This post has been a long time coming. I get questions all the time from readers, friends, and family about what exactly I carry in my camera bag and what my essentials are.
I do still consider myself a beginner photographer as there is always something new to learn about photography every day but I feel like I have definitely come a long way from picking up my first DSLR.
I am completely self-taught and everything I have learned thus far has been from either reading blogs, reading books, reading manuals, and mostly just getting my camera out and shooting almost every day.
Getting to know your camera and then just getting out there to shoot is, I think, the best way to learn.
So here we go… all the things that are in my camera bag when I’m out and about and also all the things I use at home when shooting food. And a few things I’d love to either upgrade to or what I’m lusting after.
When I’m Out
I was in the market for a camera purse for a long time and on a whim put this one from Jo Totes on my Amazon wish list then forgot about it. Well, the hubby must’ve looked at my wish list because I got it as a gift for Christmas a couple years back and I could not be more thrilled with it. It is perfect for carrying exactly what I need when just going out to shoot with friends, or shoot at a restaurant, or just do some street shooting. It has a ridiculous amount of pockets for all the little things and has padded bottom, sides, and inserts to protect your camera body and lenses. It comes with two straps: one for carrying crossbody and the other to carry as a regular purse. I use both equally so that’s why I keep both straps attached but you can totally take one off or whatever. You can see more pictures of this bag here.
After having another baby, carrying two purses/bags out all the time was getting a little cumbersome. So I took to Amazon again and found this little backpack that is great for keeping my hands free so I can tend to the baby or whatever else I may need my hands for… haha. This little bag also fits perfectly in the under-basket of my stroller if I don’t feel like carrying it. It has a bunch of pockets and enough space for multiple camera bodies and lenses. And the sides also have elastic bands so you can attach a mini-tripod if you want.
Canon Rebel T6i
I absolutely love this camera. I have had this one for about 2 1/2 years now and even though I keep thinking and lusting over a full-frame model, I just don’t quite feel the need to do so yet. This camera is perfect for what I need it for and when I start feeling limited then I’ll go ahead and upgrade. Till then… I’m good.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
This was my first non-kit lens purchase after getting more into photography. I still have this lens but ever since upgrading to the Sigma, I haven’t had the need for this one. However, I still highly recommend this lens.
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 Lens
This lens is everything. I love it so much and do not know what I did before I had this lens. I loved taking photos with the 50mm but when I was out and about, I felt limited by the focal distance on that one if I was in a tight space. Ever since getting this Sigma I have not felt limited in any way. Plus, it takes amazing photographs.
This is a fun little tripod that I stick in my backpack or purse for more long-exposure photography when I’m out and not feeling like lugging the giant tripod. This thing holds my current DSLR and Sigma without fear of it toppling over. I also love that I can wrap it around a bench or railing if needed.
Wireless Shutter Remote
The title says it all. Want to take a selfie or get in the photo with your family or take a long exposure without risking camera shake… get a remote. I’ve been using this remote since I started posting a few fashion posts and didn’t have anyone to take pictures for me. It’s an intervalometer so you can set it to take multiple photos without having to push the button each time. Just set the time between each and press the play button. Then you just put the remote in your purse or back pocket and it will take a series of photos for you and if you have your camera set to auto-focus, it will focus before each shot… which is perfect for fashion posts and moving around a little and each one comes out sharp.
Wireless Remote Batteries
Just in case the batteries in the wireless remote die for any reason, it’s good to have a backup.
Lens Filters – UV, CPL, and ND
I know there are better brands out there for lens filters but I bought these on a whim before a trip and they’ve turned out great for me. Until they crack or break I don’t see myself needing new ones any time soon. I keep the UV filter on my lens at all times and then add or change out to the others when needed.
Lens Cleaning Kit
With littles running around, there are always bound to be some kind of smudge or dust or crumbs on my camera. Gotta keep my camera and lens clean.
Because you can’t take pictures without them and these ones are fast and large enough for shooting 1080p video when I do the random food video post.
Memory Card Case
You don’t want a bunch of memory cards just thrown into your bag or you might lose some of them. This case keeps them all in one spot and they’re protected.
