I am sometimes asked about my specific equipment...
Part of being a professional means having professional equipment, and I have some of the best cameras, lenses and accessories available.
I am a Platinum member of Canon Professional Services (CPS), so my equipment is maintained to the highest level. This service also provides overnight delivery of "loaners", should anything go missing or should it need repair. If my gear breaks a day before your wedding, I can have a replacement overnight.
I am currently shooting with a Canon 5D Mark IV and a Canon 7D Mark II. I keep a Canon 7D and 40D for backup. The 5D is a state of the art, full-frame camera that creates low-noise, 30 megapixel images, and it's especially good in low-light. That's important for indoor ceremonies, where I can shoot by candlelight, but it also allows me to ensure that a wedding dress in bright sunlight doesn't wash out. The 7D Mark II shoots 20 megapixel images at an amazing 10 frames per second, and it's also very good in low light. The fast frame rate allows me to get the perfect shot of anything that happens in the blink of an eye, like your kiss during the ceremony, or "jumping" shots. I keep each body with the appropriate lens, so I don't need to change lenses and potentiall miss a shot. I think it's important to note that I'm very good at holding the camera steady during long exposures, so I can get a lot of low-light shots that would come out blurry for photographers with less experience.
I use Canon L series lenses, which are designed for the discriminating professional. I currently use an EF 70-200L f/2.8 Mk II (generally considered to be the best lens in its class, period) and an EF 24-105L f/4, with an EF 50mm f/1.4 prime lens (with extension tubes) for special shots. All of these provide extremely sharp images for enlargements up to 60 inches or more. As a backup, I bring a Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8, which rivals the L series in quality, but it's designed for crop-sensor cameras like the Canon 7D. Last, but not least, I carry around a spare EF 80-200L "the magic drainpipe" just in case something happens to my 70-200L.
I prefer to use available light during the ceremony, but for receptions and other really dark places, I use a quartet of Canon 600EX-RT speedlites, usually by remote radio triggers, off-camera. This allows me to control the lighting of the reception hall for added punch. With four separate speedlights, I can light any venue, and I have a variety of light stands, goose necks and clamps for tough situations. I also keep a few smaller strobes on hand, just in case.
In addition to my camera gear, I carry a host of other accessories and gadgets, like a ladder for tough shots, duct tape just because, and even sewing kits and safety pins. You just never know what you'l encounter. I even bring a spare set of shoes. Yes, I'm that paranoid. All in all, I bring about $25,000 worth of gear to your wedding. I don't use all of it all the time, but it's there in case I need it. This is another instance of where experience matters. I try my best to make sure I have every scenario covered.
I only get one chance to photograph your wedding, so I'm diligent about having backup equipment in case of catastrophic failure.
I generally have at least three fully-capable cameras with extra lenses. I carry an extra Speedlite, just in case my main flash quits, with three more on hand for special situations. In terms of the photos, themselves, the Canon 5D Mark IV and 7D Mark II both record on two separate cards at the same time, so even if one card fails, I still have the photos on the other. I bring a ColorSpace UDMA device to start copying the cards before I leave, creating another backup. This is just about as safe as current technology allows. On my way home, I place the memory cards in a fireproof box. This may be a little over the top, but it's easy, and should my car catch on fire, your photos should still be good to go.
After the wedding, I maintain a gigantic library of files, more than 15TB, currently. I'll keep yours safe as well.
First, I give you a hard drive with all of the digital files, including the Canon RAW files. You can back these up yourself, and it's the exact same archive of files that I have. These are like "digital negatives", so you have everything you need to process the photos in the future. This is unheard of in the industry. At best, other photographers will give you JPEG files or a copyright release. I don't know anybody who gives you the RAW files for free, or even at a significant upcharge. In my opinion, they are yours. You paid for them, and I'm not going to hold them hostage in an effort to squeeze more money out of you.
In addition to the full set of files I give to you, I maintain three complete copies on three independant Drobo disk arrays with a total capacity of more than 90 terabytes. I'm serious when I say that this exceeds the capacity of many businesses and University departments. Nobody in the area can match this level of protection.
First, each Drobo has redundancy built in, so you actually have six copies between the three of them. Should one of the drives in an array fail, I simply replace that drive and the data is safe. Should an entire array fail, I restore from one of the others. I keep two arrays at home and the third in my downtown studio. It's almost unthinkable that your files will be lost to fire, theft, or nuclear attack. No, literally, nuclear attack. I have two sets of files 12 miles apart, with a mountain range in between them. Worried about hacks? You have three different sets of computers. I do not network my Studio and home computers together, and they have different usernames and passwords. My studio Drobo is off when not in use, so it's not even accessible to hackers, most of the time. I also use Macs, which helps.
Finally, for all of the photos I process for you, I copy them to "the cloud". Altogether, you have at least seven copies of all of your photos—including all the digital negatives, not just the selections from proofs—in five separate locations. Nobody goes to greater lengths to keep your photos safe. NOBODY. Ask my competitors how they maintain their data, and see how hey compare. At best they'll have a single disk array. That's good, but arrays fail. They get hacked. They burn in house fires. You don't need to worry about that with me.
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204 E Calder Way
State College, PA 16801
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