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Y’all ask me questions about camera gear ALL. THE. TIME. and I love talking about it with you! But it finally occurred to me that (duh!!!) I should just do a post about my gear, so I could refer people to one place instead of typing out the same answers over and over. You know, that whole “work smarter not harder” thing?! So here we go – I’m going to share what’s currently in my camera bag plus my favorite camera for beginners! There was a day when I owned tons of gear, basically two of everything as a back-up just in case any of my equipment suddenly decided to quit working. Anderson and I were also shooting weddings together at that time, so we really did need a lot of stuff! But now I shoot in controlled environments and have a much more laid-back approach to the way I work. (Not shooting weddings anymore definitely helps in that area!) I don’t need a ton of camera gear and have mostly scaled back to my absolute favorites.
You’ll notice that I shoot with all Canon gear. I’ve always been partial to Canon, because I think their lenses are the best! 🙂
Canon 5D MarkIV – I just upgraded to this model a few months ago. Before that I shot with a Mark II for years and loved it. The biggest reasons I upgraded were because I just felt like it was time for newer gear. The older model probably would have easily latest a few more years, but I didn’t want to take the chance. And the Mark IV makes it easy to wirelessly transfer from my camera to my phone (something the older model didn’t do). This is such a fun feature, especially for when we’re traveling!
Canon 50mm f/1.4 – Hands-down the one lens I use the most. It’s versatile, relatively affordable, and the clarify of the images produced by this lens consistently impresses me. (And I’m hard to impress when it comes to gear!) If you want a good portrait lens to start out with, get this one! I need to replace mine soon, because it’s starting to focus a little slower than it should. But I’ll just replace it with a newer version of the same lens!
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 – This is the ONLY other lens I bring along with me to shoots. If I’m in a tight space (someone’s home) or just want to get a really wide shot, I’ll switch out my 50mm for this one. And I also enjoy using it when we’re traveling, because I can shoot just about anything with it. I always prefer fixed lenses over zooms, because they produce clearer/crisper images, but I’ve been really happy with this one and totally recommend it.
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 – I use this lens very infrequently. It’s technically Anderson’s. 🙂 It’s definitely superior to my others when I’m shooting far away in low light. So when I shoot baptisms or services for our church I always use this lens. The image quality/clarity is amazing! It’s perfect for shooting events, sports, concerts – anything where you can’t get as close to your subject as you’d like.
Shootsac Lens Bag – Oh, the camera bag! I bought my Shootsac bag almost 10 years ago, and then later decided I wanted something more “my style.” So I got a bright yellow leather bag from Epiphane. It was definitely more fun than boring ‘ole basic black, but unfortunately, the Epiphane bag didn’t hold up well at all. The leather started peeling, and it looks terrible. So I shopped around for a new bag but couldn’t find one I loved more than my Shootsac and ended up just pulling it out again! It’s definitely the best camera gear bag I’ve ever owned. The material is neoprene (like a wet suit), and it doesn’t look worn or aged at all. Super impressive for a bag I’ve had for almost a decade!
LensPen Cleaning Kit – If you have a camera, you need a LensPen! That’s all.
Canon Speedlite 600EX – I actually have the 580EX (older model) and pull it out very rarely. It’s useful for shooting inside if the lighting is awful or anytime it’s dark. I bought this back when I shot weddings and used it a ton at receptions. Even though I don’t use it much now, it’s good to have on hand just in case!
Embroidered Camera Strap – Since my camera bag is basic black, I like having a fun camera strap! Anderson got this one for me last year, and I love the embroidered design. It’s holding up really well too!
Canon Wireless Remote – If you want to play around with taking your own family pictures (or maybe some fun selfies) invest in a wireless remote and tripod. A lot of the pictures on my Instagram are taken that way! This remote is not the cheapest one out there. You can get a generic model for around $10. But I’ve done that several times, and they never last. Just get this one, and you won’t have to keep replacing it!
60-inch Tripod – Some tripods are big and clunky, but not this one! It’s lightweight and folds up easily, so I keep it in the trunk of my car and always have it on-hand when I need it.
And my absolute favorite camera for anyone who wants to get into photography:
Canon Rebel T6 – If you’re looking for a great beginner camera, this is it! I started out on a Canon Rebel many years ago and used it for a long time before feeling the need to upgrade. The reason I love this one for anyone just starting out with a DSLR camera is because it’s simple to learn (you can even start out using the automatic mode), but when you’re ready to grow your skills, you can still shoot with this camera. And you can use most Canon lenses and accessories with it. So even when you do want to upgrade camera models in the future, you don’t have to buy all new lenses and accessories! I recommend buying this camera body and investing in a good lens (like the 50mm 1.4) instead of buying a kit that includes the camera body and a lens. They almost always include cheap lenses with the kits, and you don’t want a cheap lens!
That’s all the camera gear I’m shooting with right now! I’ll update this list as anything changes.