Thursday, February 2, 2012

What's in My Bag? | Clear Lake Photographer

So I get asked a lot about what's in my bag, so I thought I'd post about my gear.  What I use and why I love each piece.

Canon 5D Mark II
Yep, I'm a Canon shooter, but I'm not a Nikon hater.  Each has it's pros and cons.  It just so happens that I started out with Canon and that is what I have built my base of lens around.  This is a full frame camera with high ISO capabilities.  It is great for inside homes or at weddings when you have low light.

Canon 50D
My back-up camera.  Yes, all professional photographers should have a back-up camera, and yes, you should take it to sessions.  And yes, you should have it charged and ready to go.  I hear a lot of folks say they don't need a back-up because they just shoot portrait sessions, not weddings.  Well, I would hate for a mom who spent hours getting herself and her whole family ready for a session to show up and have me tell her to go back home and do it all over again another day.  That's just not the way I think you should run a business.

Canon 50mm 1.4
This is the lens that sees pretty much like your eye views the scene.  It gives the subject a nice 3D look.  I often use it with children because I can get close and interact with them while I'm shooting.  This is a good lens for low light situations, although for a session, I'm more than likely going to pull out lights to help if the light is that low. I would say it is my go-to lens for indoor shoots.  It is a good focal length to capture the scene in tight spaces without the distortion of a short focal length. 

Canon 16-35mm 2.8L
So I call this lens the fun lens.  I use it for fun, silly portraits.  Think family running together or a silly face on a kid.  The distortion of this lens can really make for some fun compositions.  This lens also picks up a lot of background; hence, I use it when there is a beautiful landscape or sky behind my subject that I want to capture.  I'm a sky-lover.  I will use this lens at every shoot.  Indoor or outdoors - I love it!

Canon 100mm 2.8L macro
Love this lens!  Obviously, I use it to catch details of children and newborns, but it is also a beautiful, beautiful portrait lens.  I use this lens for most of my outdoor sessions.  The compression of this lens is so flattering to adults.  Of course, the compression also makes for beautiful bokeh.  I use this lens in the studio a lot too.  It is a great headshot lens too.

Canon 70-200mm 2.8L
I just added this lens to my arsenal.  I needed a longer focal length for some shots, and I'm loving this lens for so many of the same reasons I love the 100mm lens.  It is a great versatile lens. 

Canon 430EX Speedlight
This is a basic speedlight.  I might use this to bounce some light in a dark home or at a wedding.  I also use it with an umbrella or softbox to shoot off-camera flash especially with seniors.  It is highly portable, and I take it to every session.  Always be prepared right.


  1. Ooooh, great post! I love how you explained the purpose for each lens!

  2. I agree... awesome post! I love your "fun" lens and that shot is fantastic!

  3. As a photographer, I love reading what is in your bag!!

  4. Love this post! So informative!

  5. Very Cool!! I've always loved that wide angle shot of your family!! Thanks for sharing your gear!

  6. Very cool post!!! I love your wide angle lens shots!!! Can't wait to see what all you can do with the 70 - 200!!!!

  7. Great post, pictures and explanations!

  8. I'm always curious about what's hiding in a photographer's camera bag. Thanks for sharing your goodies!