Camera Gear & Travel Equipment Part 1

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!

Camera Equipment:

  • Canon 5D Mark IV

  • Canon 6D

  • Canon 50mm f/1.2

  • Canon 24-70mm f/2.8

  • Canon 85mm f/1.4

  • Canon 70-200mm f/2.8

  • Sigma 105mm

  • 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)

Camera Accessories:

  • 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 iMac

  • 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!

Camera Gear & Travel Part 2

These are the links continued from the previous post, starting at the Pelican Carry on Case with a lid organizer and dividers included. The photos correspond with the list below:

  • Pelican 1510 Case with lid organizer and dividers

  • 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)

  • Apple iMac

  • 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)

  • Pelican 1040 Micro Case Series (for my larger external hard drive, this is the more standard size and fits two external hard drives in it)


Kelsey & Sam: Romantic Spring Atlanta Engagement Photos

All this rain here in California this week is making me reminisce on Kelsey & Sam’s Atlanta engagement session! The amazing pink blooms were everywhere and we were 100% okay with that.

I’m headed back to Atlanta at the end of the month for a wedding and an engagement session and hoping Spring has hit South!

Fun fact: I am originally from Atlanta so YES I still take weddings and engagement sessions there so I can see my family (mainly, my two and a half year old niece who has my heart in her little tiny fingers). If you are an Atlanta bride, I still have some 2019 Fall/Winter dates open!

Logan & Turner: Epic Lake Tahoe Session

Logan & Turner reached out about an anniversary session while they were going to be here in California visiting from Nashville. They were making their way to the Bay Area but we decided to go with a Lake Tahoe session and it was the MOST dreamy session.

We went in the river, frolicked in a massive valley, and then found the most epic and insane rocky area right on the water. We all equally freaked out over the beauty and we timed it perfect with the sun falling in the back, catching golden hour over those teal blues had me all sorts of excited. Lake Tahoe is easily one of my favorite places on Earth, and this session just helped confirm it even more.

Ali & Ryan: Petaluma Engagement Session

Sometimes you plan and plan and then everything gets hijacked the day of the session! Let me tell you about Ali & Ryan’s engagement photos…we had every intention of meeting at the beach and doing some epic beach photos together at a spot that these cuties loved. Well, in my Type A fashion, I arrived about 45 minutes early. As I pull up, I can HEAR the wind and it is shaking the truck (I was in Matthew’s massive Silverado so you know it was really windy). So I decided to get out and see what’s going on. Y’all, I am not kidding, I was seriously about to BLOW OVER. Sand was flying in my eyes, my hair was all over the place and there were at least 10 windsurfers in front of me, aka it was perfect surfing conditions, not so perfect photo conditions.

So, I called up Ali and told her what was happening, thankfully, not only did they trust me but arrived early, aka giving us extra time to turn around, and we whipped our cars out of there and raced to Petaluma. We went to a spot that they love because of the view (I mean, how stunning?!) and we may or may not have been trespassing the whole time but it was WORTH. IT. I am obsessed with all the photos and that they brought their sweet pup along.

Skye & Irl: Hillside Sunset Engagement Session

Y’all freaked out over these photos on Instagram just as much as I did while taking them! Skye & Irl were TOO stunning and the sunset that we got at the end of our session will forever be one of my favorite moments, the California sun was really showing off that night. We hiked with beers in tow to the perfect spots, I loved how much Skye and Irl trusted my suggestions and judgements on a session location. This is actually where I go to hike & run and my husband and I sometimes bring a picnic out here. I have fallen in love with the hidden gem that is right in the East Bay and was so excited to show my couple around it!

This session was also featured on Inspired By This, you can check out the post here!

http://www.inspiredbythis.com/wed/casual-bay-area-engagement-photos-sunset/

Emily & Cody: Berkeley Black Tie Wedding

Sweet Emily & Cody! They tied the know in Berkeley, California surrounded by 80 of their closest family and friends. Their day was every bit of romantic and classic as it was fun. They guys were decked out head to toe and were completely go with the flow when I told them we were going to do their photos on the roof (heck yes to fun bridal parties!) and Emily wore a STUNNING Kinsley James gown that was a total show stopper.

Shelby & Andrew: Sutro Baths & Chrissy Field Session

Shelby & Andrew are Georgia natives (just like me and my husband, Matthew!) and are living in Livermore, CA. When I moved out to California, we all met and knew that we had to get together to capture some photos to represent Shelby & Andrew’s new life out on the West Coast.

We started at Chrissy Field in San Francisco and made our way over to Sutro Baths to catch sunset. It was the perfect night of golden light & lots of laughs with these two!