Skip to main content

Pro portrait photographer Jade Keshia Gordon reveals her essential camera kit

Portrait
(Image credit: Jade Keshia Gordon)

Jade Keshia Gordon is a professional beauty and fashion photographer based in London, and has been taking portraits for more than a decade, developing her own signature style. She started her career in street portraiture, working with bloggers, YouTubers and influencers in the London area.

We recently sat down with her to find out how she got into photography, learn her tricks for photographing people in the studio and on the street, as well as the essential camera kit that she couldn't live without.

• Read more: Best Canon portrait lenses

"I soon realized that I wanted a career as a photographer when I was getting ready to go to university, but, by the middle of 2011, I already had paying clients – so I took the plunge and decided to follow my heart, fully committing to portrait photography.

(Image credit: Jade Keshia Gordon)

"At the start, I needed to get my name out there, which is one of the reasons I worked with bloggers and influencers where possible. This helped me get a foot in the door. I’m a big advocate of representation and body positivity, so I’ll work closely with models from various backgrounds. It’s important to me to work with plus-sized models too, as this group is often under represented in the industry. Because of this, I have great connections throughout the industry, with regular clients, such as Nella Rose and WMNS Wear, as well as models, I know well and can rely upon. 

"I’ve always used Canon. I love the speed of my EOS 5D Mark IV: I find no delay when shooting, which is fantastic for fast-paced shoots. I also adore how easy the menu is to use and understand. It sounds simple, but the different sections in the menu make it much more intuitive for me, meaning I can spend less time setting up my camera – and more time shooting!"

See more of Jade's brilliant portraits on Instagram (opens in new tab).

01. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Canon)
(opens in new tab)

"I upgraded my camera from the Canon EOS 5D Mark III (opens in new tab) to the Mark IV version and, I have to say, the newer DSLR has revolutionized my way of shooting. The quality of the images, due to the high megapixels, allows me to constantly get super sharp shots. I also love that it has a touch screen, which I’m always using to flick through the portraits I’ve just taken, and zoom in to make sure they’re totally sharp."

02. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Canon)
(opens in new tab)

"This is the most versatile lens I own, as it allows me to shoot at wide 24mm to include more of the surrounding city environment (useful for my street portraiture), or zoom in to 70mm for a tighter compressed perspective. I love that it has a wide constant f/2.8 aperture all through the focal range, as this gives me a wonderfully shallow depth of field. It’s my go-to ‘everyday lens’."

03. Profoto A1 flashgun

(Image credit: Profoto)
(opens in new tab)

"This is the perfect flashgun for me, as it provides studio-quality images even when you’re out on location. I shoot both in my studio and outside and it’s perfect for both scenarios. The Profoto A1 is without a doubt the most powerful flashgun I’ve ever used, so I never feel like I need more power. I love the amount of control it provides too, it feels like I’m using the lights that many studios are kitted out with."

04. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM macro

(Image credit: Canon)
(opens in new tab)

"This fantastic Canon macro lens brings all my beauty images to life. It allows me to get super close-up for more personal portraits and focus on details like the eyes. Shooting with a macro lens can be tricky, as the depth of field is very shallow even with narrow apertures like f/22, but once you’ve got the hang of it, the results are absolutely worth it."

05. Manfrotto Halo Compact Reflector

(Image credit: Manfrotto)
(opens in new tab)

"My trusty reflector is the gift that keeps on giving. If I’m ever in a situation where my model has more shadow than light, I use this to bounce some light back onto their face to make sure they are lit evenly. This works great with ambient sunlight, as well as flash. It comes everywhere with me – it’s just super versatile and you never know when it will come in handy."

06. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 

(Image credit: Canon)
(opens in new tab)

"I jokingly call my 85mm prime my ‘influencer’ lens, as I tend to use it when I’m photographing influencers and content creators. They all seem to love the compressed perspective and super shallow depth of field I can create with the wide f/1.8 maximum aperture. I often reign it in a little, to around f/2, to give me a little bit more sharpness."

• Read more: Best Canon portrait lenses (opens in new tab)

(opens in new tab)

PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab) is the world's only monthly newsstand title that's 100% devoted to Canon, so you can be sure the magazine is completely relevant to your system. 

Read more:

Canon EOS R5 review (opens in new tab)
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV review
(opens in new tab)Best Canon cameras
(opens in new tab)Best Canon lenses
(opens in new tab)Best professional cameras (opens in new tab)

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1