Photographer: Jessica Claire
Favored Brand: Canon, Contax
Jessica Claire has been named one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the world by Wedding Photo. Aside from that accolade, you know she’s bad-ass simply because she was hired to shoot the wedding of Gary Fong, one of the photographic industry’s greatest innovators and educators!
Jessica is known for a dreamy, fashiony lifestyle look which she achieves with fast prime lenses.
In fact, Jessica’s preferred equipment is remarkably similar to Jose Villa’s.
Like Jose, Jessica does some of her work with a Contax 645 medium-format film camera, which is a simply best-in-class machine. However, these cameras are out of production and extremely expensive – over $2,000 with a standard 80mm f/2 lens vs. under $400 for a Mamiya 645 setup.
However, for fast-paced receptions and ceremonies in low light, Jessica whips out Canon 5D bodies and an army of L-series prime lenses.
Like fellow wedding-photography superstars Jasmine Star and Jose Villa, Jessica is a huge fan of Canon’s legendary 50mm f/1.2 lens. The 50mm f/1.2 is known worldwide for its super-sharp performance, even when shot wide open, and for its beautiful bokeh (background blur). And being an L-series lens, it sports supremely accurate autofocus and amazing build quality. If you want the Jessica Claire look, this is the lens to get.
Editor’s Note: If you’re on a budget, consider the Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens, which will give you 90% of the f/1.2’s performance for a fifth of the price. And if you’re a beginner, check out the under-$110 f/1.8 version. It doesn’t have the best construction, but it is extremely sharp at f/2.8 and above, and gives beautiful bokeh as well.
That’s pretty much it. Again, if you really like Jessica’s work and want a similar look, I’d focus on getting one of the fast 50mm primes.