What's in my bag?!
I get asked all the time what camera I'm using or what lighting equipment I have...so I thought I'd go through my gear for you!
Nikon D800 - This is my newest addition and I am in LOVEEEE. It's a big step up from my D7000. I can't tell you how much I love having a full frame camera. I didn't think I was held back having a crop censor camera, but man...having full frame changes the game for me. And the ISO capability is amazing for weddings when it's dark but I don't want to use flash.
Nikon D7000 - This was my first camera, and my only camera until March 2015. It got me through so many sessions and so many weddings. I will forever love this camera because I feel like it was a great starter camera. I learned so many things with this camera and it will have a soft spot in my heart forever.
I like to keep it simple. I'm sure one day I will feel the need to expand, but as of now, I'm super content with the lenses I have.
Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 - This was my first lens purchase...besides the kit lens that came with my D7000. I'd say a good 90% of my photos are taken with this lens. I love the crispness of the prime, and I love the shallow depth of field I get when shooting wide open. I just love the creaminess and softness it brings to the photos. I'm pretty sure this will always be my favorite lens...until I get my hands on the 200mm f/2. Hahahaha
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 - Wow...such a great lens. I got this lens for weddings knowing I would need a range in focal length during the ceremony and reception. It's a great lens for getting ready shots when I don't have much space to move about in the getting ready suite. I use this lens for some ceremony shots, a lot of getting ready shots, family formals, and some reception shots. It's super crisp, which I love!
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 - This is my newest lens. I love the 24-70, but I needed to get closer up for wedding ceremonies when I couldn't actually step closer. I feel like I'm right up there next to the bride even though I'm standing way in the back. It's great! And OH EMM GEEEEE the bokeh. Don't even get me started! Love love love love love.
I try to keep this minimal. I like to shoot with natural light as much as possible. I only use lighting when absolutely necessary in newborn sessions, inside wedding shots, and late night outside wedding reception shots. Otherwise, you won't see me using flash....for the most part.
Yongnuo 467 ii Speedlight - Okay...I hate to say it...but I prefer this to the more expensive Nikon speedlights. Really, I do. I find it easier to manage, the recycle time is just as fast, and the flash head rotates so much easier. The only downside is that it goes through batteries faster. But for the price, it's awesome!
Nikon SB-800 Speedlight - I mainly use this when I need a kicker light at wedding receptions. It has a great recycle time, never misfires for me, and is easy to use. But because the batteries last longer than the YN-467 ii, I use this as my corner kicker light at wedding receptions so I'm not having to constantly run across the room to change the batteries.
AlienBee B800 Strobe - Ohhh I could go on and on and on for days about this. I am SO happy I purchased this. I use it for newborn sessions when I need to bounce light off the ceiling. It's super powerful and the recycle time is speedy quick. It is my go-to for wedding receptions and wedding departure shots (the sparkler shots as the couple departs the reception). I mean, I really don't have anything to say about it other than it's my true love. :)
Okay I just got this beaut. I started off using a diaper bag. Seriously. I used a diaper bag for months. Then I decided I should probably get a professional bag. So I got a backpack. It was good at the time. It was light-weight and held my gear in place very well. But once I started doing weddings, I found it super difficult to change lenses. I had to find a spot to put my backpack down so I could open it and swap lenses. That just wasn't cutting it for weddings. So I knew I needed a cross-body bag. I didn't want to pay hundreds of dollars for a bag...so I thought I could go to Target to get a cross-body bag and use it as my camera bag. Hahaha seriously...I'm not making this up. So I bought a super cute bag and I used the dividers that came in my backpack to organize a system where I could store my lenses. But the bag didn't have enough compartments for things, it didn't have enough room, and it didn't have a shoulder strap pad. By the end of a wedding, my shoulder would be killing me. So I finally decided to make the investment in a legit camera bag. I went with the JoTotes Missy Mint bag and OMGGGG I am in love!!! Seriously, it fits ALL of my gear (minus the Vagabond battery and the strobe).
Pocket Wizard Plus iii - I have a few of these bad boys. Once for my strobe, one for my flash that serves as a kicker light, and one for my camera. I only use these for weddings. I think they may the priciest triggers out there, but they are sooo worth it. You can assign 4 different lights and easily turn them on and off as you need to. Seriously...if you are going into the wedding photography business...I would totally recommend these!!
Paul C. Buff Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery - This is my portable battery for when I need to plug in my strobe but there aren't any outlets around. It was pricey, but definitely necessary for weddings. I did a wedding outside once where there were NO outlets, and I wouldn't have been able to use my strobe for lighting if I wouldn't have had the battery. Life saver.
Rogue FlashBender and Diffusion Panel - I can't stand super direct flash on a subject. So I got this bad boy. It distributes the light beautifully and it really softens my light at wedding receptions.
Extra Batteries - I really don't think an explanation is needed here. Weddings are long. Batteries don't last forever. You better have backups or you're screwed when your battery dies mid-wedding. LOL
So there you have it! Of course there are things that I have my eye on, but these items work great for me right now. I don't think I have a need to get anything else. I want more things, but I don't NEED anything else. I like to keep it simple and minimal. I know this doesn't look extremely minimal, but I promise you...this is very minimal for a photographer. Hahaha