My main camera bag constantly changes as new gear gets added or my style changes a bit. It’s been awhile since I posted whats in my camera bag so wanted to post a quick review on what I normally carry on shoots. Also would love to hear what your have in your bag. Leave a comment below with whats in your bag and lets all share.
First off anytime I talk about gear I always have to say that although I love photo gear (and really any tech gear) the gear really doesn’t make the photographer, it’s all about how you use the gear and the creativity inside you. Don’t get too focused on gear and first think about how you can be creative.
When I photograph weddings I used to bring 2 bags with me, a small backpack that had the essential gear I needed most of the time and then a very large pelican case to have other more non essential items in it. The pelican case was huge and although I loved it and used it for many years I replaced it this year with a much smaller can case. Here is a amazon link to the case for anyone that needs a really big case:
I replaced the huge roller with a Pelican softcase on wheels. It’s small enough to fit on a airplane as a overhead and can fit in 2 bodies at least 4 lenses and lots of other accessories. It’s a lot more lightweight and easy to transport with wheels. I still use my Lowepro Pro Runner 350
as my main backpack which carries the following gear.
Canon EOS 5D
(my camera of choice). This is the first digital camera that I really fell in love with. Reminds me of the beauty of film that I used to get. It has great skin tones and a excellent tonal range for a digital camera.
I also like to include a cropped sensor camera as well. The extra reach when you have a 200mm lens on it comes in handy during wedding ceremonies to get in a little tighter. Canon EOS 7D
You can read my review of the 7d here: Canon 7d camera review
For lenses in my main bag there are a few essentials:
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM
. I think this lens is a must have for a wedding photographer.
This lens is perfect for getting in close during the ceremony and the image stabilization really helps out during church weddings. This lens has great optics and gives you a really good range for portrait work.
Canon – 24-70 mm – f/2.8 L USM. Another lens that gets a lot of use in my camera bag. This lens is very versatile, you can get great wide shots during the reception as well as a decent portrait lens at 70mm. You have a lot of flexibility with this lens and with the fast pace of a reception it gives you the chance to go from wide to mid range without changing lenses.
One of my favorite lenses and the cheapest in my bag. I opted for the 1.4 lens vs. the 1.2 lens after a lot of thought and viewing images from both lenses. I think the 1.4 is an excellent lens and for the price difference vs the 1.2 I think there is a minimal difference in quality (plus I like the much smaller and compact 1.4 to save a little weight). This lens is so crisp and produces amazing colors, when you really compare a nice prime lens like this to a zoom you will see a pretty big difference in quality. For anyone starting out on a small budget I would suggest this as a perfect starting lens.
For lighting I have 2 Canon speedlights as well as a few pocketwizards (review of the Pocketwizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5)
Check out most of these items at amazon here. Amazon gear site.
Also I have a list of our Lighting essentials here: Digital Photo Buzz Lighting Essentials
In my new rolling pelican bag I have lots of my other accessories and lighting equipement. Here is usually whats in that bag:
A few Vivitar 285HV Flash. A great manual flash that you can get for a good value compared to Canon 580’s.
I also have a few extra lenses that are more specialty lenses and don’t get tons of use at a event.
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS
Another amazing prime lens. The focus is a little slow on this lens when compared to a few others in my bag but the macro is where this really shines. I normally only use this lens for a few images a wedding but its so worth it. To get a really cool looking macro shot of the rings or the flowers can only be done with a true macro lens like this.
Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lens
. This is a lens that I think can be overused a lot and while I do like the fisheye look for a few shots I try to keep it to a minimum. With my style of shooting I am trying to tell a story of the day in an artistic way so I might use this lens for a few bride and groom shots or for shots of the church or reception room but thats normally it. Don’t get me wrong I do love the lens just think you need to be careful not to get too carried away with some of these specialty lenses.
Now that I am shooting more video along with stills at an event I also have some of my audio gear in this bag.
– A Rode shotgun mic to capture audio from the 7D.
– Zoom ZH4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder. This gives you really clean audio and works great to patch into a DJ’s rig to capture audio of the speeches and reception.
– I also have a small TASCAM VR-10 Portable Digital Recorder, which is small enough to slip into a grooms jacket and record the vows during the reception with a lav mic attached.
That’s a majority of the stuff i’ll bring along with me for a shoot. What’s in your bag and what can’t you live without?
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