What’s in My Bag with Jena Carlin

We’re really grateful that some of our pro team photographers have shared with us their five favorite pieces of gear. Here’s what food photographer Jena Carlin had to say about her five favorite gear choices.

My name is Jena Carlin and I am a Midwest-based commercial food and lifestyle photographer, videographer, prop stylist, and art director. I seek out authentic emotion in my photography with a strong emphasis on narratives and blending modern and heritage styles to make edible unforgettable.

Jena Carlin behind-the-scenes of s shoot with her gear

I have found that if you create images that you are passionate about, you will attract work that shares your values and priorities. In addition to my commercial work, I pride myself on building the community and knowledge of commercial food photography through the Little Rusted Ladle blog, the Master the Art of Food Photography online summit, and my mentorship program Portfolio to Profit.

This is some of the gear that I absolutely love and have tried out in the past year to elevate my photography and speed up my workflow!

1. KYU-6

KYU-6 light wrap

The compact features of the KYU-6 make it ideal for backlighting drinks or clear liquids without being seen. I love the way it attaches to your wrist for hands-free use. It’s a great feature for quickly seeing your settings in a dark studio.

2. Dapple Pro

Lighting modifier: www.dapplepro.com

This unique cucoloris allows me to feather in shadows because of its irregular edges, to give subtle or dramatic effects. I use mine with soft or hard light depending on the feeling I want to evoke. Plus, this one has a mirrored side so not only can card off light, but I can also reflect it back into the set  with a dappled mirror.

3. Canon R5

Canon EOS R5 camera

I’ve been a Canon customer for most of my food photography career. This new mirrorless R5 delivers stunning quality and is easy to use.

4. Prograde digital cards

Prograde digital memory cards

These memory cards are super fast and reliable, which is a must for my commercial work. Prograde only makes cards for pros so you know you are getting a quality product. It takes the guesswork out of researching cards.

5. Sigma 40mm f/1.4 Art lens

Sigma 40mm ƒ/1.4 Art lens

When I use this lens I get ultra-crisp images with a creamy depth of field and no distortion around the edges. It’s quickly become a new favorite of mine.

Summer cucumber and pea salad shot by Jena Carlin with her favorite gear

About Jena Carlin

Jena Carlin is a commercial brand photographer, videographer, and cookbook author specializing in food, fashion, product, and lifestyle. Jena can be found on Instagram @littlerustedladle, Facebook at facebook.com/LittleRustedLadle, or her site at littlerustedladle.com.

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