Portrait Gear Essentials

by dPS eBook author Gina Milicia


I’m often asked what the best equipment is for taking great portraits. Many people assume that a great camera will take great portraits. That is simply not true. A quick scan through Flickr, Instagram or any photo sharing site will reveal thousands of beautiful portraits, some taken on mobile phone cameras, and yet others using very basic entry level equipment.

A great photographer can take great photos using any kind of camera. A great camera in unskilled hands will still deliver mediocre photos. Before you invest the big bucks in high end gear take the time to learn the craft first.

I started out my professional career with a borrowed camera and very cheap lens. I worked this way for a few years and then invested in a high end second hand camera and lens. If I were starting out again now I would do exactly the same thing. My advice on buying a camera is always buy within your means and upgrade as your skills start to improve.

Most girls love buying shoes and handbags. I admit I’m a self-confessed gear-a-holic!

It’s taken me 25 years to accumulate this gear. My gear is subjected to punishing workouts, with my average shoot being approximately 2000-3000 images. I need gear that is built to last and won’t curl up and cry for its mama when I push it too far.

My portrait gear essentials – what’s in my bag


  • Canon 1Ds Mark III - this is a pro-level camera, so it’s more expensive and a lot heavier but it’s designed to survive heavy usage. I would say I use this camera for 80% of my shooting.
  • Canon 5D Mark II - I’ll favour this camera body if I know I have to shoot with a high ISO (in very low light or on a night shoot). At 400-1600 ISO this camera is amazing.


Source (http://digital-photography-school.com)