around from shoot to shoot.
When I did my Project 365 in 2015, I needed a purse that could hold my camera. This bag has held up very nicely through the years. It's beautiful and fits a good amount of camera gear. It can easily hold my camera body and two lenses, or my camera body, one extra lens and a speedlight. Plus, it has tons of extra pockets for batteries, etc. It also has a wallet section and a separate SD card holder section. Added bonus... it's so pretty!
Just For Fun
The GoPro has been an awesome addition to our family. My daughter saved up her money and bought it and then we helped her out by buying all of the fun accessories. It makes capturing our family memories and fun adventures a lot of fun! Most of the time we will just leave it on the head strap or selfie stick and let our kids or nieces and nephews have fun making videos. Then my daughter likes to edit the clips into fun videos.
This is another fun addition for the whole family. While the image quality isn't great and the view finder doesn't accurately reflect what the lens captures, it is still fun.
Pentax Film Camera with 50mm f/2 lens
My husband bought me this film camera one Christmas when I felt like I was in a photography rut. It's been a blast to use and certainly helped me fall back in love with photography. I just love the manual focusing. There is something to love about the simplicity of focusing with a split screen and microprism ring. And, having the aperture dial right on the ring of the lens is the best and makes me wish all of my lenses had this feature.