What's in my Camera Bag?

Lights, Camera & Accessories!

So excited to share with you all the camera equipment and tools I use for photography! These are key tools I keep in my camera bag no matter I am shooting. At the end of the article, I also go over the lighting equipment I use for studio shooting :)

My Equipment List

  1. Canon 5D Mark iii
  2. Canon 24-70mm ii Lens
  3. Canon 100mm EF Macro lens
  4. Canon Batteries
  5. San Disk 32GB Memory Cards
  6. L Bracket
  7. Lens Cloth
  8. Fractal Filters
  9. Cellophane
  10. Camera Tool Keychain
  11. Speedlite ProMaster 100sl for Canon
  12. Tether Cord
  13. UV Filter
  14. Star Filters
  15. Remote Trigger
  16. Flash Batteries
  17. Reflector
  18. Camera Bag
  19. ND Filter
  20. Sony A7sii
  21. Metabones Adaptor
  22. Camera Stabilizer
  23. Fuji Film x100F

Cameras

Let’s jump in and talk about cameras and lenses! I bought my Canon 5D Mark iii used back in 2015 (big fan of buying used and getting a good deal!). It’s definitely seen better days but I love the quality. Very soon I will be upgrading my camera body - but for now the Mark iii still works great. I’ve always been told that your camera lenses are the pieces you should invest in. Camera bodies will always improve over time and you’ll switch them out, but a great piece of glass will last a lifetime! My go-to lens is the Canon 24-70mm ii. I love how versatile it is. I can get a wide shot and quickly change into a close up portrait shot. It allows me to be quick on set! I also shoot with a Canon 100mm Macro lens. I got the first version (not the latest) and actually regret not spending the extra cash. I do notice some blur in my images at times - I think the latest model is a bit better with that. Eventually I’ll probably trade it out for the newest version - it still works pretty well. I use it mainly for beauty and jewelry campaigns. I can get really close up to product and capture that fine detail.

I also use a Fuij Film x100F for light travel and BTS shooting. I originally got it to shoot at festivals and ended up using it a lot more than I thought! It has wifi capabilities so you can transfer the footage straight to your phone!

For video, I shoot on a Sony A7sii and use my canon lenses. The Metabones Adaptor works perfect for using your Canon glass on the Sony.

Camera Accessories

Super important to have the right tools in your bag to aid with your camera and lenses. I don’t like to carry too much with me but I also want to be prepared for anything. I’ve narrowed the list down to the essentials:

Camera batteries - ALWAYS name brand. You could potentially damage your camera with third party batteries.

San Disk 32GB Memory Cards - I use these Compact Flash (CF) cards because they usually can run faster than SD cards. Also my SD slot is broken sooooo I have no choice 😂

ND Filter - Hands down invest in an ND filter. It allows you to open up your aperture in direct sunlight.

Fractal Filters & Star Filters - OMG these are so fun to play with!! I have a whole blog post about these and other fun filter tools I use here.

Reflector - It will ELEVATE your photography to new heights. Get one like this that allows for a white, black, silver, gold, and diffusing option. I never arrive on set without a reflector.

L Bracket - This is like my secret weapon. It allows you to safely film/shoot vertically. Social media is so much apart of our business now so having vertical video and photography is a must. This lil baby has saved my back while shooting!

Flash - The Speedlite Pro Master 100SL is what I have. This is a great beginner Flash. I bought this like in 2015 for $300 and the price now is at $150. It’s compact and not too expensive. I will say though…I’m ready to upgrade it. The charging time between shots sometimes is too long and it runs through batteries if you’re using it at is full power. Lots of new on-camera flashes are available that are better. I’m looking at the Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT Flash or the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT for my next purchase.

Camera Bags - I trade off between three different camera bags. This one for normal shooting. This one for outdoors and travel. And this one for super light compact travel (and really cute!).

Studio Equipment List

  1. 200 Monolight Strobe
  2. 400 Monolight Strobe
  3. Octobox
  4. Soft Box
  5. C-stand
  6. Backdrop Stand
  7. Paper
  8. Tripod
  9. Digital Rolling Cart
  10. Sand Bags
  11. Apple box
  12. Video Lights
  13. Reflector Stand
  14. Clamps
  15. Gaffer Tape
  16. Light Stands
  17. Light Roller Bag

Lighting

Ok lets get into lighting equipment! I do want to preface one thing: I don’t have fancy expensive lights. There are some pros and cons to the lights that I have. They are perfect for beginners because they are easy to use, light weight, and inexpensive. BUT I’ve had them for three years, I’ve worked them to the ground, and they are not for high level professionals.

Soooo with all that said, I still highly recommend these lights as a great starting point for people who don’t know a lot about lighting. They have taught me so much! When you’re just learning, you most likely don’t want to spend a ton of money on lights. You want the interface to be simple and straightforward. The equipment should be lightweight to carry (but not too lightweight in that they feel cheap and made of plastic). Fovitec is the brand I recommend for all of this!

I use a 200 Monolight Strobe and a 400 Monolight Strobe, paired with an Octobox and a Soft Box. Just a two light set up! Sometimes I pull out and use two LED Video Lights. (Which is what I would recommend first to beginners! Video lights are great for photography because you can see in real time where the light is falling on your subject. There is not a lot of trail and error during setting up your shot.) If you only can invest in one modifier, I would go with the Octobox. The bigger your modifier, the more soft and diffused your light will look. You can easily make your subject super well lit with just one Octobox.

Cons to Fovitec: The flash is inconsistent at times, either not as bright or doesn’t go off at all. I shoot pretty fast though so this might be why. If you’re shooting at a slower pace the flash seems to keep up? Also the strobe attachment pieces over time have loosened, making it difficult to tighten my lights to the light stands.

Wish list: My next upgrade would be Profoto lights. So expensive though…but they are super consistent and reliable. Lighting equipment definitely is an investment. But if you’re working with lights a lot on set with clients, you want to make sure your crew is safe (lights aren’t falling on people) and the quality is consistent.

Lighting Accessories

Lights are important - but so are the rest of your studio accessories!

Backdrop Stand - This is the backdrop stand I use and love - it extends to 10ft. Perfect for the 9ft backdrop papers.

C-stand - I hate them. They are the devil. LOL But I can’t work without them. They help just as well with hanging up a backdrop, boom microphones, bounce boards etc. A good helpful tool to have on set - just be careful to not let them pinch your fingers >.<

Reflector Stand - OMG I LOVE THIS BABY SO MUCH 😭If you don’t have a huge bounce board or want your assistant to stand holding a reflector for 10 hours (LOL), then this is your life saver. It comes with multiple different reflecting options and a stand to hold it in place.

Paper - I always use Savage brand. They come in lots of different color and sizing options.

Tripod - There’s tons of options out there. Lots of people love the Manfrotto brand - I use Benro. This is the link to the exact model I use. I like it because it’s lightweight, not too big, and can adjust to all the angles.

Yay! That was the full break down for ya! Find more products I love and recommend in my Amazon store here. I update it frequently with gadget and goodies I use for shooting.

I hope this blog post was helpful-if you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me at: hello@champagnevictoria.com or DM me on Instagram @champagneunicorns 🦄 Cheers, Champagne