As photographers, we all have our favorite tools of the trade. From our first camera that brings us back to the moment we stepped into our own unique voice in the world of photography, to the latest lens that has become a game changer in how we capture the intimate moments between those we are photographing, our favorite tools will always make their way into our bag we take with us on shoots. While the details may differ on the exact model of camera, the exact brand of lens, or the exact flavor of gum, I know the contents of my bag has everything I need for every shooting situation I find myself in.
Below is my list of ‘What’s In My Bag’. With items ranging from the cameras to ponytails, I’m sure you’ll find the list helpful when preparing your own bag before heading out on your next shoot.
No surprise to see my Nikon d750 topping the list. It’s my go-to camera and I’ve been shooting with it for years. It’s reliable, I know how it works from years of experience, and I’m comfortable using it in various environments.
Sigma Art 35mm
This is my classic 35mm lens. The Sigma Art 35 is perfect for just about everything I would never go to a shoot without it.
Nikon 45mm Tilt Shift
It’s simple and effective– what more do you want when it comes to cleaning your lens? The NLP-1CUP UltraPro Lens Pen has been my favorite one for a long time. It’s easy to use and doesn’t leave streaks or any residue on my lens for a perfect shot each and every time.
I never leave the house without ponytails. Ponytails are perfect for keeping your hair out of the way on an especially windy day, for last minute hair or clothing fixes when shooting your clients and can be used to hold together a bunch of flowers or a collection of wild sprigs from a field. Multipurpose and always in my bag.
Nena and Co Convertible Day Bag
I received this bag as a gift and I can’t imagine switching out to another bag anytime soon. The durable leather base and straps, zipper closures on all pockets and one-of-a-kind fabric make it the perfect camera bag. It can also be used over the shoulder, across the body and as a backpack.
While I love the lens pen I use, it’s also handy to have a cloth as well. During unpredictable weather, or when I’m close to a beach, the odd splash of water on my lens means I want to use a lens cloth to remove the droplet and ensure a clean lens for continuing on with the shoot.
A no-brainer, gum is handy to have on hand to ensure your breath is fresh when working so closely with clients.
If you’ve ever attended a workshop I’ve hosted or purchased a course online, you’ll be familiar with my Spotify Playlist. This is a playlist of well over 100 songs which spark that dreamy, emotive side of shooting from both my clients and myself. I often cue clients to embrace and sway with the music to capture a more authentic and fluid movement, instead of a stagnant post of a hug and this playlist is the perfect combination of whimsy, fun, and romance.
Underwater Portable Speaker
What good is a playlist on your phone if you don’t have a way to share it with those who surround you? I keep my Underwater Portable Speaker charged and in my bag for shoots so I can share my playlist with the individuals I am shooting.
SD Cards and Cardholder
I remember shooting without a cardholder and trying to keep my various SD card organized in a system of used and unused pockets. Investing a cardholder keeps everything in one place where I can easily sort what has been used and what I have left to use during a shoot.
Fully charging everything you need before leaving for your shoot is crucial– and so is taking extra batteries. I keep extra of everything I use regularly on hand, including my plug-in wall charger for when I’m shooting in a home and can perhaps plug in and re-charge batteries if need be!
The Sony a6000 camera is perfect for capturing the movement of little ones running around during a family session or splashes of water when your clients leave all reservations behind and jump in the water during their shoot.
Sea Frogs Underwater Case
If you know me, you know I like to get in the water. Even in my session guides, I recommend to clients to be ready for the water if we are planning a shoot location where the water is nearby. This also goes for at home images in the shower. Having a wonderful underwater case like this Sea Frogs Underwater Case has become a staple in my shoots. It protects my camera while still capturing the shots that turn moments into memories.
Trust me, my bag didn’t always contain all these items– but through learning, I’ve established the items I cannot go to a shoot without that suit my needs as a photographer always encouraging authenticity with my clients so I can capture the moments that bring them life. These moments can involve water, running and being intimate, and having the right gear on hand is imperative to be sure I can be the best photographer for their needs.