I’m going to open a new series on the blog of behind the scenes posts starting with the contents of our camera bags and photography equipment. I pack my bag(s) based on the type shoot, location of shoot, and load capacity. (Hey…a girl can only carry so much…)
This is my (Moo’s) bag. His name is Gus. He likes long walks on the beach and belly laughs. Every photographer is on this constant search for the perfect bag. We know it’s out there and we will hunt it down! During the search for the perfect bag you pick up a rag tag collection of almost “perfect” bags….they’re all lined up on a dusty shelf in the corner of the studio adequately named the Island of Misfit Bags. To begin with my bag wasn’t really my bag at all, Dave ordered it for himself, was shipped the wrong size, and forgot to return it. I discovered it in an unmarked cardboard box during a spring cleaning a year or so later, and I felt like I had laid claim to One Eyed Willie’s treasure. My Perfect Bag…the Think Tank Urban Disguise 40. (the link is for version 2.0, mine is 1.0) I could definitely write an entire post about the many reasons why I love my bag and practically all Think Tank bags, but let’s save that for another time.
Today I’m going to show you what I took to the last session I posted on the blog, a baby portrait I shot in the client’s home. I shot a previous session their home, so I knew exactly what focal lengths would work best for the environment where I would be shooting. (If I didn’t know what the shooting environment was like, this bag would be packed differently.) So here are the contents of my bag for Cullan’s 7 Months shoot:
2. Canon 7D. Backup body. I think it’s important to always have a backup body. I have had a camera stop functioning mid-shoot, thankfully I had my trusty backup and was able to finish the shoot without the client even noticing something went wrong. If I didn’t have the backup I would’ve had to end the shoot and yikes…that would’ve been horrible.
3. Extra Camera Batteries.
4. Canon 50mm f/1.2L with hood. This is my BFFL. I use this lens more often than any lens we own. It is an extension of my brain, and best captures the way that I see the world.
5. Canon 580EXII. I didn’t use it for this shot, but I always bring one or two just in case.
6. Battery Charger.
7. Extra body and lens caps. On a shoot with a baby I change lenses quickly so I keep extra caps beside me while I work to make the transition easy and safe for the equipment.
8. Canon 100 f/2.8L macro. This is the most recent addition to our arsenal. I tried this lens at the PhotoPlus Expo a couple of years ago and kinda fell in love. I wanted to update our Sigma 150mm macro lens, and we were finally able to at the end of the year. (The Sigma will be for sale soon, if you are interested shoot me an email.) I use this lens for fun stuff like baby eyelashes and toes.
9. Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L. I hung out around 35mm for this shoot.
10. Sanyo Eneloop awesome rechargeable batteries and charger. We always use rechargeable batteries…best for your wallet and the environment.
11. Lens cloth. I thoroughly clean our bodies and lenses before every shoot, but I bring a lens cloth to keep things tidy along the way.
12. Notebook. In case I need to make a note. Cullan was scratched under the eye by his cousin the day before the shoot, so I made a note to remove the scratch during post production. It’s always a good idea to ask your client, “Is that a birthmark or a mole?” You don’t want to unintentionally remove something you thought was a scratch or blemish.
13. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm.
14. Altoids. Babies love fresh breath.
15. Pilot G2. The best pen ever…
16. Business cards. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a walk or at a random event and someone asks, “What do you do for a living?” and I say…smiling, “I’m a photographer.” And they smile back and ask, “Can I have your card, I know someone who needs ____.” And the world starts moving in slow motion and I’ve seriously had to say….”Oh! I don’t have a card on me.” Don’t let this happen to you! I have one of these card holders in every handbag and camera bag I own. Never leave home without your cards. Never.
17. SanDisk memory cards. The sort of big ones. We had a couple of cards from another company that kinda melted and became misshaped in a bag one time…which was really strange. We only shoot raw, we only use SanDisk. We trust these cards.
This completely packed bag weighed 14.5 lbs. Which isn’t so bad!
The contents of your camera bag are unique and define how you work. I hope it was kinda fun or at least interesting to see inside my bag and get an idea of how I work. What do you think? If you’re a photographer…amateur or professional, I would seriously love to see inside your camera bag. Post a pic in the comments here or on Facebook.
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