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What’s in My Bag? My Camera Gear Lineup!

March 13, 2017

What’s In My Bag?

I want to start off this post by stating that it’s important to understand that equipment isn’t everything. I have seen SO many talented photographers produce incredible work with equipment that some wouldn’t deem as “professional”. Always remember that it’s not always about WHAT you have – it’s about what you DO with it! However, I do believe that investing in professional grade equipment can help further your business as you get down the road. By no means am I saying that you NEED all of this equipment to start your business! My first wedding was photographed on a Canon 70D using a kit lense and guess what? Those pictures still turned out great! But as I have continued my journey, I have found that I was in need of certain equipment and that’s when I started building my collection!

I’ve received multiple emails  & messages on my social media accounts from photographers asking me about equipment advice – so I figured it would be helpful to talk about the equipment that I use all the time!

What's in My Bag? My Camera Gear Lineup!

Canon 5D Mark III (x2)

Well for starters, this thing is a serious workhorse! I love it like I would love a child. With the large amount of focus points & the dual card slots, this beast is everything. I loved it so much that I bought two! 😉 Having the dual card slots is so important being a wedding photographer! I’m able to record all the photos taken on a wedding day onto a SD card and a CF card. So in the event that one of the card possibly fails, the other card still has all the images! This has never actually happened to me but you can’t be too careful when it comes to wedding photography! I currently have two of these that I haul around with me to all my weddings!

Cost Breakdown:

Brand New: $2,499

Refurbished: $2,099

Used: $1700-$2000 (based on my searches on Craigslist)

My thoughts: I purchased my first Mark III on Canon’s refurbished platform. I actually buy a lot of my equipment refurbished or used! I prefer refurbished because that generally will mean that, yes, there was an initial problem with the piece of equipment. However, it means that a professional not only fixed the issue, they made sure that every other function was working perfectly before putting it back up for sale! I purchased my second Mark III from a photographer friend.

This doesn’t fit into your budget? You have another option!

Canon 6D

Brand New: $1,499

Refurbished: $1,199

My thoughts:

My second shooter uses this camera and LOVES it! At a MUCH less expensive price, the 6D is also a full frame camera and offers exceptional low light recovery. The only negative, I would say, would be the lack of focus points and only one card slot. However, I highly recommend this one if you’re on a budget and you’ve been dying to upgrade to full frame!

What's in My Bag? My Camera Gear Lineup!

Canon 85mm f/1.2L II

This thing is my baby. It’s one of my more recent photography purchases and it was hands down one of the best investments I’ve made! The compression on this lens adds an incredible bokeh (blurred background) to all the images it takes. It’s such a dreamboat for portraits! A few downsides with this lens, however, is that you do have to stand a fair distance back if you want a full body to be in your frame, as well as that it can be a little slow to focus sometimes. However, those things don’t bug me too much because 90% of the photos I take are with this baby!!

Used For: 

Basically everything! I use this for engagement sessions, headshots, and almost all the portrait-related portions of a wedding day! If the ceremony space is big enough, I love using it for those as well!

Cost Breakdown:

Brand New: $1,899

Refurbished: $1,599

If you’re doubting this lense, go check out my Best of 2016 blog post! 90% of the photos listed there were taken with this lense!

This doesn’t fit into your budget? You have another option!

Canon 85mm  f/1.8

Brand New: $369

Refurbished: $336

My thoughts: 

This is a GREAT alternative to the 1.2 version! The reason I went with the 1.2 version off the bat is because I knew that I would eventually want to upgrade it! I figured I might as well just go forward and purchase that one! However, the 1.8 version is extremely comparable!

What's in My Bag? My Camera Gear Lineup!

Canon 50mm f/1.2L

This guy is actually one of my newer purchases and I LOVE it! It’s my go-to for smaller spaces where my 85mm won’t cut it. And it’s generally on one of my cameras all day at weddings! I would say it’s definitely one of the most popular lenses in the photography industry for Canon users because of how versatile it is!

Used For: 

This is another lens that I can use for generally anything! I tend to stick to my 85mm 1.2 for engagement sessions, but I keep this baby on my second camera ALL day at weddings! I use it for getting ready shots, large group shots, ceremonies, and I generally will use it for all the formal aspects of the reception!

Cost Breakdown:

Brand New: $1,299

Refurbished: $1,159

This doesn’t fit into your budget? You have another option!

Canon 50mm f/1.4

Brand New: $349

Refurbished: $319

My thoughts:

Although I now have the upgraded version, I still adore the 50mm 1.4. It was my FIRST prime lens EVER! And it seriously was SUCH a game changer for me! Way back in the day, I was using primarily kit lenses but when I started learning more and more about photography, this was my first “fancy” lens purchase! I take the 50mm 1.4 on vacations, too, because it’s SO lightweight!

