May 2, 2019
After too many Instagram DMs to count, I decided it was finally time to make a post of ALL of my camera gear and equipment. Being a travel photographer, my gear HAS to be strong in the case of it being dropped and hold up well through lots of different scenarios. Everyone is different in their preferences of what they want and need depending on what you are shooting (weddings, headshots, events, etc.) and where you are shooting but I figured having a page to explore would be really beneficial!
Disclaimer: I have been investing in my business for years. I did NOT buy all of this in one sitting, I most certainly don’t encourage buying something because someone else has it. If you don’t travel for photography, a lot of this equipment isn’t needed. If you don’t shoot weddings or low lighting, a lot of this isn’t needed. I am a full-time wedding photographer, investing in my business means investing in my couples, so I do buy the highest quality equipment because I am capturing moments that only happen once in a lifetime.
I made a list to organize it into pieces but everything mentioned is linked below with a photo, it is in the order of what I listed here. Just click the photo to go to the storefront to purchase. Here we go!
Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 50mm f/1.2
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8
Canon 85mm f/1.4
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8
Canon Flashes (x3)
Canon Speedlite Transmitter
Flash Stands (x3)
Flash Speedlite Mount (the part that makes the stand adaptable for my flashes)
Gary Fong Speed Mount Light Sphere
Neewer Reflector (I very rarely use this.)
Neewer Flash Box
SanDisk Extreme CompactFlash Cards (32, 64, 128, multiple of each)
SanDisk Extreme SD Cards (32, 64, multiple of each)
Pelican 1510 Case (This is carry-on size & fits in the bins on planes.)
Pelican 1510 Case Lid Organizer: If you are committing to a large pelican, get the lid organizer. I put my chargers, batteries, small accessories in the top to keep everything organized. I don’t suggest investing in this case without also buying the lid organizer & dividers.
Pelican 1560 Padded Divider Set
I couldn’t find my exact divider set so I linked a 1510 case that has dividers like mine and the lid organizer in one purchase!
The foam is not a bad option but it limits you (you have to cut the foam in the shape of your equipment). I have bought new lenses and sold lenses since buying my case and I am glad I have dividers because I would hate not to be able to customize it.
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L
Peak Design Clutch CL-2 Quick Attaching Hand Strap
Pelican 0945 Compact Flash Memory Card Case
Pelican 0915 Memory Card Case (This one is for SD cards)
Computers & Accessories:
Apple MacBook Pro
Western Digital 4TB Passport Portable External Hard Drive (I have multiple.)
Unitek Card Reader
Samsung Portable SSD T5 (this is amazing for wedding days, it is tiny and don’t hold multiple weddings but it is fast so you can upload on site then transfer to your bigger hard drives after)
Pelican 1010 Micro Case Series (For my small SSD external hard drive, this won’t fit a WD hard drive or normal size hard drive. If you ever move your hard drive away from your computer, even to a coffee shop, you need a protective case around it.)
Pelican 1040 Micro Case Series (For my larger external hard drive, this is the more standard size and fits two Western Digital Passport external hard drives in it.)
How I Travel:
So this is important to me because I am extremely Type A (which we all know, clearly from this detailed post) but also because I am kind of a crazy person about my equipment. I don’t want anything to happen to it and it is really important to me that I take good care of it. So when I am flying, I pack my laptop, external hard drive, SD card cases (my SD cards NEVER leave me), charger bag, a book, my planner, wallet, and headphones in backpack. I pack ALL of my lenses in my pelican carry on case. Yes, all of those lenses fit in the pelican with the dividers. My chargers, batteries, some styling goods, and any small things (flash mounts, etc.) go in the lid organizer in my pelican. My pelican is my carry on bag & then my one personal item is my backpack.
I fly the same airline every time (#Delta forever) so I do have status with them, meaning, I never check my equipment because I am one of the first to board. I realize that not everyone has this privilege especially if you don’t fly often. I do have a lock for my pelican that I keep in my pelican at all times in the rare case that I have to check my carry on. DO NOT give your camera equipment to be checked without locking your case or your bag. My peak design backpack is the large version so it carries a ton of lens, if they were to check my bag, I would put as much equipment as possible into my backpack.
I pack my flashes in my checked back as well as my styling kit and oh sh*t kit (emergency things like bandaids, bobby-pins, hairspray, etc.). It would definitely suck if my bag got lost with my flashes, but out of all the equipment I own, my flashes are easiest to replace in a pinch.
Also, side rant…if you follow me on Instagram, you have heard the ranting and raging from me talking about airport workers or men who try to “help” me with my pelican case. The reason I have help in quotations is because I have NEVER had someone handle my bag properly. They don’t realize how insanely heavy my case is so they end up tossing it to try to get momentum to put it in the bin, or they almost drop it when taking it down. Just this week, I had to straight up yank my case away from a worker because he was trying to throw my case, don’t let anyone handle your bag. It sounds dramatic but until you watch someone take thousands of dollars and slam it down, you don’t understand the heartbreak. That is why I travel with everything in protective cases, because things do get bumped or thrown around. When someone asks if they can help with your bag, say “Thank you but I can get it.”
How I Shoot:
On wedding days, I have my 5D, 50mm, 85mm, and 24-70mm in my backpack. My SD card cases as well as batteries are in my backpack too. I grab my 70-200mm for the ceremony and it does fit as well with all the other lenses, it is just a very heavy lens so I usually only carry it when I know I need it. My pelican stays close by at the venue incase I need to grab something from it. As of right now, I don’t dual shoot. I haven’t ever had a problem with switching lenses throughout the day and ceremony. I haven’t found a dual strap that I love which is a big reason as well.
At engagement or anniversary sessions, I take my same backpack as before and then I also have a bag that I bring a blanket, 6d (incase anything happens to my 5D), and my oh sh*t kit. And any other goodies that I pack away for a specific session or couple to help their experience in front of the camera.
This is an OVERLOAD of information but the wedding photography world can be a very isolating place, it is hard to gain information because a lot of people see that as competition trying to steal knowledge. But the reality is, you could buy all this equipment and NOT book consistently, not book your ideal client, and not thrive. Your equipment is your tool. Your personality, skills behind the camera, creativity, and editing style are your magic to having a successful business. If you are interested in learning about my process of how I exceed my numbers every year and book my ideal clients on a consistent basis, I do offer mentor programs. You can head to my contact page if you are interested in hearing more about that experience.
Here are the links to all of the equipment in the order listed above, just click on the photo to look at the details & purchase!
Head to my next post to finish up the links!