I thought it might be fun to do something a little different and have a nosey around my camera bags, which I take with me to events and photoshoots. I always have two camera bags on me. The first bag contains my main kit, that I use 90% of the time. The second bag holds my backup equipment and any overflow which I use less frequently.
Let’s start with the obvious, my cameras and lenses.
In my main kit bag, you will find a Nikon D750 with my Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 lens attached, a Sigma 24-105mm f/4 lens and a grand total of 5 batteries and 5 SD cards. Pretty much all the time, I can be found with my Nikon camera and Tamron lens in hand, weighing in at 3kg, this is my golden combination that I use all the time at events and photoshoots. I wear a Black Rapid camera sling with this combination to help distribute the weight more evenly across my body – I won’t lie this can be very heavy if you’re holding it continuously for more than a few hours. My Sigma lens is useful for photoshoots when I might find myself closer to my subject or in small spaces. If I’m at a wedding, I will often have one camera attached to my Tamron lens and the other to this Sigma lens as it’s much better for portrait work.
Inside my second camera bag, you will find another Nikon D750, a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, a remote trigger, and a Nikon SB-700 Speedlight. All these pieces of kit are either used less frequently or are backups in case my main kit gets damaged when I am working. I will take this bag with me all the time just in case, but it’ll stay in my car unless needed to avoid me looking like a pack mule.
Next up is the slightly less exciting, but particularly important, camera cleaning kit and protective gear.
With the British weather being ever unpredictable, I must be prepared for all eventualities. When the weather looks wet, I have a very handy, thin waterproof cover that I’ll put on my camera. This is by far the least high-tech thing I own and I probably paid far too much for it due to the product being advertised for cameras. It is essentially a long plastic bag with a drawstring at one end that keeps my camera dry. The drawstring end wraps tightly around the end of the lens to make sure the bag stays in place whilst I’m moving around and zooming in and out, and then the rest of the plastic covers the remainder of my camera. I then adapt this slightly my ripping a hole in it where my viewfinder and LCD screen are, otherwise, I’d be trying to photograph whilst looking through plastic, which is not the easiest thing to do. During wet weather, I also keep a microfibre cloth in my pocket which I use to wipe the LCD screen and viewfinder when it gets a bit wet. In addition to my wet weather gear, I have a standard cleaning kit that contains dry microfibre cloths, lens brushes, sensor cleaners, a rubber bulb air pump to blow away dust and some more specialist camera cleaning products. When on the go at a photoshoot or event, I’d usually only use the air pump to remove any arena dust or dirt from my lens and I use the rest of the kit when I’m at home and giving my camera a thorough clean.
Now for the miscellaneous, slightly more peculiar things you will find in my camera bag.
I always carry around some business cards in a small metal holder simply because you never know when you may need one and similarly, I always have a pen to hand. But there are two pieces of my kit which I class as very essential for photoshoots. First up is a small tub of polos. These are fantastic for rattling to get a horse’s attention or throwing around in the air as the little tub is robust. They also double up as treats, which with permission from the horse’s owner, I give out during my sessions. For my canine models, I have a handy bag of replacement toy squeakers. I choose to keep them in their bag because I would without a doubt lose them if I took them out and I can also place the bag under my knee or feet when sat on the floor and use other body parts to make them squeak leaving my hands free to operate my camera. They often cause a head tilt as the dog can hear what they think is a toy but cannot work out where it is.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this virtual look inside my camera bag and found it interesting to hear what gadgets I bring along with me to photoshoots. There is another essential gadget I carry around with me at photoshoots that helps get the attention of my subjects, but it’s not something you’d find in my camera bag, so I’m going to keep that one a surprise for anyone who books a photoshoot with me – trust me it creates a lot of laughs and works every time. If you’d be interested in an equine or canine photoshoot, please feel free to check out my packages and portfolio of work.