Extra Battery Pack
I am notorious for forgetting to check my battery level before taking the camera out with me. So I always make sure that I carry my spare battery, that is fully charged, in my bag in case I’m shooting and the camera dies. It’s actually happened before and I was stuck without a battery. Ever since that incident, I don’t leave home without a spare battery.
When I’m Home
I used to take this everywhere with me and also use it every time I shot at home. It’s definitely a great product for getting your white balance correct in the camera before shooting but I found it takes a little too much time to use when out and about and you have just a small window to get the shot you want. So now I just use it at home for food shots.
Vanguard Alta Pro Tripod
I recently invested in this tripod and I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner. I absolutely love it. It’s a must heavier weight than my previous basic tripod but that makes it super sturdy and able to hold my camera for overhead shots or, if I’m shooting outside, while the wind is blowing hard without toppling over.
I have made all my own food background, so far, for the blog. I like to gets my hands dirty and try a good DIY every once in a while and being creative is fun.
You can see how I’ve made some of my backgrounds here.
Lighting Reflector/Diffuser Kit
When the sun is just a little too harsh, I’ll use this to soften it. Or if there isn’t enough sun or light from artificial lighting, I’ll use one of the other filters it comes with to bounce the light back onto the food I’m shooting. It’s the prefect size.
When I’m Traveling
Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II
This past (2018) summer the hubby and I had a bunch of trips planned… Vegas twice, Dallas, Florida, and I surprised my mom with a trip to Napa for her birthday. Since I knew I was going to be traveling a lot I decided to invest in a better travel camera. When I’m in my home-town I absolutely take my large DSLR out but it gets heavy and cumbersome when you’re traveling and only want to carry a small purse with you… so that’s the reason I bought this. It takes amazing photographs despite it’s small size and I love that I can control the camera manually just like me large DSLR. When I went on all those trips I ended up taking both camera with me just in case this one didn’t do what I wanted… but I quickly realized that I don’t need my large camera anymore when I travel because this one does everything I need it to.
Since I bought a new camera, I needed a new little case to carry it while I travel. When I put the camera in my carry-on bag I use the case, but when I put it in my purse I don’t take the case with me. It’s a little big and I don’t necessarily need it when I’m out so I just use it to help protect it while I’m in the car, airport, and plane.
Under the Seat Bag
I use this to put my camera purse in and it also fits my laptop and laptop sleeve and anything else I need while on the plane. It allows me to carry everything I need on the plane with me instead of checking any of my equipment and risk it getting damaged. Unless I want to bring a tripod for any reason, then I’ll put that in my checked luggage.
I finally got a new laptop! The hubby bought it for me for Christmas and I could not be more excited about it. It’s one of the 2-in-1s so it has a drawing pen and folds open on itself so I can use it as a tablet when I want. I literally use this for everything blog related and the tablet/pen feature make it prefect for editing photos in Lightroom or Photoshop.
New laptop calls for a new sleeve to keep it safe. I don’t need a new laptop specific bag because I already have one but I wanted a sleeve that I could use to put in any purse on the fly or put in my carry-on roller bag when I travel. This one is perfect and has a zipper pocket for the laptop pen and charger.
Canon 6D Mark II
Maybe one day but for now I’m super happy with what I already have. But then ya never know, maybe by that time they’ll have a better model?
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L or Sigma Equivalent
I’ve been wanting this lens for as long as I’ve had my T6i but just cannot, yet, justify the cost. Plus with the crop factor of my current camera body and the current sigma lens, I am getting close to the same focal distance already. Maybe if and when I upgrade my body then I’ll upgrade the lens to go with it. Oh that’s going to be an expensive day… haha, ouch.
Vanguard VEO Travel Tripod
After investing in the Vanguard tripod above, I realized I wanted to get a super sturdy travel tripod. This one is on my list because it’s made by the same company and it has great reviews. It also folds up super small so I could fit it in my carry-on if need be. Maybe if next years travel shapes up to be the same as this year then I’ll grab it.