Loveland Photographer | What's in My Camera Bag?
Over the years, my camera bag and what it contains has changed drastically. I have had cheap lenses and I’ve gone from multiple lenses to a single lens. I’ve had makeup and cleaning stuff and pretty much anything you can think about being in a camera bag.
Putting it nicely, my camera bag was always a chaotic disaster.
This year I decided to change that. I invested in a nice camera bag, this is actually my first “fancy” camera bag ever and I’m stoked. And while I do change up some things depending on the shoot, I have a pretty set “everyday bag” that works great for me.
So let’s get into it….
I have looked at several different brands over the last year, but once I saw this one I fell in love. I love the style. I’m actually obsessed with the style. Because let’s be honest, we all want our camera bag to be functional, of course, but also stylish. And this bag is just the perfect mix of style and functionality.
It is from the brand Kamrette and it is made from vegan leather. It’s It’s honestly doens’t seem all that big when you look at it, but man does this bag hold some stuff. There is a laptop case and a tablet case on the backside. The straps are insanely comfortable, which is huge for me. There are too many pockets to count…ok not really, but there are quite a few. You have a pocket on one side, and on the front there is a super deep pocket, a medium deep pocket, and a small pocket. All are decent sizes. I have found uses for them all and still have tons of unused room.
The inside is awesome and has the typical velcro tabs that you can switch around to make different sized compartments. It can hold multiple camera bodies and lenses and tons of accessories. Oh, there is also a zip pocket and two little open pockets on the inside of the “lid” also.
Basically, there is tons of room and this bag is amazing! If you are on the hunt for a good camera bag, I can’t recommenced this one enough.
Now, onto what I have IN my bag….
I recently upgraded to a Canon 5D Mark IV and I absolutely love it. I used to crop-sensor for years and I was so beyond ready to move to a full-frame. For me, it has made all the difference in the world. I know some people like crops. I am not one of those people. I even love how much better it makes my lenses work. All around, I just feel like making the move from crop to full-frame was a great decision for me and my business.
The only thing I am not a fan of is how loud it is. Not insanely loud, no louder than my old camera, but still…it is not quiet by any means. Especially once I tried out my husbands new camera. Mine now sounds like a train is coming through. Ok, not the best analogy, but you get the point.
The point is, I love my camera and I would recommend a full-frame to anyone who is looking to invest in equipment for photography.
My main lens is my Sigma Art 24mm 1.4. I can’t express how obsessed I am with this lens. I watched and debated on this lens for what felt like forever. I absolutely love it. The bokeh is creamy and beautiful with that wide aperture. I shoot with it pretty wide prob 90% of the time, too. The blurred background it gives is beautiful. I also love how sharp it is. The lens I was using before, although it was a “cheap” lens, never gave me the sharpness I wanted. And with his one, even with the aperture so wide, it still gives you beautiful sharpness. And it is pretty great in low light, which is another thing I struggled with previously.
The only issue I found is that the focus can be a little hit or miss sometimes. I know, that sounds terrible, why would I get it..but I did some re-calibrating after I got it and honestly while it may have a random day or two here and there, those days are very rare. I just do some test shooting before I get to a session and see if for some reason it may need to be re-calibrated again. Again, I want to emphasize I have RARELY had bad days once I did the initial calibration. I don’t want to discourage you from getting this lens if you are considering it, but I would recommend you have a calibration triangle on hand so you can check it as soon as you get it.
The second lens I have in my bag at all times is my newest baby. It is what I call my “fun” lens. It’s a Lensbaby Sol 45 and while it is still very new, it’s a lot of fun. There is definitely a learning curve with this one, and I’m still learning. I lvoe the effect it gives to images where everything is SUPER blurred except a small focal point. It’s gives you almost a free-lensing effect, but with a little less work. Sidenote: if you have found a way to master free-lensing let me know..because it is HARD. So while I would never use this as my go-to everyday lens, it is a fun one to add to your collection and pull out for some pretty unique shots.
