I recently did a shot kit layout for Shotkit.com and since I was asked while I was on a shoot for The Datai Langkawi I decided to feature my kit for resort photography. One key missing feature is a collapsable reflector We depend so much on natural light that we can’t do a shoot without this. We use the gold disc to give everything that sunny holiday look.
Our clients are looking to break from the norm with their images, wanting more of a story and more realistic images so I decided to showcase my all-natural resort photography kit J For these shoots we do everything for our clients from architectural shots, food shots, and lifestyle shots, we are there to build them a well rounded image library they can use for years to come.
To start with since I’m at a luxury resort I need to fit in and be stylish so I love my Wotancraft camera bag. I have a whole arsenal of them for all different occasions. Their bags are handmade and super stylish, a nice break from all the nerdy bags out there for photographers.
I use the 17mm Tilt Shift for room interiors and resort hero shots, the lens is a beast but at times it scares me because of the bulbous glass.
For the lifestyle part of the shoot I love using the 24mm 1.4, the colors and the pop you get from that lens are unrivaled by any others. It’s lightweight and allows me to get close to my subjects and to shoot them in a documentary style approach.
I have to admit my favorite lens is the 45mm Tilt Shift. I don’t use it for the miniature effect, instead I use it with a slight tilt for that creamy and dreamy look and it fits perfect for luxury resorts.
I use the 100mm macro for detail shots and for food shots, it’s razor sharp. I try to use as much natural light as possible so when we need to keep the ambience I break out my Canon 50mm 1.2, this lens rocks on low light.
I shoot a ton, trying to get as many natural moments as possible when we have models on the shoots so for storage I back everything up with the WD My Passport Pro because it’s got a built in 2 times RAID system and it’s thunderbolt so it’s super fast.
We use the Canon Legria Mini X for behind the scenes footage, I love the audio on this and the option to not be super-wide for interviews is great. I like this over the GoPro because you can film yourself and it has a built in stand and audio jacks if you want to use an external mic.
With resort shoots comes plenty of sand so having a blower is a must, my whole kit has sand everywhere so at the end of the day everything needs to be cleaned.
For the beach shots I need my sunblock, trusty Paul Smith Scarf so people know I’m a photographer, and Espadrilles because y ou are constantly taking off your footwear and these are the fastest.
I need to be on time so my Bell & Ross watch never comes off.
Last but not least I can’t ever go on a resort shoot without my Digipac underwater bag. This thing isn’t the easiest to use but it’s super cheap compared to the custom kits and it allows you to get amazing shots in the pool, ocean, waterfalls, etc.
Justin Mott is the resident photographer and face of History Channel’s Photo Face-Off, the hit reality TV show airing throughout Asia.
Since 2007, he has been working as a contributing photographer for the New York Times for which he shot more than 100 assignments. Mott is also the founder of Mott Visuals, a boutique commercial photography and video production studio serving Asia and beyond.