I get asked what's in my camera bag A LOT! So I thought it would be a good time to do a detailed post about all my gear, what I use to shoot what and why, and where I keep it all!
Camera Bodies // I currently shoot on the Canon 5D mkiii for all my work and have a second mkiii body as an insurance policy in case anything happens to my main camera body. I spend the majority of my time shooting on location, in forests, in the rain, at the beach half submerged in the ocean with waves crashing around me, on cliffs, on dangrous rocks - so it's "safe" to say that there is a high chance I could accidentally drop or destroy my camera during a shoot. It hasn't happened yet (and fingers crossed it never does), but I find it's important to have two camera bodies on me when you start booking important jobs. You wouldn't want to have to cut a shoot short because of some sort of technical difficulties.
I also still have my old Canon 5D mkii body that I used to shoot on, that I keep at home also just in case.
50mm f1.2 // I love the 50mm as a good all-rounder lens. I find that it's great for portraits, landscapes and simple every day photos. I love using my 50mm for shooting on location and studio lookbooks, as well as when I do model test shoots.
35mm f1.4 // The 35mm is another great all-rounder lens for me! I find that this lens is on my camera the majority of the time. I love shooting portraits with it (although it is deemed as a little bit of an unconventional lens to shoot portraits on.. but I love it!), and take it with my as my sole lens while I am traveling. I find that the 35mm is sharp 95% of the time, even when you shoot with a wide open aperture of 1.4. I only shoot with a wide aperture for personal work, and usually bump up the aperture to 2 or more when shooting for clients.
85mm f1.2 // The 85mm was the first lens I ever fell in love with and in turn started my obsession with Canon L-series lenses! When I first purchased it years ago, it didn't come off my camera for months. Now that I have more of a variety of lenses to choose from, I save the 85mm for closeup portraits and occasionally for shooting on location lookbooks when the background is too busy and I need to blur it up a bit!
135mm f2 // I use the 135mm primarily when I'm shooting weddings or events. I use this lens so I don't have to get too close and disrupt the moment. For example, I would use the 135 and 85mm in combination to shoot a wedding ceremony or speeches to stay as far away as I possibly can.
Canon Speedlights + Triggers // I have both the Canon 580ex and 600ex flashes. I also primarily use my speedlights when shooting wedding receptions and try to avoid using them as much as I can! I very rarely use them for a fashion shoot, but occasionally it can be an interesting light source to work with. I photographed this series with my 580ex flash a few years ago. I also have flash triggers to create a back-lit flash effect, which I normally do during a wedding, but also rarely during fashion shoots as well when the occasion calls for it!
Batteries // It goes without saying that you need batteries to power your equipment! I have two sets of AA batteries to power my speedlight and six Canon batteries to power my cameras. I am used to spending full days (sunrise to dark) shooting on location with no where to charge my batteries if I run out, so I keep a lot of spares on me for these occasions.
Memory Cards // With long days of shooting, comes a lot of pictures, so I have quite a few memory cards on me at all times. The 5D mkiii's have a dual slot ability, so to ensure nothing happens to the images I shoot on the day, I have my photos recording to a CF card in the camera as well as an SD card too. So I have two copies of all my images before I even get back to the office!
Most of my CF cards are either 16GB or 32GB that I change throughout a shoot when they fill up. I have two 128GB SD cards that stay in my camera throughout the whole day that the CF card photos are backing up to as I shoot. There are lots of mentions that 128GB cards aren't reliable and it's not safe to have all your photos on one card, but it's a good option for a backup when your photos are already split up over a few different CF cards.
Having large SD cards also allows you to spend a full day shooting, come home, download all your photos, back them up, trash them from your CF cards, but keep them on your SD cards even if you have another shoot the day after. That way you don't need to delete all the original copies of your photos if you don't have the time to double check and make sure they have all downloaded correctly. Twice.
Holdfast Straps // This was a surprise birthday gift from my boyfriend Dan! Since I only shoot with prime lenses, sometimes it can be time consuming to shoot a look on one lens then change your lens to get a few extra photos with a different focal length. Here come the Holdfast Straps, where I can have two camera bodies with varying lenses on my hips. When I use the Holdfast Straps, I try to keep a varied focal length between the two lenses I am using on each camera. For example, if I have a 35 on one camera, I will have the 85 on another. Or if I am shooting with a 24 (which I didn't own at the time of taking this photo!), I will have a 50mm on the other camera. This is especially handy at a wedding when time is of the essence and you can't repeat a moment that has just happened in front of you and you missed it because you were shooting with a 400mm on a camera!
Extras + Some things that aren't pictured // I have two FujiFilm Instax Polaroid cameras that I LOVE (also a present from Dan - thank you!) - the wide and the mini. I usually just bring one or the other to a shoot to get a few extra film photos, but I mostly use these cameras for my personal adventures.
With every camera bag comes a few random personal items that can come in handy. I always try and keep bobby pins and hair ties in my bag for when my hair gets in my face and prevents me from concentrating! I also try and keep pain killers in my bag, a bottle of water and muesli bars - long days on location are long!
I also have normal camera straps for when I am only shooting with one camera, instead of using my Holdfast Straps. Admittedly I am quite bad at remembering to put these on my camera and usually end up shooting sans camera strap altogether, but they're in my bag regardless! I also have lens wipes, my phone on me and a flashlight for when we finish shooting after sunset and there are no lights about because we're in a remote location.
One last thing I keep in my camera bag (or if it's not in my camera bag, it's in my hand bag or in the car or just somewhere within my vicinity when I'm not home) is a small portable hard drive. On this hard drive I keep all my master JPG files from the beginning of time as well as all the RAW files of shoots I haven't edited and completed yet. This is just another backup option just in case my archived hard drives corrupt or are stolen, I don't have to lose any of the shoots I've done for clients whose photos I haven't delivered yet - or lose any of my photos in general.
My Camera Bag // Last but not least, we are brought to the point of where I carry all this stuff! I have my trusty InCase Camera bag that I absolutely love. It's comfortable, doesn't look like a dorky camera bag and fits everything I need. I don't take ALL the gear that I own to every shoot, so I'm normally carrying 2 camera bodies, 2 - 4 lenses, 1 or 2 flashes, all my camera batteries, flash triggers, AA batteries, 2 memory card cases.
What I take with me // Now, all this gear is super heavy and not always needed for every single shoot. Depending on what I am set out to work on for the day, I pick and choose the gear I need to take with me for the day. The gear that is always in my camera bag includes: 2 camera bodies, all my camera batters + memory cards and all the little extras such as water and food. The gear that I pick and choose what to take with me include: lenses and speedlights. The majority of the time I only take 2 or sometimes 3 lenses that I might need for a day instead of all them, so I don't strain my body when I have to walk around with my camera bag.