PHLEARN MagazineWhat Gear Does Wedding Photography Legend Bambi Cantrell Use?

What Gear Does Wedding Photography Legend Bambi Cantrell Use?

With more than 25 years behind the camera, Bambi Cantrell is one of the most decorated wedding and portrait photographers in the industry. Her impressive list of accolades – and an even more impressive portfolio – has practically made her a household name. Bambi’s photos have been seen around the world and in dozens of publications, including Martha Stewart Weddings, Ebony, Today’s Bride, and Rangefinder.

To get a better idea of how Bambi captures those stunning photos, take a look at what she keeps in her gear bag.


These days, I photograph many families, children, and women wanting a beautiful portrait of themselves. When it comes to my gear, I keep it simple. Give me a great camera, a couple of perfect lenses, and simple lighting and I am good to go.


Nikon D850

45.7MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor, 3.2″ 2.36m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD

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Nikon Z7

45.7MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor, 493-Point Phase-Detect AF System, 3.2″ Tilting Touchscreen LCD

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I’m a Nikon girl! I currently use the Nikon D850 which, in my opinion, is just about the most perfect camera ever made. I want large files and sharp-as-a-tack images, and I get that with the D850. With that said, I just got the new Nikon Z7 and am really feeling the love for it, too.

Why do I use what I do? The answer is simple. I need reliability and Nikon never lets me down. I absolutely love the large file size (the Z7 produces a 45.7 meg file!) and I need a quick focus that is accurate.


Nikon 105mm f/1.4E

Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16, Three Extra Low-Dispersion Elements

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My all-time favorite lens is the Nikon 105 F/1.4. All I can say is WOW! As a portrait photographer, I want sharp eyes, and want the focus to be on my subject. I believe the Nikon 105 is the perfect choice for portraits of individuals.


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

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Lighting is the foundation of everything, in my opinion. I prefer the Profoto B1 Kit. I just love the portability and reliability of the system. I need something that is going to do the job right when on assignment, and firmly believe that you get what you pay for.


I love Think Tank Photo bags, and especially love the Shape Shifter backpack for its portability.


Editing my images is a snap using Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop and plugins like Alien Skin. I offer a variety of albums for portraits and really find the Smart Album software a delight to use.

To see more of Bambi’s gorgeous wedding and portrait photography, visit her website or follow her on Instagram. Or, check out one of her three best-selling books, The Art of Wedding Photography, The Art of Digital Wedding Photography, and The Art of People Photography.

Brooke Arnold

Brooke is a writer and award-winning photographer specializing in cat portraits. She is an advocate for rescue animals and is best known for dressing up her cats as famous people like Bob Ross and Evel Knievel. Her biggest claim to fame, however, is being child #2 in an orange juice ad that hung in a mall in Miami at age 8.

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