Gear Selection and Unique Lens Affects

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Today’s feature is from Mark Serrano.

Mark says:

“These images are from a test shoot with a relatively new model, Amaia Mascó. I happened to have a scheduled shoot that was planned a month ago but the model decided to cancel, so I was left with a free day. Luckily, Amaia was available.

Since this wasn’t planned ahead, we had to develop a concept quickly and adapt. We also didn’t have a dedicated makeup artist or hair stylist booked, but fortunately my wife has studied makeup abroad and this was her chance to get her feet wet with makeup. For wardrobe, Amaia had an old dress she was able to use for the shoot.”

Mark’s Photography Tip:

My tip is really a series of multiple tips, everything from gear to posing. First, let’s start with gear.

For this shoot, I used a dual camera system with two full-frame Canon 6D cameras. The benefit of using two bodies is that you don’t need to switch lenses during shoots. And yes, you could shoot with one camera body and a zoom lens like a 24-105, but I find when I do that I tend to get lazy and stop moving to find better angles.

Having the dual camera setup with two different (non-zoom) lenses helps me stay on my toes and forces me to move around and be more creative.

I also chose the Canon 6D as my camera bodies because they are cheaper than 5D Mark III, but still capable of capturing great images.

For lenses, I used a Canon 50mm 1.4 and a Canon 85mm 1.8. The reason I used these lenses are they are prime lenses, decently sharp, and provide good shallow depth of field.  I also want to minimize distortion, so for full body shots I used the 50mm and for half-body or shoulder to headshots I used the 85mm.

When posing your subject, try to pose them without having them look at the camera. Then take a shot from where you are. Once you got your shot, move yourself. Pick a different spot and shoot again. Try taking shots from 5 different spots.  Then try switching your lenses to get different perspectives. You’ll be surprised that there are far better angles than what you initially thought!

And finally, to give these images that hazy, ethereal look, use a torn ziplock bag. All you need to do is put the ziplock in front of your lens, and areas where the ziplock is will tend to go hazy in the frame, giving your images a dream-like quality.

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Mark used a Canon 6D with a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens and a Canon 85mm 1.8 lens to capture these images.

Mark Serrano is a Chicago, IL Fashion, Landscape, Street, and Fine Art photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Gear, Client Direction, and DIY.


Mark’s gear selection was key in pulling this shoot together. If you’re looking to upgrade or swap out some gear, check out Adorama – they’ve got a plethora of cameras, gear, lenses, accessories, equipment, you name it. Check them out here.

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