What's in My Bag? My Camera Gear Lineup!

Canon 135mm f/2.0L

This is my second newest purchase and seriously, you guys, this lens is such a dreamboat! Because it’s fixed at 135mm, the compression is GORGEOUS! And it is so sharp! I’m actually surprised that this lens isn’t more popular! I actually purchased this lens at the exact same time that I purchased the Canon 50mm 1.2 (featured above) and it was the perfect addition to my collection. I was kind of leaning towards purchasing the Canon 70-200mm 2.8 but that one is pretty pricey. The reason I ended up going with the 135mm is because there are times where having a longer focal length is needed but I just didn’t want to drop almost $2,000 on the 70-200mm when I wouldn’t use it a ton! The 135mm comes at a MUCH cheaper price tag and I’m extremely happy with this purchase! I can’t wait to use it more for weddings this summer!

Used for: 

I’ve only had one wedding since purchasing this wedding and it was perfect! I used it for a few instances where I was at a further back distance and couldn’t get any closer to the couple (they were on a bridge). But I’ve used it for multiple portrait sessions and haven’t even been remotely disappointed!

Cost Breakdown:

Brand New: $999

Refurbished: $799

What's in My Bag? My Camera Gear Lineup!

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART

I would have to say that this is probably one of the most used lenses in the industry right now. Almost every single photographer that I know uses and SWEARS by this baby. And with good reason! It’s as sharp as a tack! I love that it’s a wider alternative to the 50mm but still offers the creamy bokeh! This was my go-to before I got my 85mm 1.2! I seriously used it for everything because it was so versatile! However, the only negative that I’ve found is that it isn’t uncommon for this model to have issues back focusing (which is my problem with it right now!). I am going to get it sent in to Sigma for calibration pretty soon so hopefully that fixes the issue! But otherwise, I totally love and recommend it! Plus, the cost is amazing too! The canon version runs around $1200 so for the cost? Worth it!

Used for:

I love using this lens for getting ready shots in super tight spaces! I also will use it for all those nice wide angle shots of reception details!

Cost Breakdown:

Brand New: $899

Refurbished: $679

What's in My Bag? My Camera Gear Lineup!

Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro

This lens is my absolute FAVORITE when it comes to detail shots – especially ring photos! I use this for ALL of my ring shots and my up close detail photos. The detail that it can capture is impeccable. I ended up purchasing the older version of this lens because of the price tag – I knew that I wanted to have a macro lens but the L version of this lens sits at about $900 and that just wasn’t in my budget! I ended up buying this used from another photographer and it works perfectly! From what I’ve read, you have to hold a little bit more still with this one but I’ve had no issues with that.

Used for:

Detail photos – jewelry, rings, bridal details. My second shooter has used it in the past at ceremonies, as well!

Cost Breakdown:

Brand New: $599

Refurbished: $479

What's in My Bag? My Camera Gear Lineup!

Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L

I would say that this is probably one of my least used lenses! Although the focal length variety is great – I’ve found that it’s fairly heavy and clunky. However, this is a priceless lens for me at wedding receptions! I love that I can get up-close shots as well as awesome wide shots all without having to change lenses! But it DEFINITELY gets a little heavy – especially if I have a flash on my camera too! I ended up going with the first version of this lens because of the cheaper price tag and although it can get a little bit shaky sometimes, it works great for what I need it to do!

Used for:

I almost only ever use it for wedding receptions and events!

Cost Breakdown:

I can’t find links to this version, unfortunately! It’s so old that I don’t think they even sell it anymore, ha!

Brand New: $1749

Refurbished: $1519

Want to see these photos in action? Check out my blog post of Mitchell & AnnaLea’s wedding! Every single lens listed here was used on their day!

Not Pictured:

Backup Cameras:

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS Rebel T3i

Flash Equipment:

Yongnuo-568EX II (X2)

Yongnuo YN560 IV

Yongnuo YN560-III

Flash Triggers:

Yongnuo YN622C-KIT (X4)


Think Tank Airport International V3.0

Kelly Moore “Mimi” Camera Bag


Custom Camera Strap

BlackRapid Dual Camera Holster

Memory Cards:

Lexar Professional 64GB SD Card (X2)

Lexar Professional  64GB SF Card (X2)

SanDisk Extreme Pro 16GB SF Card (X8)

Various Brands/Sizes of SF Cards

Beeway® Memory Card Protective Hard Carry Wallet Case

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What's in My Bag? My Camera Gear Lineup!



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