When I first started photography, I used to love to know what other photographers carried in their bags and what gear they used. Actually I still like to know. But, I feel like I’ve gotten enough experience to be able to share with others what gear I use and love. I’m going to let you in on some of my favorite equipment, what gear I use for a basic photo session, and why I love it!
Since we’re talking about what’s inside my camera bag, I would be crazy not to talk about the bag itself first! Let me just start by saying I LOVE my camera bag and I have recommended it to anyone who asks. I have the Kamrette Lyra Backpack. It has been the perfect bag for me, especially with all of the traveling that I do. It’s stylish, yet it holds everything that I need it to. When I’m traveling, I put my laptop, wallet, planner, all of my camera gear and chargers in it. It has a ton of compartments, so I’m able to have a specific place for everything to go.
For an ordinary shoot, I can fit my camera body, two lenses, my straps, and flash inside the main compartment. It has adjustable, cushioned spacing so that you can easily move it around to fit everything snuggly inside.
The next piece of gear that I don’t know how I lived without, are my dual harness straps. I actually got these just to shoot weddings because I carry two cameras at weddings, but I love them so much that I use them for everyday shoots as well. I got mine from Etsy, and I think they compare pretty well to the Holdfast ones that are $200. The exact ones that I got aren't available anymore, but the same shop I ordered mine from has another version that I'm sure is just as good! (UniqueStore4U)
The quality is amazing, and like my bag, I’ve gotten a ton of compliments on them and I recommend them all the time. They’re great for weddings for multiple reasons. If you didn’t know, cameras are freaking heavy, especially when you add a battery grip, a large lens, and a flash. Having straps that go around my back and shoulders saves my neck. I can’t imagine how sore I’d be the next day if I didn’t have these. Also, like I mentioned before, I love to use them even when I’m only using one camera as well. And to answer the question I know you’ll ask next; no, it doesn’t feel lopsided because I only have a camera on one side.
Now lemme tell you about my baby. My Canon 6D mark ii. My photography game changed when I finally invested in a great camera. It’s only my second camera to own (I’ll be adding an addition very soon), but it’s been a crucial investment and it’s another piece of equipment that I highly recommend.
Moving on. Let’s talk lenses. IF YOU ARE JUST NOW STARTING OUT, THIS IS FOR YOU. Invest in a good lens. Read that again. Starting out, I had a decent camera body. It was a crop sensor like a lot of basic DSLR cameras, but it got the job done. I used it for the first several years, and laid the foundation of my business using it, but I also invested in a 50mm 1.4 lens to up my game early on. This is SO important!! You don’t have to spend thousands on a camera when you’re starting out, but I do recommend investing a little extra in a good lens instead of the kit lens that comes with your camera. I used that 50 mm for many years, and even shot an entire wedding with it.
I still have my 50mm, but I don’t use it nearly as much since I got a 35mm 1.4 this past year. Speaking of my 35mm, it’s my other baby. When you invest that much money into one piece of equipment, it’s hard to let it out of your grasp. I’ve only let like one other person handle my camera (especially with this lens), and I didn’t even wanna take my hands off of it when I handed it to her. Okay, I’m getting off on a tangent here. What I’m trying to say is that I always have my 50mm 1.4 and my 35mm 1.4 lens in my bag at all times, and I’d be lost without them.
The last piece of gear that I want to mention is my off camera flash. I used a Canon one for many years, and I’ll be honest, it was terrible. Sorry, Canon. I asked for recommendations before Christmas and ended up with a Godox V860IIC . I used it for real for the first time in February for a wedding and HOLY SMOKES. It worked like a charm. It has a Li-ion rechargeable battery, so I didn’t have to worry about carrying AA batteries around with me and changing them out after taking 10 photos. Another highly recommended item on my list!
Other than the items listed above, the rest of the things I carry are pretty obvious. SD cards, chargers, extra batteries. Always always have an extra battery and extra SD cards!
So, that's pretty much what's in my everyday camera bag. My bag looks a little different for a wedding day. Actually, it’s bags plural because there’s so much gear! I might just have to do a wedding day camera bag in June with one of my weddings. Yes/No? Let me know what you think!