inside the camera bag

December 5, 2018

 

I get a lot of questions from fellow photographers about what gear I use! So I thought I would hop on the blog and talk a little bit about what’s in my camera bag, what my go-to equipment is, and my recommendations for those who are just starting out or are trying to decide what their next equipment investment should be.

 

Let’s start with my camera. This beauty right here is the Nikon D750, and I have two of these. I LOVE this camera. I upgraded to this from my starter Nikon D3300 back in 2016 and I have not looked back. This camera is sharp, fast, and has incredible low-light capabilities. It produces beautiful colors and bokeh, and is all around a great camera for portrait and wedding photography. She’s a powerhouse, and an incredible bang for your buck when comparing to competing full-frame cameras.

Next up are my lenses. Now, lenses are tricky because each lens is so different in how it affects an image. There are lots of great lenses out there and the reality is that what you’re going to love is really going to be your personal preference. For this reason, it’s a great idea to rent or borrow lenses to try them out before you make a big purchase!

In my personal opinion, if you could only have one lens, I would recommend a 50mm. It’s very versatile and easy to use. You don’t have to worry too much about distortion, and you don’t have to be way far back from your subjects. The Sigma Art 50mm f1.4 is on my camera the majority of the time for this reason! Pictured next to it is the Sigma Art 35mm f1.4…. aren’t they pretty? These lenses are beautiful, fast, and incredibly sharp.

I’ll be honest, I purchased the 35mm because I heard so many people loved it for portraits! It’s very popular / trendy in the photography world at the moment. I ended up not loving 35mm focal length because of distortion, and it doesn’t create a compressed, super soft background that I personally love. But I’m not sad that I have it. I still use it frequently at weddings when I’m working in tight spaces, or when I’m taking large group photos. The wide angle is very handy in those situations!

I also have Nikon’s version of the 50mm f1.4 (pictured on the right). This was the first lens that I invested in, and I definitely recommend it! If you’ve got an entry level camera and a kit lens, and are looking to upgrade something… this is a great first lens choice! After this, I would recommend upgrading your camera body, and then adding to your lens collection. That is the order that I feel makes the greatest impact. Even though I have the Sigma Art 50, I keep this little guy around because it’s so light! It’s great to travel with or use for everyday personal use. I use my Sigma at my professional shoots because I find that it’s more crisp and I like the coloring a little better. But not to discredit this one, because it really does do a great job.

My least used lens (pictured on the left) is the Sigma 24-70 f2.8. I personally love shooting on Prime lenses due to their sharpness and speed, and for that reason I rarely pull out this zoom lens. However, it is great to have when I do need it! Which is occasionally at weddings. If you’re wanting a zoom lens, this one is very versatile. It’s also very affordable compared to Nikon and Canon’s version.

Last but not least: my baby. Nikon 85mm f1.8. I LOVE this lens. It’s light and fast, and creates such a beautiful compressed background. It’s a very flattering focal length for portraiture (I use it for individuals and couples). This lens is very affordable and I recommend it along with the 50mm!

As a photographer you can never have too many SD cards. My favorite cards are Lexar Pofessional that write at 150 mb/s. I have twelve cards, most of them are 16gb, but I have a couple 32gbs and a 64gb. I have this nifty little card case, and I keep my empty cards on one side and then transfer them to the other when they’re full. This system has been so nice as weddings and shoots fill up, because I don’t clear images off the cards until the session / wedding on them is completed and delivered to the clients. So for that reason, I’m constantly buying more!

Not pictured are two chargers, four camera batteries, an off-camera flash/diffuser, a tripod, and a very heavy back pack! If it seems like a lot… it’s because it is! But it’s taken me two years to build up this collection. If you’re just starting out, just remember that the gear you own is not nearly as important as how you use it. Practice the heck out of what you’ve got, and slowly upgrade as you improve and have the means to do so.

Thanks for hanging out with me and props to you if you made it all the way to the end! I’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment below! I’d love to answer your questions, and hear about your favorite gear!

XOXO

McKenzie

 

 

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