What’s in my bag | Photography Gear & More
Have you ever wondered what combination of photography gear, beauty products, food/beverages, and music make up the perfect recipe for our unique photos? Today’s your lucky day, my friend!
Let’s start with the bag(s):
I’ve finally settled in my relationship with bags, and for good reason. These bags are not only stylish, they’re functional, comfortable, and unique. I started with the crossbody, but as my lens collection grew, I found the Isaac Mizrahi camera backpack that fits my DSLR camera, film camera, and five lenses comfortably. It also includes a back compartment that fits a 15″ laptop! Now I use the crossbody for my lighting gear, batteries, accessories, and to hold my personal belongings.
Isaac Mizrahi Kathryn Full Size Coated Canvas Camera and Tech Backpack
Crossbody Camera Bag from Shutter Totes
Over the years I’ve accumulated so many items necessary for capturing the perfect images that bags just weren’t cutting it. Last summer I decided to take an ice chest to keep us cool and hydrated on a shoot. The ice chest had wheels, so we stacked my bags on it as we ventured from location to location. Then it hit me: WE NEED A WAGON. Enter the rolling cart of necessity. It holds everything I need and has some extra room for client’s belongings as well. It fits perfectly in my SUV, but it also folds up and can fit in any car. I joke that it’s the best investment I’ve made, but I’m starting to wonder how I ever got by without it! Once you realize what I bring along to shoots you’ll see what I mean!
What’s in my bag – camera gear:
I started out with Canon, but after the release of the Nikon D750 (the first full frame with a rotating screen) I quickly made the switch to Nikon. And I’m so glad I did; I love how creative the D750 allows me to be. It’s not the best camera on the market, but it’s the best for my needs. The rotating screen allows me to shoot from high and low angles with ease. Plus, it uses the same autofocus and metering technology as the D4S and the D810—Nikon’s powerful 51-point AF system with 15 cross-type sensors and 3D Color Matrix Metering III with a 91,000-pixel RGB sensor. It’s also a beast when it comes to low light situations like weddings and night photography.
Camera body: Nikon D750
Because I shoot weddings, portraits, and lifestyle photography, I had to find the perfect combination of lenses to suit my needs. There are still some lenses on my wish list, but these are my babies for now. These are the winners that fit my style: sharp, high contrast, bright highlights, vivid color, and buttery smooth bokeh. If I had to pick a favorite based on image alone, the Sigma 135mm 1.8 Art takes the cake! Most versatile with the sharpest image, that would be the 24-105mm.
Lenses: Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 Sigma 135mm 1.8 Art Sigma 24-105mm Sigma 50mm 1.4 Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro
What’s in my bag – lighting gear:
My newfound love in the lighting department is the Yongnuo Ice Light. It’s a powerful LED with several different color temperatures. It’s the all in one for off camera fill flash, adding drama, or adding a punch of color. The only downside is the battery drains quickly, especially since it’s easy to accidentally turn on, so make sure you purchase multiple batteries.
Not all light stands are created equal. This one is heavy duty for the price AND is automatic. It sets up legs when placed vertically on floor and automatically retracts legs and folds up when lifted. You can move safely and discretely from scene to scene and set up in areas where you would have a difficult time extending the legs manually. Literally a one handed operation. Lifesaver.
Simple, yet effective flash.
This magnetic diffuser is a must have in your photography tool kit. It turns a simple flash into a portable beauty dish. At 250% larger than your flash head, it instantly transforms harsh light of your flash into a soft bare-bulb light source. With efficient diffusion that saves battery power and an integrated gel slot that allows you to color correct your flash, no flash diffuser has ever been this versatile. Added bonus: kids love it’s bouncy poke-able fun (some adults do too).
Did you know that the kind of batteries you use in your flash matters? I didn’t until I discovered these babies. They’re rechargeable and can be recharged for up to 1000 times, providing big saving by replacing hundreds of throw away batteries. The high capacity batteries are designed for enhanced performance for high drain electronics. Best feature of all is that they allow you to rapid fire your flash without delay. SO WORTH IT.
Have you ever felt defeated by the sun? Then you need to invest in this $30 tool! It diffuses, blocks, and bounces the sun. It’s a game changer for natural light photographers. It also folds up into a compact circle, although folding it does take some practice.
What’s in my bag – beauty essentials:
One issue I had when first starting out was my makeup, hair, and deodorant lasting during sessions and weddings. (We all know the struggle.) Here are some beauty essentials (and more) that will kick butt while you’re kicking butt.
I kid you not, I haven’t used another mascara since I found this one. It’s waterproof without being waterproof. Unlike traditional mascaras that paint or coat your lashes with mascara, this mascara forms lash-extending tubes that firmly attach to the tip of your lashes. These tubes visibly lengthen your lashes up to 80%, and the tubes don’t smudge. The tubes almost resemble black Elmer’s glue that peels off your lashes when rubbed with water. And it’s a steal!
Dusty Rose is so in right now, and so is this stay all day liquid lipstick. It’s highly pigmented and creamy while also being weightless. Plus, it’s enriched with vitamin E and avocado oil to hydrate and soften your lips.
I’ve been using this stuff for over 10 years and I’ve yet to find anything better for setting makeup. It’s translucent, allowing for a natural airbrushed look. It’s packed with bonuses too! It protects skin from harmful UV rays, minimizes pores and line lines, and keeps your skin clear by absorbing oils.
This little travel size miracle in a bottle will take your hair to new heights. It’s super easy to apply, just sprinkle on your roots and rub in. It’s odorless and weightless unlike most volumizing hair products. 10/10.
Another travel size bottle of magic is this 10-in-1 spray. It detangles, nourishes, strengthens and softens the hair, cuts down on drying time, reduces frizz, and protects against thermal, environmental and UV damage. Added bonus, you can use it on client’s hair to reduce fly aways and add shine! It’s my little unicorn in a bottle.
Consider this the dry shampoo for your pits. And because it’s an aerosol, it doesn’t melt in the hot sun. It instantly dries and provides wetness protection for up to 48 hours! It doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients and actually protects and moisturizes where sprayed. Added bonus: it provides a nice cooling effect when you’re feeling hot and sticky.