A few months ago, Aaron and PHLEARN teamed up with Ross Floyd to create a super in-depth tutorial called the Ultimate Guide to Product Photography. It was a great collaboration and a great time for all! Not only did Ross break down the steps of how to light objects to make them look their best and really grab the viewer’s attention, he also offered up some seriously useful tips on how to build a successful business and get referrals that count.
Now, we get the chance to take a look inside Ross’ camera bag to see what equipment he prefers to use for professional product photos. This gear has gotten him through more than a decade of product shoots and over 70,000 professional images.
Can you explain your photography specialty in your own words?
I tell the story of people who create, and the objects, spaces and experiences they create. This encompasses a variety of disciplines – product, interiors, architecture and environmental portrait photography. Recently, I have been working more in motion and video capture.
How do you go about deciding which gear is essential to your work?
First, I decide what I want to accomplish for a given project, then I look for the tools that will get me the result. I actually own a small amount of gear given the variety of work that I do. I find it’s easier to rent specialty equipment, or equipment to supplement my kit when I need to.
Canon 5D Mark IV
30.4 MP full-frame CMOS sensor, Up to 7.0 frames per second continuous shooting speed, 4K video recording
The Canon 5D Mark IV is my main daily shooter; it is a good cross section of resolution and dynamic range. I use the video functions as a sort of sketch pad. When I want to make a higher quality video, I am able to add my lens kit to a larger cinema camera and get a similar look.
My Fuji x100F is like a sketch pad, easy to carry and I travel with it often. It’s much more discreet than the Canon.
I really love working with Phaseone IQ series, but mostly rent when I need that level of detail and image quality. So for now, I do not have one in my bag.
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II
Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22, Ultrasonic Motor AF System, Weather-Sealed Construction
I use all Canon glass: 24-70mm L, 70-200mm L, 50mm L, 35mm L. Like a lot of the gear I use, I know that when I pick these up, they are just going to work every time. When I was just starting out, I only had the first two zooms, and they covered 90 percent of what I was shooting.
Profoto B1X 500 AirTTL
Profoto B1X 500 AirTTL Flash Head with 500Ws adjustable in 1/10 f-stop increments over a 9 f-stop power range
I have all Profoto lighting. I have used it for years and it is always rock solid. I built a three-light kit with a D1 and two B1s. Even as a still-life shooter, there sometimes aren’t that many outlets in the warehouses and other places I am shooting in, so having that battery power is necessary.
I use my Tenba DNA messenger every day. It’s super versatile whether I am carrying gear or not.
Be sure to check out the PHLEARN tutorial with Ross to master your product and still-life photography. You can also read our interview with Ross to learn more about the photographer and find out how he spent seven years shooting over 10,000 images a year.
Jen is Editor of PHLEARN Magazine, where she helps shape inspiring stories and handy tips for aspiring and seasoned photographers. She has worked as a photography writer for many years, contributing to numerous industry-leading publications. Proudly Canadian, wannabe globetrotter, self-taught photographer, Jen is temporarily settled in Spain.