What's in My Camera Bag

Do you remember that game you used to play on road trips that starts with, "I'm going on a picnic and I brought..." Then as the game goes on the list gets longer and you have to remember more and more items? Well, I promise not to quiz you on what I have in my bag, but I did want to share the contents of my bag with you because I get asked about it often, and because it will help you get to know me a little bit better.

While I have a variety of things in my camera bag, I'll start with the photography related gear first, since it's pretty much my favorite! I have two camera bodies, the Canon 5D Mark IV and the Canon 6D. The two lenses I use most of the time are my Canon 50mm 1.2L and the Tamron 24-70 2.8. I typically have the 50mm on the Mark IV and the 24-70mm on my 6D, and I shoot with both camera bodies. Last year I purchased this amazing Black Rapid harness that allows me to have both cameras accessible at the same time. It's been a game changer! Instead of getting all twisted up in straps, I can go from the 50mm to the 24-70mm in seconds. This allows for more variety in the galleries that I deliver to each family, and it increases the number of images that I give to you in the final gallery. Take a look at my portfolio for some example images here.

The smaller lens (top) is the 50mm and the bigger lens (bottom) is the 24-70mm

As far as lenses go, they say that the 50mm lens is the closest a camera can get to what the natural eye sees, and I think that's why I love it so much. I'm all about capturing individuals and families the way that they really are, so a portrait taken at 50mm really speaks to me. The 24-70mm also wins me over because it allows enough space for the whole wide scene at 24mm, but still allows you to zoom in to 70mm and capture the small details without having to walk up super close to the subject. San Diego is a gorgeous place, and I like to include some images that are taken at a wide enough angle for the viewer to appreciate the surrounding beauty. That's another reason why I love my trusty 24-70.

In addition to cameras and lenses, another important piece of gear I have is the ExpoDisc. Don't let the size of this thing fool you- it does a lot of hard work! The ExpoDisc is a small white disc that I usually wear around my neck like a necklace during sessions. It comes in a protective rubber case shown in the photo below. The ExpoDisc sets a custom white balance in the camera, which basically means that it keeps your skin from looking too yellow or too blue in the photos. (More on this in a future post.) Skin tones can make or break a photo, so this is an essential part of my gear! I also have extra batteries, extra memory cards, and lens cleaners in my bag. In the early days of my business I literally had nightmares about forgetting memory cards and batteries. I make doubly sure that those nightmares never come true by having backups of my backups!

Because I mainly work with families, I have found that having a few additional items are helpful. First, lens buddies are great for the little kids. They're soft, easy to remove from the lens, and babies love them! I have a bunny (shown below) and a giraffe, and I switch them up during the session so the littles ones don't lose interest. Second, I carry a Pez dispenser, or two, or three. I don't keep these for the candy though. All of the Pez dispensers I have are empty. I attach them to the hot shoe on top of my camera and it helps keep the attention towards the camera. The little ones love that it can move up and down when they pull on it. Third, baby wipes. I don't know how people survived before baby wipes were invented! These are great for the occasional spit up, snot, dirty face, sandy hands, and so much more. They're really a must have if you ask me. Fourth, I carry a prize bag. I go to Party City and pick out a few little trinkets for the kids to choose from at the end of the session. It's a great incentive, and the kids totally remember it! My repeat clients know that I'll have a little something for them before they go back home, and they are excited to cooperate for the photos so they can choose their surprise.

Working with children can be a challenge, but having some tricks in my bag and making sure all of my gear is ready to go sets the tone for a fun, laid back photo session. I've been shooting with two camera bodies for almost a year now, and I've been loving how I no longer have to stop and change lenses in the middle of a session to get the focal length I want. I might look like a pack mule when you arrive at your session, but it's worth it to get the most natural, joyful images of you and your family!

If it's been too long since you've taken family photos, click here to send me a request to book, and don't forget to mention which Pez dispenser you think your kids would smile the biggest for! Looking forward to hearing from you!



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