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What’s In My Bag: A Sony Alpha Kit For Portraits, Pets & More

We connect with photographer Tim Orendorff (@orendorffstudios) to learn more about the Sony gear he packs to capture headshots, pet portraits and more.

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 85mm f/1.8. 1/200-sec, f/9, ISO 200

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/200-sec, f/5, ISO 200

Tim Orendorff's gear for headshots, pet portraits & more

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/80-sec, f/8, ISO 400

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. 1/200-sec, f/16, ISO 125

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 85mm f/1.8. 1/200-sec, f/10, ISO 125

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7R II. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/2000-sec, f/2.8, ISO 100

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 85mm f/1.8. 1/800-sec, f/6.3, ISO 320

Tim Orendorff (@orendorffstudios) is a self-taught photographer specializing in headshots, senior photos, pets and sports portraits in South Central Pennsylvania. He primarily uses off-camera flash in his work and tries to make every shoot energetic and enjoyable. “My clients often describe their sessions as fun...yes, even the headshots!” He upgraded to Sony Alpha cameras and native Sony lenses in 2016 and says he hasn’t looked back since. We connected with him to learn more about the Sony Alpha cameras and Sony lenses he uses for his work.

Tim Orendorff's gear for headshots, pet portraits & more

Photographer Tim Orendorff shows us the Sony gear he uses for headshots, senior photos, pet and sports portraits, and more.

Cameras 

Sony Alpha 7R III: I upgraded to this camera from the A7R II (which is now a back-up body in another bag) because of the 42-megapixel sensor and eye AF. Those features help achieve an incredibly sharp image in my portrait work. I also like the dynamic range of the camera when I have to pull details out of the shadows.

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 85mm f/1.8. 1/800-sec, f/6.3, ISO 320

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 85mm f/1.8. 1/800-sec, f/6.3, ISO 320

Sony Alpha 7 III: I added this camera to my arsenal as a back-up body for my Alpha 7R III last year. It was still an upgrade to my Alpha 7R II and had similar features to the Alpha 7R III including animal eye AF. The smaller file sizes are also beneficial when working in high volume shooting situations such as my annual dog portrait mini sessions and sports photo days.

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/200-sec, f/5, ISO 200

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/200-sec, f/5, ISO 200

Lenses

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master: This lens is a powerhouse in my bag. Its versatility as a zoom lens is helpful when you don’t know what a new session location will look like and how much space is available to shoot.

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7R II. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/2000-sec, f/2.8, ISO 100

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7R II. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/2000-sec, f/2.8, ISO 100

Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G: The lens is everything you could want in a macro lens  – super sharp and great focal length. I’ve used it in the past for my detail shots during Weddings and more recently as a portrait lens. I have future ‘fun’ shoots in the works for this upcoming off-season to create unique macro images.

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. 1/200-sec, f/16, ISO 125

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G. 1/200-sec, f/16, ISO 125

Sony 85mm f/1.8: This is my go-lens for portraits, including pets, headshots and sports photo day. You wouldn’t expect such an excellent lens for its tiny size. It will fit anywhere in my bag and is a lightweight lens option while “on the go.”

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 85mm f/1.8. 1/200-sec, f/10, ISO 125

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 85mm f/1.8. 1/200-sec, f/10, ISO 125

Sony 70-200 f/2.8 G Master: This lens is perfect for photographing from a distance. You can easily zoom in to crop the image in camera without sacrificing quality in post. In my experience, it works well when working with pets who may be easily distracted when I get down to their level. Being at a further distance is an advantage because they don’t notice me as much and I’m able to get full body and close ups without moving my body. This photo below is one of my rescue Pitbulls, Alpha, named after the Sony Alpha cameras. (Notice the color of his collar.)

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100

Photo by Tim Orendorff. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100

Accessories

Sony Vertical Battery Grip: For the ergonomics and extra battery life.

SD Cards: A mixture of Sony TOUGH Cards and others.

STC ND Sensor filters (3, 6 & 10 Stop): When I don’t want to use High Speed sync.

Peak Design Camera Strap: Quick and easy to throw on.

Sony Microfiber Lens Cloth: Have to keep things clean!

Godox x2T Triggers: Need to be able to fire my flash.

HoodMan HoodEYE: Useful on the sunny days to keep the glare out of your eyes while looking through the EVF.

Zeiss Lens Wipes (we buy them by the box of 250): I always keep them in my bag. You never know when you might get an animal’s nose print on the front of your glass

Giottos Blower: To blow dust off the camera sensors.

Business Cards: You should always have them with you.

Squeaker Toy: To get the dog's attention during their session if I’m shooting pet portraits.

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