Hi! I’m Abigail, a Knoxville wedding photographer. Getting settled in a gear arsenal that fits your style and work flow takes time, patience, and experimentation. Peeking into other photographer’s camera bags is a great way to learn something new or discover that missing piece of equipment you have been searching for! But again, it all comes down to personal preference and what works for you!
When I first started out, I had to get all the newest, most expensive, and fanciest gear and gadgets. I thought that was what it took to be a better photographer. I was WRONG! I ended up wasting a lot of money. Now, I am of the mindset of it gets the job done, keep using it. And, what works for one person might not be what works for another. You do YOU.
Camera Bags and Accessories
The first and most beloved piece of gear I own is the Spider Holster Duo. After YEARS of trying different harnesses and straps, and hating them all, I finally discovered this gem. It has helped my back pain 100% and is the best investment I have made in a long time.
I use a large Lowerpro backpack to hold all my gear. This has been an easier bag to carry when shooting at venues that have longer walking distances between locations. For travel, I have a Manfroto rolling bag that I use to carry on gear.
I also use a faux leather duffle bag from Target that I put padded dividers in. I couldn’t find an official camera bag with a wide opening that held its shape when set down, that I could also carry over my shoulder, so I just made my own! You can buy camera inserts or repurpose them from older bags and make your own camera bag the same way!
Digital Camera Bodies
I have been using Canon since the beginning of my career! The majority of my digital work is shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. I just love this camera! I love it so much, I bough a second one when the Mark IV was released. I honestly prefer it over the IV.
I also use the Fuji X100s as a point and shoot digital during the getting ready, and in between moments of a wedding day, for a quick wide candid shot. Most of these images end up black and white. I originally bought this camera for personal family shooting, but on a whim started using it at weddings and ended up loving the results!
Another camera I LOVE is the Canon Powershot G7X. I do not use this at weddings, but it is worth mentioning as it has been a great personal use camera. I got it a few months after my son was born. I wanted something that had great jpg image quality with quick a point and shoot feel, more options than my iphone, and was smaller than my Mark III. This camera has been THE BEST investment ever.
Digital Camera Lenses
I have always preferred the look of prime lenses. My lens lineup includes (from most to least used)
Canon 50mm 1.2, Canon 35mm 1.4, Canon 75-200 2.8, Canon 85mm 1.4 (My husband Ben second shoots exclusively with the 85mm)
Film Camera Bodies
My love affair with the Medium Format Contax 645 with the Zeiss 80 f2 lens is pretty intense! I love this camera but it’s heavy, slow, and a fickle beast. But when it hits, it is MAGIC. I use this for details, portraits, and slower parts of the wedding day. I usually switch between auto and manual focus.
For the faster parts of the day when I want to shoot film I use the Canon EOS 3. I love it because I can use all my canon EF lenses on this camera body as well. I’d say that I use black and white film in this camera about 75% of the time. It’s fast and shoots just like a DSLR.
I have always preferred the colors of Kodak Film. My film of choice is Kodak Portra400 followed by Kodak Portra800 and Kodak Portra160.
I also occasionally use Kodak Gold 200 (you can even find this at Walgreens) and Kodak Ektar100 (more for travel and personal use)
I use a Sekonic L-358 light meter for film metering.
Flash and Lighting Gear
I also use the Ikan LED video light and the Pro Vid either handheld, on a monopod or tripod for about 50% of my reception shots. I like how I can be mobile with it, move it around and use it for more directional light and it’s easier to use with my film cameras than flash.
Since I am short, I use a folding stepstool for more height.
I use Think Tank pouches to hold batteries, flat lay styling items, film etc.
I use these Memory Card Holders and I love them!
I use this Hard Drive to back up and edit from.
I attach this Think Tank fanny pack to the back of my Spider belt to hold keys, batteries, light meter, phone, etc
I hope you enjoyed peeking inside my camera bag! If you are interested in learning more, check out my education page for a complete list of downloadable freebies and mentoring options! Also feel free to email me. I would love to answer any questions that you have!