Ok, this is BY FAR my favorite, most exciting purchase I think I have ever made. When we were at WPPI this year we saw this booth for a camera harness. I have looked into camera harnesses briefly but never gave them too much thought.
Then, in Vegas, I realized how much carrying your camera around your neck with a normal strap SUCKS. My neck was killing me each day. I guess it’s never really been an issue because I tend to do shorter sessions. However, if I end up moving into weddings, because who knows what the future holds, or even going on hikes…..since I’ve starting bringing my camera with me pretty much everywhere….regular straps just will not work.
So while in Vegas I looked into harnesses more and looked into this company, Hold Fast, and decided to take the plunge. Now these are a pretty penny, so be warned, but OH. MY. GOODNESS. Every time I wear it I am so thankful I made the investment.
This makes it to where I literally can’t even tell I’m wearing a camera. It takes all the weight off my neck and I literally can’t even feel it. It is comfortable and the one I got can actually hold two camera. It has great range of motion as the camera can just move up and down on the strap. So it doesn’t limit your ability at all, unless maybe you are trying to stick the camera over your head or something.
They have different material options, both leather and and non-leather, and several different style options. While this is an investment, they should last forever as leather usually holds up really well. And the different leather options do determine the stiffness. While my husband got a stiffer leather, I got the American Bison leather and it is seriously like butter. It is soft and flexible and just hugs my body so I can barely feel it. But again., there are several different options at several different price points.
If you are considering a harness, it is a great decision. Even if you go with a different brand, wearing a harness vs. a neck strap is life changing.
i won’t go in to too much detail about all of the accessories I carry with me, but basically memory cards, SD cards, and some cleaning stuff are a must. The Pelican case is great for carrying multiple cards. It takes up little room and holds quite a few cards (mine holds 12). It’s nice to have them as backup and be able to just throw it in a pocket in your bag. I also like to always have a remote on hand should I decided to take some self-portraits. It’s not something I use everyday, but since it takes up so little room, it' pretty much stays in my bag. And you don’t need an expensive remote. This one from Amazon works great and was less than $10. It is always something nice to have on hand just in case.
This is not a requirement for everyone, but since moving to Colorado I have learned not to show up to a shoot in the Winter, or even the Spring or Fall sometimes, without gloves. It is miserable feeling like your fingers are going to fall off. I have learned this the hard way a few times. So, I have found it easiest to just keep some gloves in my bag at all times once it starts cooling off outside.
These from North Face are my favorite. They keep my fingers warm while still allowing me to shoot and make adjustments to my camera without issue. You definitely want to get some etip ones or ones that allow you to use technology, like your phone or camera, while wearing them.
THE “FUN STUFF”
While these are not things that necessarily always have to be in your bag, I’ve foudn that since they take up so little room, it is just easier for me to keep them there so I have them should a moment come up where I need them. When I used things like fairy lights or my glass ring or prism (not shown), I tend to do it on a whim. These are not things I think through beforehand. So, it works for me to keep a few random things in my bag for those spur of the moment ideas.
Boring, I know, but I always keep business cards in my bag. I’ve had clients ask if I had them so they could give them to a friend so I feel like it’s smart to always have them on hand. And it’s easier for me to just keep them in my bag than carry them in my wallet or pocket or wherever.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
While I did forget to get a picture of it, I ALWAYS have a highlighter palette in my bag. Clients often forget highlighter or don’t usually wear it, but it can make such a big difference in photos. I have a palette from Tarte that has tons of different shades that work for tons of different skin tones. Obviously this is not a requirement for all shoots, but definitely a helpful tool for some of them.
And that is it. That is everything I have in my camera bag at all times. Again, depending on the session style I may add a few things, but overall, this is what I have 99% of the time.
I hope this was helpful or you found this interesting. I always like to know what other photographers have as their “go-tos”.
If you carry something else in your bag, let me know. Maybe there is something I’m missing.
Until next time…..adventure on!