What's In My Camera Bag

And why it shouldn't matter to you. . . 

It's nothing new to see your favorite educator listing out their favorite cameras, lenses, and accessories.  Don't worry. I'll appease you at the end of this post by talking a little more about my favorite tools to get me through a wedding day, but first I want to ask you to step back and think a little more.

Why do you want to know what I have in my camera bag? Are you secretly hoping that by having the same equipment as I have (or anyone else has) that you will be able follow in my footsteps and become a "successful" photographer and business owner. Are you not-so-secretly hoping for the same?

Take away all of the cameras, all of the lenses, and all of the crazy techie accessories that we all love and can’t stop buying. What is left behind? If you couldn’t pick up another camera for the rest of your life, what would be left for you?

Why does it matter to me?

Because I want you to be truly successful in your own right.  I know so many photographers who take amazing and epic photographs with a wide angle lens.  That person is not me.  Every once in a while, I take something that I feel is really special at 24mm.  Shooting fifty weddings a year doesn't allow me to wait for "once in a while" to happen.

My studio manager rocks a 50mm prime. I can't.  It's a lens that absolutely does not sing for me.  I pick up a 50mm and my camera just groans, "Here she goes again, wasting our shutter clicks with the 50mm."

Put my 100mm macro in my hand, however, and it is like a homecoming.  The cheerleaders are clapping on the sideline, there's a parade in my honor, and I'm waving a big, shiny trophy over my head.

Want to know an even bigger secret?

Take away all of the cameras, all of the lenses, and all of the crazy techie accessories that we all love and can't stop buying.  What is left behind?  If you couldn't pick up another camera for the rest of your life, what would be left for you?  

Could you find another passion to grow into a career?  Do you have marketable job skills? Furthermore, have you taken the time to foster the friendships and relationships that will support you or are you locked down to your workload?  If you are running a strong, balanced business, then I'm confident that you are answering yes.  If you answered no, put on the brakes, sit down, and build the business to support your art. (If you need some support to get to a "yes" answer, contact me).

So, finally, here is a list of what I typically carry with me on a wedding day.  It is by no means an exhaustive list of the toys that I have and enjoy playing with, but it is what I never leave home with out.

2- Canon 5DMarkII
1- Canon 6D
Canon 24-70mm 2.8
Canon 35mm 2.0
Canon 70-200mm 2.8
Canon 85mm 1.8
Canon 100mm 2.8 macro
Canon 135mm 2.0
2- Canon 600EX-RT
3- Yongnuo YN560 IV
2- Yongnuo YN560-TX
Westcott Ice Light

My work horse lenses is the 70-200mm. This lens is fabulous because it allows us to be unobtrusive while still getting in close for intimate moments. I love using it for ceremonies and for giving my couples the feeling of privacy during their portraits.  And, the lens compression is absolutely to die for!

Another sense that I love for it's compression and intimacy is the 135mm.  It is razor sharp, has otherworldly bokeh, and gives me great reach.  It's particularly useful in dark churches when I need the reach of a telephoto lens and the low-light capability of a prime.

If I can't have my 100mm macro lens, then I don't want to shoot anymore!  Photographing details is one of my favorite things to do on a wedding day.  It's a great way to start, because shooting macro is meditative.  You have to watch your breathing, be still, and concentrate.  I love working in manual focus and the tiny sliver of focus cuts like a razor.


Another fabulous portrait lens is my 85mm.  It has a wonderful combination of great low light capability and fast focus.  It's one of my go-to reception lenses.

I think it's important to talk about light.  I am happy to be a photographer who is very flexible with lighting--natural light, on-camera, OCF, and other modifiers such as my Ice Light and reflectors are all a regular part of my repertoire and I believe that the ability to understand and mold light is the essence of what it means to be a professional photographer.

So there you have it.  The majority of the contents of my camera bag.  What's in your kit?  I'd love to know more about what you shoot, why you choose it, and how you make it sing for you.

Ashley GerrityComment