Inside my Camera Bag…

Inside a Photographers Bag

Ever wondered what professional photographers carry out in those camera bags and cases at every shoot? Look no further I show you what I have inside my camera bag and where its there.

I will start at the beginning, I choose to carry all my equipment around in a backpack, this is a personal choice and there is no right or wrong way to cart your equipment around shoots. I choose the bag as it has many pockets, pouches, attachments for Tripods, Monopods and much much more. The next key thing for me is that the bag had to be waterproof, this wasn’t an option, it had to be waterproof as I never know when I might get caught in a shower whilst on a shoot etc.

The bag I choose to carry my equipment around in is a Lowepro Vertex 200 AW

Lowepro Vertex 200 AW

The next reason I choose this bag was for the shoulder straps and waist strap, the bag has a clever should straps system that will allow you to move the weight of the bag and it’s contents off the top of your shoulders and onto your back, something I am very grateful for when I have it on my bag for a few hours at a time. Then there is the added bonus of the waist strap, this is fully adjustable and allow you to control the weight of the bag from the bottom close to your body and add an additional point of contact to you at all times.

Now here is the list of all the equipment I have in this bag at all times.

  • Canon EOS 5D MK1.
  • Canon EOS 30D.
  • Canon EOD 550D.
  • Sigma 70 – 200mm f2.8 Lens.
  • Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 Lens.
  • Canon 50mm f1.8 Lens.
  • Canon 18 – 55mm f3.5 – f5.6 IS Lens.
  • YongNuo YN568EX II Flash gun.
  • FlashBender Pro Kit.
  • iShoot PT-04C Multi Hot Shoe Wireless Triggers.
  • Tamrac Belt System MBX5395 MAS.
  • BlackRapid Strap.
  • Lastolite Collapsible 5 x 6 foot Backdrop.
  • Portaflash small triple reflector.
  • Manfrotto 055XPRO Black Tripod.
  • Manfrotto Ball Head for Tripod.
  • Carbon Fibre Monopod.
  • Spare Camera Batteries 2 per camera.
  • Spare batteries for Flashguns (Rechargeable AA Batteries).
  • Chargers for Camera batteries and Flash Batteries.
  • CF and SD Memory cards in a Pelican case for Protection.
  • Lens filters.
  • Business Cards.
  • Notepad and Documents.
  • Cleaning clothes and lens wipes and rocket blower.
  • Rain cape for camera and lens for emergency use.

There are other items that we take on shoots but dont fit in the bag but these are only taken if we know we are going to be using them.

Here is a few pictures of the kit listed above you you can see the size of the items and then you can see them all packed into the bag.

I hope this has been a helpful insight to what a professional photographer will carry around and this is the equipment that I carry and use regularly whilst on shoots with my clients.

Examples of images taken with this equipment can be found at my portfolio page.

What camera gear should I buy?

What camera gear should I buy?

What camera gear should I buy?

A question I am asked when i’m a shoot or when with friends or when I’m out and about, and to be honest its hard to give an answer as I always seem to reply to their question with a question. My reply is ‘What do you want the camera to do?’ this is because it will impact how you use or carry it around.

In the camera world you have DSLRs, Full Frame and Crop Sensor, we now have mirror less cameras and I have to be honest its all about preference, I always say the best way to find out whats best for you is to go to a camera shop and try them out. There are many shops you can go to and they will allow you to have a go with the camera, in some cases they will allow you to take the camera out on a test run, this is a great way to really find what works for you and what doesn’t.

I would recommend try places like Jessops or London Camera Exchange they are great places to start and this leads me on to my biggest piece of advice…

Buy second hand

I save this every time to friends and family and people who email or approach me on social media, find out what your budget is that you would like to spend on a camera and they go to places like London Camera Exchange, MPB, Ebay or your local newspaper ads and look for second hand equipment.

The reason I say this to people is you may only be able to afford an entry level DSLR new and thats great but you will out grow it and then want to trade it in for a Pro Level DSLR and I always say to them that you will be surprised what comes up for sale on the second hand market as people are always out there to have the latest creation from Canon or Nikon and thats great because it gives opportunity for beginners or enthusiasts to get hold of a second hand Pro DSLR for the price of a new entry level DSLR.

These second hand camera’s also come with warranty so I would look around as even if you use it for 6 months and then choose it isn’t for you, or you choose you want to upgrade that second hand Pro DSLR is going to have a better resale value than they entry level DSLR so in my head its a win win scenario.

Canon or Nikon ???

How could I write a post without mentioning this question, which I also get asked a lot. My response is simple I am not sponsored by either manufacturer and they are both amazing brands and I have shot with both and the only advice I can offer you is go and try them both, you will soon start to know which is comfortable or user friendly to you ! and thats important, if you are going to be photographing weddings, events and portraits you want to be comfortable in using the system/tool in you hand easily without have to stop and look it up every 2 seconds.

Yes I am a Canon guy, I shoot with 3 cameras in fact, I have my Canon 5D MK1 my full frame camera I use every shoot without fail, then I have my Canon 30D a crop sensor camera but in a Pro body, I use this on every shoot too, and to round it all off if my first ever DSLR, I still have it and use it today as it was a gift from my Wife and it still comes with me as it has advantages over my 30D which is also a crop sensor DSLR and that is my Canon 550D.

Knowing where to invest your money

When I started out I was given a great piece of advise and I still live by it today and I want to share it with you too,

Put your money into the glass…

Simply put, invest your money into good, reliable, professional lenses as these lenses will stay with you and if you choose to change your camera body (as long as you stay with the same brand) the lenses will fit and work and you wont have to buy a whole new camera set-up.

But Lenses are a post for another time, I hope this has helped you with answering questions you may have.