So I plan my blog posts out weeks, sometimes MONTHS, in advance… and I plan them around shoots and weddings. WIth all of the cancellations going on right now due to… you know what… I had to completely rework my blog schedule! Today was supposed to be an engagement session for a really sweet couple and I was SO excited for it!! It actually ended up getting rescheduled because of the rain, and we plan to do it this upcoming weekend at a safe distance of course!
All weekend I’ve been trying to think of what I could blog about instead today, and I realized I’ve never done an official “what’s in my camera bag” post! I personally LOVE when photographer’s do this and I find it extremely helpful to know what some of my fav photographer’s staple equipment is! So I hope that while you’re stuck inside going a little stir crazy this post finds you and gives you a little insight on what I use in my photography business! Or maybe you’re just curious and are reading this for fun… that’s great too!!
First up is the camera bag itself!! I use a Kelly Moore camera backpack. I splurged on it last year because I had been using a messenger style bag (which now Roman uses), and it was super inconvenient for me and uncomfortable to carry around on a wedding day. Kelly Moore bags are super high quality, durable, water resistant, and vegan! I did splurge on this, but I knew I wanted something quality to protect the equipment I have spent so much money on over the years.
The exact bag I use is the Woodstock 2.0 bag in the color “Stone”!
Main camera: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
I just bought this camera with a battery grip this past October, and I love love love it. It is one of the most affordable full frame professional quality cameras, so I would recommend it for anyone starting out, but who is serious about making a career out of photography. The screen is touchscreen which I love, but it can also fold out and flip around, so it’s great for getting really high or super low shots. For example, I can set the camera on the ground and tilt the screen up towards my face rather than laying down in the dirt. I also use this function when making Youtube content, so I can watch myself as I record!
Even though it’s an affordable option, it’s still expensive compared to crop sensors. I purchased mine used off of Ebay to save some money. Just make sure that when you do that, you ask the seller for the shutter count! Every camera has a shutter life, and the shutter count will tell you how heavily it was used!
This camera does everything I need it to do in my opinion. It does great in low light, it’s fast, and it takes quality images. I don’t see a need to upgrade for a long time!
Back up/second shooter camera: Canon EOS 6D
This was my first full frame camera, and although it’s not quite as good as the 6D Mark II, it still gets the job done. The only downfalls to this camera would be it’s age and it’s low light ability. Image quality is still great in my opinion! However, I don’t think you can find this camera new anymore. I always have it in my camera bag as a back up!
Nifty Fifty! Canon 50mm 1.4
This lens is a staple piece in my bag! Everyone needs a great portrait lens and this one takes the cake. There is a 50mm 1.2 on the market I believe, but the cost is WAY higher than this one. I think that the 1.2 is a little faster (I’ve rented it before), but again, mine does what I need it to do! Maybe one day I’ll splurge on the 1.2, but I am perfectly happy with my 1.4 for now! I could use my 50mm for almost everything on a wedding day, but just to name a few, I use it for portraits, detail shots, getting ready, ceremony, and reception.
This lens has quickly become my favorite lens. It is the most expensive lens in my bag and definitely the heaviest! I love it for wider portrait shots, landscape shots, reception dancing, and much more.
This lens really only gets used for wedding ceremony shots or for sneaky shots during the reception. It’s great to get a close up shot but still be far away, so if you want to get that kiss shot up close but not be in the way, this is a great option. I only use prime lenses right now so eventually that might change when I get a zoom lens for ceremonies, but for now, this does great! I love the low aperture a prime lens allows, so that’s why I haven’t splurged on a big ole’ zoom lens yet!
Macro lens filter
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a macro lens for ONE ring shot every wedding day, I went on Amazon and purchased this macro lens filter! It took a while to get used to, but once you practice with it it works like a charm. It screws right onto my nifty fifty and it only cost me $15. I can’t find the exact one I have online, but there are literally hundreds to choose from.
Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT & 430EX III-RT
If you’re in the wedding industry, you need a good flash! I photographed a handful of weddings with my back up flash (Speedlite 430EX III-RT) and it just wasn’t reliable. It works fine for a back-up flash for a second shooter or to have on your camera when you’re using your 600 for OCF, but I wouldn’t rely on it for important reception moments! The 600 has longer battery life, UV light that detects movement so your subject doesn’t come out blurry, and remote capabilities for super cool OCF shots! When I upgraded to this speedlite, my reception game got so much stronger!
Even though this probably seemed self-explanatory, I wanted to include it because I feel like it’s important! A brand name battery ensures your camera is going to function properly all day long and you don’t have to worry about your battery not being compatible with your camera. You know how sometimes you use a random iPhone charger you find in the bottom of your junk drawer and your phone doesn’t like it? It won’t even charge it. Same concept!
As for the SD cards, spend the extra money on the Extreme Pro!! They are so much faster and getting the 64 GB or higher will ensure you have enough room for all of your RAW images. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to capture an object in motion with your camera and the screen read something like “Working…” or started counting down from 10. It’s most likely your SD card that’s slow and not your camera.
I would also recommend to keep rechargeable AA batteries and chargers in your camera bag for your flash instead of using regular ones! Flash eats up battery so fast and I always found myself buying batteries before every wedding. Finally I just got the rechargeable ones, and it’s been great!
That’s about it for the major stuff!! I hope this helps some of you fellow photogs out there prepare for your upcoming wedding season! For some more helpful content, check out this blog post!