A Commercial & Advertising Photographer’s Essentials

When people ask me what kind of photography I do, I always say commercial and advertising. I believe that is the quickest way to describe it. If it looks like they are willing to put up with nerding about exactly what the work is that I produce, I dive into a diatribe about the way I operate as more of a creative director than a photographer. My father is a painter and owned a sign shop for 30 years, so I grew up around art and graphic design. It feeds a lot into how I approach photography and the pieces I like to create, so I make a lot of mixed media/art/conceptual images.

Sometimes I mix up studio composite work, sometimes it’s all location with some heavy post production, sometimes it’s not. My bag changes a lot based on exactly what I am shooting. The bag here is my full gear kit and, like Evan Spiler, I freaking love my Peak Design bag. I’m a new dad too, so it often doubles as my diaper bag; I’ve recommended them to many friends regardless of if they are a photographer or not. It’s just a well designed and thought out bag that kills it on versatility and looks. The origami-inspired dividers are freaking genius.

If I am just hitting the office for the day, I condense all my carry down to the essentials like notebooks, computer, water, and my X100T. If I am packing for travel, the rest of the bag gets filled up with snacks, entertainment stuff, spare pair of skivvies, etc. If I’m packing for a shoot, all that gear you see goes in there. I had to borrow another camera just to take this photo.

CAMERA:

Fuji XT-1 & Fuji X100T. Most portable dual camera rig I can run with and still have my Fuji color and glass, kills it on portrait and deep dark tones.

LENSES:

Fuji XF 56/1.2, XF 35/2, XF 14/2.8; Fuji X100T 23/2. Fuji glass is just sexy as hell and even shooting on a crop sensor, both of these systems resolve so damn well.

LIGHTING:

PCB Einsteins (2x), Alien Bee 800, PCB PLMs. It was an excellent and cheap entry to studio lighting. As Zack Arias says, it’s like the Toyota Corolla of lighting.

BAG:

Peak Design Everyday Messenger 15″. It truly is my every-day carry, it holds all I need for my regular day-to-day work and then accommodates everything well for when I am working or traveling.

 

MISC. ITEMS:

Plenty of analog film gear too.



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Christian Rudman

Christian Rudman is a freelance photographer and designer based in Portland, OR. He is a husband, father, and dreamer who desires to help other creatives see a better side of the photographic industry. He cusses like a sailor, loves a clean session IPA, and thoroughly enjoys good company near a campfire.

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