June 21, 2018
Recently I had a couple of people ask me what type of gear I use so the other day I decided to do a Live video going through my entire camera bag(s). It’s a 32 minute video but hopefully pretty entertaining and helpful if you are a gear nut, just learning, or wondering what to get next.
I wanted to make sure I included all the links so that you can purchase it if you wanted to and expand upon reasons why I choose the gear I did.
*disclaimer* The gear that I use changes relatively often depending on what technology is being released and the needs I have for shooting. Keep that in mind.
Special cameo appearance by Remus.
Check out below for the links to all the gear mentioned:
Lowepro Nova Sport 35L I Previously owned the smaller version: Lowepro Nova Sport 17L and loved it for about a year and then I bought too much gear for it to hold anymore. I upgraded to the 35L because I loved how all of my gear fits comfortably. Everything is placed standing up so it is easy for me to open the bag and nab exactly what I want and quickly. The strap is well padded, comes with a rain fly, and is fairly inconspicuous on a wedding day.
Vanguard xcenior (purchased in 2013- might be discontinued now): Unfortunately I believe this bag is no longer sold. I think the design of this bag is super smart. In a perfect world I would have bought one bag size bigger than this one. It is smaller than a normal carry on luggage, has handles all around and has a tripod holder (which I don’t use because I have a whole bag for that)
Canon 5dmkiii Love this camera. I have been using this version for 3 years or so. My favorite feature is the dual memory card slots. It gives me peace of mind to know I have a backup in case a card corrupts.
Sigma 85mm Had heard wonders of the 85mm focal length and opted for the Sigma ART version. It doesn’t disappoint. It’s physically heavy and big but the quality of the image you get is worth it.
Sigma 50mm This lens is on my camera the majority of the time. I find 50mm to be a reasonable length for most getting ready areas and portraits. If I need to be wider then I slap on the lens below.
Sigma 35mm This used to be my go-to lens. I coveted this lens. Then it started acting like a rebellious teenager and I lost a bit of trust in it so it doesn’t get put on my camera as much as it used to. The focal length is lovely if you don’t mind getting close to people (which I don’t) and allows you a pretty wide view without too much distortion.
Canon 100mm macro Purchased this used last year because I wanted a true macro lens for detail photos and ring shots. I rarely use it outside of that and product photography. Anytime I have to get close on something super small I use this lens.
Canon 24-70mm f2.8 This was the first lens I ever purchased (version one, I now have version 2.) It’s super versatile with the focal lengths and the ability to go down to F2.8 is lovely. This is now my go-to reception/dancing lens. The 70mm comes in handy when I am on the outside of the dance floor and the 24mm works wonders when I am inside the dance floor. If you could only afford one lens this would be a good one.
Canon 135 f2 I purchased this from my wedding photographer (when he switched to Nikon) and have to say it is beautiful. It’s primary purpose is ceremony but if I have the physical space I will use it for portraits. The compression makes it super flattering on people. This was one of those semi-impulse purchases that I definitely glad I did.
Magmod I originally got a basic kit at a workshop and it revolutionized how I used flash. Basically, it allowed me more control of the light coming out of my speedlight. It gave me permission and ease to simply play with flash and lighting. I am ever grateful to this product. If you are even remotely interested in learning flash this is a great tool to help you learn how to control your light.
Godox V860 These speedlights are new to me (purchased 2017) and I am so annoyed I didn’t buy them sooner! These have been a game changer in the amount of trust I have in my flash. The lithium-ion battery is amazing: lasts forever, recycles faster, and no more 100’s of AA batteries lying around in my camera bag. These also allow me to use one flash as a master and set the OCF as slaves. Basically I have all the power and I don’t have to move my feet or lower my stands to change the flash power. It’s helpful to be able to adjust your flash power as the wedding party introductions are happening.
Godox Trigger Sometimes I just want OCF so you need something to trigger it: ta-da. Looking back I would have purchased this one: Godox XC-Pro.I thought it would be awesome to have my hotshoe still be an option to put a flash or something else on it. More often than not I just use a v860 as the master and don’t use this trigger. The only time I do need a trigger and an open hotshoe is during the exit. More often than not I will backlight the couple with a flash and have my video light on my hotshoe.
13ft Light Stand I used to use 10ft lightstands and loved them but then I accidentally broke it slightly after 5 years so I increased my stand height. I prefer to have my flashes above the crowd so that I can decrease the amount of weird shadows on faces. The height also allows my flashes to be fully out of camera frame if I were to be shooting towards them and reduces the amount of flare or haze that usually produces. This stand is very sturdy and slightly heavy. It has a strong wide base. I also have this 13ft light stand that is similar to the Cheetah stand in regards to it’s base. I didn’t feel I needed two of these since they rarely move once I put them in place. Plus I like saving some money so I opted for the cheaper one that suited my needs fine.
Manfrotto Nano Stand I dub this my travel and engagement shoot stand. It’s lightweight and packs small. It fits comfortably in my normal carry on bag. It is very versatile but not incredibly sturdy.
LightStand Bag Due to my large light stand needs it’s hard to find stand bags long enough to fit them. Thankfully I got creative and went outside of the photography section on Amazon. This is technically a speaker stand bag but it works swimmingly for my needs. It fits 2 13ft lightstands, 1 10ft stand, nano stand, umbrella, and my reflector. It impressed me.
Yongnuo YN300 (Video Light) This is the perfect thing for exit photos. It’s constant, consistent, and can be gelled to match the ambient color. It also comes in handy during night portraits. provides a nice kick of light sometimes over a speed light. I love having this in my bag of goodies.
Huge aluminum frame reflector This thing is awesome when used correctly. There is definitely an art form to reflector holding. Best part of this reflector is that it can basically act as a giant softbox without having to learn flash. If you are a “natural light” photographer then you should snag one of these. Two links because it’s a bit tricky to find online. I learned of it through a friend and searched the exact model they have an found one cheap on Ebay. Found this one on Amazon. You could also try searching Interfit INT304 and hope you get lucky online like I did.