As a wedding photographer who carries around a turtle shell on their back full of gear I always get asked, “What is in your camera bag?” Well, today’s your lucky day! I am diving deep into what I carry in my camera bag as a wedding photographer.
First things first, what bag do I use? I currently use the Peter McKinnon Camera Bag which I LOVE! It holds soooo much of my gear which was at the top of my requirements when looking for a new bag. I find that a lot of camera bags cannot hold all my lenses and bodies that I need for a wedding day. The Peter McKinnon Bag is perfect (just pretty large, that’s why I call it my turtle shell). It also came with a packing cube that turns into a smaller backpack, this is perfect for my boudoir session because I only bring one camera body and one lens. The smaller bag is perfect to carry any lingerie, sheets, atmosphere spray, and my harness in the bag section, and then my camera and lens in the padded section on the bottom!
I also have a Pelican 1510TP Carry-On Case that I originally bought just to have a more secure carry-on for when I travel out of state for weddings. Now, I put all my heavier lenses in this and bring it to weddings so I can carry less on my back. However, if I needed to I could still fit all my lenses and bodies into my backpack! As photographers, we carry enough on our shoulders all day so I love this Pelican Case!
I carry two Camera Bodies in my bag, both are the Canon EOS R6. Before I upgraded to the R6 I had two Canon 5D Mark IV’s and a bunch of EF lenses. Because of this, I do carry two Canon Mount Adapters with the Control Ring so I can still use all my old lenses as I start to accumulate the newer RF lenses! I haven’t noticed a quality difference when it comes to having my EF lenses with the RF mount and I love the added feature of the control ring, which I have set to change my Kelvin.
My Rose Anvil Harness cannot be beat! Not only do I love the leather look but it is also so reliable! It was made by in collaboration with a wedding photographer, so I truly think she knew what we need! I have both the Bandit which is a double harness, that I use weddings and engagement session, and the Lone Bandit which is the single harness for boudoir or indoor sessions.
My favorite part and again a big reason I love my camera bag because it holds all of my lenses! I’ll get the boudoir out the way but I always just bring along my Canon EF 35mm f1.4. This is my favorite and go to lens at all times and so of course I love it for boudoir.
On the wedding photographer side of my business, I need a much larger variety of lenses. Therefore, I carry my Canon EF 35mm f1.4, a Canon EF 50mm f1.2, a Canon RF 85mm f1.2, a Canon EF 70mm-200mm f2.8, a Canon EF 24mm-70mm f2.8, a Sigma 105mm f2.8 Macro. This covers such a large range so I can be prepared for anything that comes my way.
I have 3 Speedlights. Two are the Godox V860IIC, and then I have a Canon 600EX-RT (RIP because these are discontinued now). I do have 2 LED light panels that I keep in my car just in case I am at a location with very minimal lighting. To diffuse my flash, I have the Magmod Magsphere which I love!
I just switched to a new fanny pack and I have been obsessed! I couldn’t get through a wedding day without my Kindly Fanny Pack. It holds my extra batteries for my cameras and flashes and my SD cards for quick changes through the wedding day. It also carries tissues, carmex, Tide-to-Go pen, Ibuprofen, etc. because I never know when someone might need some smaller items!
And recently, I added the Kindly camera phone case strap to my fanny pack which has been a game changer for me during the family photos. The amount of times I would drop my phone during family photos was embarrassing. Now with this phone case that is strapped to the fanny pack I know it is not going anywhere!
In the pockets of my camera bag are a bunch of random items if I’m being honest. There is no rhyme or reason but I carry an extra case of SD cards (I have nightmares that I run out so I have around 18 on me at all times.) This is where I also keep extra chargers for camera batteries, chargers for my flash batteries, cell phone chargers, even fans for those warm Arizona days or so you can keep dancing on the dance floor.
But wait! There’s more! Lets move onto the things that I like to carry in the trunk or my closet. Some of these items don’t fit in my camera bag or stay in my trunk as a “just-in-case” item.
In my car, I carry my flat lay details kit. I have a whole other blog on flat lays so definitely check it out! But I love flat lays so I love my details kit. It includes a bunch of colored ribbons, ring boxes, acrylic squares for dimension, wax, ring dishes, etc. Even better is you can get most of these items on Amazon. Click HERE to see all my amazon favorites, just go to the “Flat Lay Extras“! I love having the option to add different items to complete the details!
My trunk is also the keeper of a plain wooden hanger. It’s for any brides that either forgot their hanger, or just don’t want that plastic hanger in photos. As a wedding photographer, this hanger has come in clutch!
I also have a steamer for dresses, the veil, and some fractals for some fun reception photos! You can find the items I use here:).
Some last must-haves are my extra pair of hiking shoes and a first aid kit. Pretty sure I re-supply the Band-Aids every few months!
In my closet are two clear umbrellas. I don’t recommend leaving these in your car at all times, I learned the hard way that these will melt during the AZ summers. It doesn’t rain much here in the valley, but they come in handy more than you’d think. Any time there is a chance of rain I throw them in my car and cross my fingers that the rain holds off.
This is A LOT of gear and I know it. It is crazy to think that when I first started out I had one camera body and one lens. But through the years I have grown my gear and even writing all of this out had me reminiscing about where I started. I have gone through trial and error with what gear I want, use, etc. But I am always open to suggestions in the comments about what gear YOU LOVE! Maybe your favorite bag or your favorite lenses will even help another photographer too. Or maybe you are just getting started and want to see what other photographers are carrying!
I totally understand that planning a wedding can be STRESSFUL and you might not even know where to start! Download my free wedding checklist to help plan for your big day!