Inside My Camera Bag | Emma Seaney

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Hi, I’m Emma Seaney, and although I am primarily a reportage and documentary-style wedding photographer, I also undertake family, newborn and maternity photoshoots with a similar approach.

Based in Hampshire, UK, I turned professional in 2019 after changing my career from a veterinary nurse and pet sitter to follow my life-long dream. I haven’t looked back since.

My first photography experience was in college, where I found my love for the entire photographic process. Although, I can’t say I miss the time involved in developing film in the darkroom.

Thank goodness for digital is all I can say!

There’s something about capturing candid shoots that I really enjoy, whatever the subject. They’re generally more fun and enjoyable for the client as well.

Nonetheless, I do like to mix things up and take on other photographic work, including commercial shoots and studio work, to keep me sharp. This is mostly undertaken outside of peak wedding season.

I’ve never been one for buying branded gear, for brand’s sake. However, I have become a bit of a “Sony Junkie” lately.

I started off with a Nikon D750, which I still love for certain things and can’t bring myself to part with it. But once I went mirrorless, it was hard to go back.

I actually jumped to a mirrorless camera pretty quickly after a solid recommendation from a fellow photographer. Then, following a demo, the Sony A7 III was to be my next weapon of choice. It was light, had great ergonomics and was budget-friendly.

I recently upgraded to the Sony A7 VI which was an easy decision. Brand matching your second camera for the convenience of lens sharing and familiarity with controls and settings is my top tip.

I briefly considered the Sony A9 but couldn’t see the extra cost’s benefits unless you’re shooting video.

Sony A7 VI – my main wedding body, which I absolutely love and can highly recommend. It has a great dynamic range, and facial recognition is an awesome handy feature. The flip screen, higher resolution and improved silent shooting take it a major step above the previous Sony model.

My only slightly negative point with this camera is that it’s quite easy to knock the touch screen when in use and accidentally change settings. To combat this, I choose to keep the touch screen off most of the time.

The Sony A7 III is now my second body for shooting weddings. It has great facial recognition functions and shoots lovely, crisp images in the right hands. It was a great primary camera but has one major flaw when shooting silently under certain lighting conditions: the banding issue!

In addition to the banding issue, the screen doesn’t flick out like the Sony A7 VI and it has a dominantly green-tinted white balance. I still rate it much higher than my Nikon D750 for most of my work.

Nikon D750 – This has been downgraded to my tertiary backup wedding body, which I occasionally use in some darker environments. As it’s not mirrorless, the shutter is noisy.

There’s no facial recognition function, and I used to find it quite hard to hold up for the entire wedding day. Although with all that being said, it is a brilliant camera capable of producing great images in even tricky conditions. I enjoy using this camera from time to time for personal projects.

GoPro Hero 3 & GoPro Hero 4 – these have really set the standards for POV cameras as they are compact, light, easy to use and have a great wide-angle lens. The remote control is handy, but you can also use GoPro’s free mobile phone app. Due to the age of these both don’t perform well in low light conditions.

I typically pass them to a couple of younger wedding guest volunteers just for a bit of fun. There’s no viewfinder on these models, so I set them to “continuous shot mode” and wait to see if anything interesting comes out. The GoPro 10 onwards has RAW capabilities, so I’ll upgrade soon.

Sony 35mm f/1.8 – a great lens for close up portraits and wide-angle shots. A really versatile lens and one of my two go-to lenses at weddings.

Sony 50mm f/1.8 –  a good all-rounder, and if I only had one lens, this would be it. It is always in my bag.

Sony 85mm f/1.8 – this is a lovely portrait lens with fantastic bokeh, the second of my two go-to wedding lenses.

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 – an easy zoom lens to use, quick to adjust, but not as good as any singular Prime lens, quite often brought out during a wedding.

Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 – you get quite a lot of fish eye with this lens, and probably my least favourite lens, but it was a very affordable option at the time.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 – just a good all-rounder for the Nikon.

Nikon 85mm f/1.8 – this one tends to miss focus more often than not, but it also takes some lovely photos if it comes out right.

Godox V860 III –  x 2 has a fast recycle time, long battery life, rechargeable batteries and is lightweight; however, it has a flimsy foot attachment with unclear instructions.

Yongnuo YN685 Speedlite – x 2 This one is cheap but goes through AA batteries really quickly, has a slow recycle time, and has poor instructions, so I would never recommend these for professional use.

Magmod – aka the boob! This is a must if you want to diffuse direct flash rather than bouncing the flash off walls and ceilings. I love this simple piece of kit; it’s cheap and goes with me everywhere.

Coiro Duel Camera Harness – this is a great lightweight, comfortable, hard-wearing piece of kit with quiet attachments. It is really secure, and it looks good as well. The fact that it is Made in America makes it expensive with postage, and it takes so long to get to the UK.

Hardware & Software

Apple Macbook Pro – my partner is a web developer and encouraged me to switch to Apple early on and it is one of the best decisions I ever made for my photography business.

They are beasts when it comes to running things like Adobe smoothly, pure digital workhorses! They also make day-to-day working life easier with built-in things like AirDrop, Contact Sync (with iPhone), Time Machine (for backups), etc.

They do take some getting used to, but so do most new things.

Wacom Tablet – so easy to use, lightweight, and a breeze to travel with. I find it makes editing my images for blemishes, etc., much quicker and easier.

Lightroom – this is where I do the majority of my editing. It’s great for organising photos into groups and sorting out the ones you wish to use from those you wish to trash.

With constant improvement updates from Adobe, it really does make the editing process very streamlined.

Photoshop – I use this alongside Lightroom; it is an essential editing tool. Its new Ai Beta edition constantly amazes me with its editing abilities.

Topaz Ai – my emergency AI photo tool assistant, great for sharpening those odd must-have photos that have ever so slightly missed focus. However, Adobe is fast catching up with this software and will most likely become obsolete from my digital toolbox.

The comfiest shoes I have found are simple canvas ones. I can wear them all day, shooting a wedding, and my feet are still happy the next day. They are also silent due to the rubber soles, so I don’t have to worry about making noise when moving around a church.

The world of photography constantly evolves, and I am excited to see where the next ten years will take me. New technologies and ever-improving equipment can only mean next-level images!

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