Jermaine Horton (@jermainehortonphotography) is a portrait, wedding and sports photographer based in Chicago. Using both off-camera flash and natural light, Jermaine’s images are dynamic and aim to tell his clients’ stories. His passion for telling these stories has garnered him clients throughout the U.S., and his use of Sony Alpha mirrorless cameras and native mirrorless Sony lenses enable his tell those stories with images of the highest quality. We talked with him to learn more about exactly which Sony gear he always has with him.
Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master: My go-to lens for portraits is the Sony 135mm f/1.8. This lens is such a luxury to have with its fast autofocus. It catches on to subjects right away. I first tried it at Sony Kando Trip 3.0 and my goodness it did not disappoint. The bokeh is so buttery and smooth and did I mention this lens is tacksharp? I had the chance to use it with the Sony α7R IV (which isn't part of my regular kit yet) for the photos below and it’s become my favorite portraits lens!
Sony α7R IV. Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master. 1/400-sec., f/1.8, ISO 50.
Sony α7R IV. Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master. 1/320-sec., f/2.8, ISO 50.
Sony 85mm f/1.8: My second go-to lens is the 85mm f/1.8. This is the lens I put on for weddings when it’s time to capture the bride and groom for just them. I’m usually carrying the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 for the ceremony so right after that, the 85mm goes on for the rest of the day. Not only is it great for portraits, but the f/1.8 aperture allows me to kill great shots in low light for the reception as well during speeches and more.
Sony α9. Sony 85mm f/1.8. 1/320-sec., f/9, ISO 50.
Sony 35mm f/1.4: My 35mm f/1.4 is my second most used lens on a wedding day. Since I carry dual α7 III’s for a wedding, I'll have the 85mm on one and then my 35mm on the other. As a matter of fact, the 35mm 1.4 is usually on all day as my wide unless I need my 16-35mm to go wider. The f/1.4 allows me to really get great low light shots. It lets in so much light and is so sharp and allows me to tell stories without compromise. This lens is my must-have for documenting love stories.
Sony α7 III. Sony 35mm f/1.4. 1/160-sec., f/1.4, ISO 200.
Sony 50mm f/1.8: Don’t sleep on this nifty 50. Yes, it's the least expensive lens at around $200 bucks – but it's small and lightweight which allows me to take it everywhere. I use this as my travel lens or even sometimes when I'm shooting food for clients. it may not be be the most-used lens but it surely serves a purpose in my bag!
Sony α7 III. Sony 50mm f/1.8. 1/125-sec., f/2.8, ISO 800.
Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G: The lens I use the least is one of the most important that helps tell the story of weddings with details. The 90mm Macro G. The rings shots I create for my clients have them thinking I shoot for jewelers all the time. It’s so sharp and brings in so much detail. Not only on details is it good, but when brides are getting ready I also use this to show make-up detail shots with eyebrows and lashes along with other jewelry the bride may be wearing.
Sony α7 III. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. 1/160-sec., f/4.5, ISO 100.
Sony α7 III. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. 1/125-sec., f/3.2, ISO 400.
Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master: This lens is my wedding workhorse. Once we are at the ceremony, it’s the lens that’s going on my camera. The range allows me to get in aisles and get tight shots of the brides emotions walking down the aisle. I can also get shots from a distance and not feel like I’m in the way or a distraction. I love how this lens is so flattering for my brides while melting away the background and other distractions. This lens is also used for sports with me because it’s so versatile.
Sony α7 III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/2.8, ISO 320.
Sony α7 III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/5.6, ISO 640.
Sony α7 III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/1250-sec., f/2.8, ISO 100.
Sony α7 III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/1600-sec., f/2.8, ISO 3200.
Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master: When I’m shooting sports, especially Major League Baseball or NCAA Football, the Sony 100-400mm G Master is my go-to lens. It’s so perfect for that long reach I need but also helping me track because the lens is spot-on with moving subjects. Even though it’s a variable aperture it still delivers stunning bokeh and separation. I love how with the Sony α9 and Sony 100-400mm GM I can go into crop mode to get more reach if needed.
Sony α9. Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/5.6, ISO 2000.
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master: Last but not least my 16-35mm is such a great wide angle lens. I shoot weddings at a lot of huge churches and cathedrals. The thing about this lens is that it has so much character but not the crazy distortion you get with most wide angle lenses. It’s great for weddings, landscapes, and yes, even portraits.
Sony α7 III. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/80-sec., f/2.8, ISO 2000.
Sony α9. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master. 1.6 sec., f/8, ISO 400.
Sony α7 III (2): My Sony α7 III’s are primary used for weddings. It’s so great in low light and truly a need for me since I shoot in a lot of dark or low-light venues. Having a lightweight system such as my Sony α7 III’s allows me to move around as I please and not come home sore from carrying it all day. It’s my workhorse camera that gets me through the wedding season. Even when traveling and vacationing, I love taking this camera because it doesn't feel like a work camera.
Sony α7 III. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/160-sec., f/4, ISO 2000.
Sony α9: My Sony α9 is my "beast mode" camera. I shoot a ton of college football and Major League Baseball and the tracking for this camera is the best I have ever seen. It makes shooting sports so much easier with all the fast pace action that goes on. Even though it’s my choice for sports, I also love it for events and portraits. Such an all-around camera that’s extremely durable and you can’t go wrong with.
Sony α9. Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master. 1/1250-sec., f/5.6, ISO 6400.
LaCie External Hard Drive: A must-have when shooting sports but also when I travel for weddings. Very rugged and durable.
Sony TOUGH SD Memory Cards: These cards are tough and made to last. When clients pay you for lasting memories you have to invest in memory cards that won’t fail you.
Spider Holster: The is my top accessory. I love the straps that fit perfectly for my hands along with their belt system. I don’t care if it’s a wedding or shooting sports – it’s a must-have. Never leave home without it.
Learn more about Jermaine Horton and see more of his work at jermainehorton.com.