Boston & New England Wedding Photographer Deborah Zoe

Boston & North Shore Wedding Photographer creating timeless imagery for classic New England weddings with a fine art approach.

Ask Anything: What’s In My Camera Bag

*UPDATED to include 100 Macro 2.8L in Lenses*

I often get asked what's in my bag, what camera bags do I use, or what lens did I use for a specific image. I thought I'd tackle some of those questions in my very first FAQ blog post!

Think Tank I carry everything I need with me in my rolling Think Tank Airport Security V2. I love this thing! It can carry everything, plus I can adjust the inside dividers to fit my specifications. This bag holds almost ALL of my gear (minus camera bodies which I carry on my person and light stands) so its perfect for weddings and traveling. In fact this bag has traveled with me across the country and I wouldn't travel with any other bag. During a wedding I'll roll this along with me or if we are at the reception I'll place it near the DJ table where I can access lenses and flashes easily.

Shootsac I love my Shootsac. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect from this bag. It is very popular and I wasn't completely sure that it would be able to fit my needs on a wedding day. I can say after MANY uses, this bag fits the way I shoot perfectly. Again, I don't carry a camera body in this bag, but rather the immediate lenses that I might need for a specific scenario. If I don't need it, it will stay in my Think Tank bag. I also keep things like a wallet, business cards, phone, car keys and other necessities in the back of this bag so that I can access them quickly. Camera Bodies My main camera body is the 5d Mark II. You can read more of my review of this camera here.  I also carry with me two back up cameras, the 1d Mark II and the 30d and even my Powershot G10. You can never be sure what will happen on a wedding day, and I want to make sure I am covering all my bases.

Lenses

16-35mm 2.8L

The very first Canon lens I ever bought (I was previously a Nikon shooter) was the 16-35mm 2.8L. I bought this lens because I was a news photographer and needed to have a great story telling lens in my arsenal. This lens definitely fits that bill. Especially on the full frame 5d Mark II. You can get SUPER wide, which can be great for dance floor shots or scene setter images, just be careful of the distortion on the edges, especially when at 16mm.

16-35mm  f/4.5  1/80 ISO 1250

70-200mm 2.8L

The next lens I purchased was the 70-200mm 2.8L IS, again because I was a news photographer and needed a versatile sports lens. This is definitely my go to lens for the ceremony and for some of the portraits. During the ceremony I use this lens to get tight into the action without interfering with what is going on. I also think this is a great lens to use during the portraits as it compresses the elements and helps to separate the subject from the background.

70-200mm  f/4.0   1/1250   ISO 500

24-70mm 2.8L

The 24-700mm 2.8L is my go to lens when I need something that will be versatile and give me the flexibility to change my focal length whenever I need to. I can get wide, then tight, then wide again, without having to switch lenses. This is a great lens to use when you are first starting out and learning your camera. You have such variety in focal length, you can shoot a multitude of scenarios without having to change your lens. When I first got this lens I used it almost exclusively until I purchased this next lens....

24-70mm  f/5.6   1/100  ISO 2500

50mm 1.2L

I LOVE LOVE LOVE about the 50mm 1.2L! It is definitely worth its expensive price tag. The bokeh, the colors, everything about this lens is fabulous. I typically use this lens during our portrait time with the couple and I just move my body closer or farther away from the subject to achieve whatever look I going for. I also use this lens to shoot details, such as the dress, or the cake and centerpieces.

50mm  f/1.8 1/200 ISO 1250

100 Macro 2.8L

I might have a new favorite lens, the 100m Macro 2.8L. Oh boy this lens is amazing. It's great for shooting details, such as rings, jewelry, table settings or anything where I need to get in close to the subject. Like really, really close! The depth of field (because you are so close:)) its pretty amazing as well. It's been fun to have a new tool in the camera bag and I can't wait to start using baby regularly during my wedding season this year!

Lighting I have three 580 EX II Flashes, pocket wizards, a battery pack, light stands and umbrellas. Typically, if I can, I stay away from using flash up until the reception.  At the reception, I will have one flash on my camera and one on a light stand. I like to use the off camera light as an accent to whatever I am shooting and it is a great way to get some dimension into your images. Lighting is definitely an investment ( I am still building my lighting kit), but an investment that will help your work stand out.

There are two pieces of equipment that I am still wanting to purchase. I am looking at the 100mm 2.8L Macro and the 85mm 1.2L to add to my arsenal. So hopefully some day soon, I'll have a blog post about my new additions;)

So there it is! My camera bag. If you have any questions about equipment, what I use to shoot what or anything else, feel free to ask away in the comment section below! Enjoy the weekend everyone!

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by deborahzoe