I have been a commercial photographer for 11 years. When I started my career I did not have a lot of stuff to haul around. I had 1 camera, a few lenses, and a flash. As I have grown in my career I have accumulated a lot of gear. With all of that gear I was having to take more and more trips back to the car. I was tired before I even started my shoot. So I started looking for a grip cart. I looked at tons of carts before I finally settled on one. Below are my top 5 reasons that you need to get a grip cart. Check it out!Read More
In August of 2010, I ordered a Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head (you can order yours at www.reallyrightstuff.com). I have had the Really Right Stuff BH55 for 8 years now. I think it is now safe for me to do a little review of this ball head. The BH55 is the biggest, beefiest, and most expensive ball head that Really Right Stuff offers. In the configuration that I have this ball head runs $489. So the big question, is a ball head worth $489 for a food and product photographer?Read More
My Top 5 Food Photography Purchases of 2018
As much as I like to say that photography is not about the gear, having the right tools certainly makes the job easier and faster. So here are my top 5 food photography purchases of 2018.
DJI Osmo Mobile. I use the Osmo Mobile every day. I do all of my instagram stories, and IGTV post with the DJI Osmo Mobile. It is a fantastic gimbal for phones. The price point is right as well. Also this gimbal has amazing battery life.
Wall Plates. These things are cheap and invaluable on set. I use them as surfaces, and also to mount reflectors to. I honestly don’t know how I used A clamps to hold reflectors up before this. Below is a detail shot of a wall plate and another image of me showing how to tape a wall plate to a reflector doing a workshop.
20in C Stand. While I only have one 20in C-Stand it is one of the most valuable players in my kit. You don’t always need a full size 40in C-Stand. These little guys are the right weight and size for so many jobs. I often will use them to hold on to a wall plate that I will use as a surface. I purchased mine used from a retired photographer it only ran me like $20. You can see one on set holding up a bottle of Rock Town Bourbon below. This bottle of bourbon is actually sitting on a wall plate.
The Zoom F1-LP. This is an affordable wired lavaliere microphone and recorder. I purchased this for a video tutorial series on Adobe Lightroom that I did for The Luxe Academy. I used this microphone in all videos that I produced for them, and I have also used it in a ton of quick IG stories that I have created and on some talking heads interviews. This mic really helped to open the world for video up to me.
Flag Frames. When I worked at Saks 5th Avenue I discovered the beauty of Flag Frames. These little guys are fantastic. They mount to the knuckle of a c-stand and allow you to move around your diffusion panel with ease. I tend to put Savage Translum on them because it is a great diffusion material. Like wall plates these will change the way you work. It makes moving and adjusting flags super easy. You can see a flag fame with Translum diffusion on set here it is on the left side of the image. We were working on a video shoot here and it was the perfect tool to diffuse the led panel.
To sum it up real quick none of these items will make you a better photographer. They are nice things to have to speed up your workflow and to open up some doors. The links in the descriptions are just there for information. I don’t get a kick back of any sort from linking to these products and I am not affiliated with any of the brands.
Nick Bumgardner is a food and beverage photographer based out of Nashville, TN.
I get a ton of emails and direct messages on Facebook and Instagram asking what gear I use. I also occasionally have clients ask me for an equipment list. So for everyone that has been asking here is a pretty good overview of the equipment I use for food photography. You can click where it says Food Photography Kit and be redirected to Kit.com com where you can read details about each piece of equipment that I use.Read More