PHLEARN MagazineThe Ever-Changing Gear of Commercial & Advertising Photographer Christian Rudman

The Ever-Changing Gear of Commercial & Advertising Photographer Christian Rudman

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.


Fuji FIlm X-T1 IR

16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II Sensor, Full HD 1080p Video Recording

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Fujifilm X100F

24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III Sensor, Hybrid Optical and Electronic Viewfinder, Full HD 1080p Video Recording

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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.


Fuji XF 56mm F/1.2 R

Aperture Range: f/1.2 to f/16, Two Extra-Low Dispersion Elements, High Speed AF

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Fuji XF 35mm f/2 R

Aperture Range: f/2 to f/16, Internal Focusing AF System, Weather-Sealed Construction

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Fujifilm XF 14mm f/2.8 R

Aperture Range: f/2.8-22, Fast, Ultra Wide-Angle Prime Lens

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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.


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.


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.



Plenty of analog film gear too.

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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