What’s In My Bag

It’s a beautiful day here in Fort Worth, TX! Wow! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and there’s a light breeze blowing through my window. It’s heavenly.

Anyways, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but even longer that I’ve blogged what gear I use (over a year, I believe)! Things have changed and I’ve been able to save up and purchase new gear that I’ve needed and I am so blessed that I was able to! So, without further ado, here’s what’s in my bag! 

This handsome camera is Hermanni, my Canon 7D. I purchased Hermanni as an upgrade from my Canon 30D back in July, and I couldn’t be happier! The difference between the 30D and the 7D is night and day, seriously. The ISO capabilities, the quality, the shooting speed… I think I’m in love! I still use my 30D (Maurice is my baby! I had been shooting with him since 2008) as my backup camera should the need arise, but… the 7D is pretty tough. There’s a video on YouTube from Digital Review testing the durability of this camera. Guys, they knocked it over with a truck multiple times, threw it down a flight of concrete stairs more than once, submerged it in water and then froze it inside and out, shot it with a BB gun to break the ice, and then SET IT ON FIRE to dry it out. Guess what? IT STILL WORKED. And I cringed through every second of that video. But it is nice to know that it should be ok if anything happened while I was working with it. Not that I’m careless, but accidents do happen. Anyways, I’ve had this camera for a year in July and I’m infatuated. It’s been one of the best investments for my business. 

This is my beloved Canon 50mm f/1.4. This lens is my baby and I use it for just about everything; portraits, weddings, my go to lens when  I travel, you name it, I use it. It’s so versatile, it makes some beautiful pictures, and the 1.4 aperture makes it a dream in low light and it produces some pretty bokeh. I’ve been using this lens since 2011 and I recommend it to everyone. Seriously, as a photographer, everyone should have a 50mm. There are different versions of it, depending on your budget, but for only about $300, you can’t go wrong. Marc shoots with the 50mm 1.8, but the 1.4 just feels much more solid to me. It’s my favorite lens by far. ❤ ❤ ❤ 

 

This is my Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8. It’s a recent addition and I had been saving for what seemed like forever until I could get this lens. This lens, to me, compares well to the Canon version, but it was half the price, so I couldn’t say no! I tested them both out before buying thanks to BorrowLenses.com, but obviously this is the one I fell in love with. The wide angle is a MUST HAVE for weddings when you’re in tight spaces or when photographing large families. I use it a lot during a wedding day for prep, family formals, and to get wide shots of the ceremony and reception. I think it is great for my photojournalistic style, it helps tell the story of the wedding day by capturing things exactly as they happen. I lovelovelove this lens.

 

I just about hugged the mail man when he delivered this lens to my door. As a wedding photographer, a 70-200 lens is a MUST!!! And now I finally have mine! This is my Canon 70-200 f/4 USM lens and I am smitten. It isn’t top of the line, but it is an L Series lens and it produces the creamiest bokeh I’ve ever seen. Seriously. And it focuses like butter. It’s so smooth and buttery, that Paula Deen would fall in love. It’s really great if you’re stuck in the back of the church during a ceremony (some churches have super strict rules), you can still get up close without being too close. It’s also amazing for portraits. I haven’t used it at a wedding yet, but next weekend I will be able to as Wedding Season is starting! I’m so thrilled!!!!!!

 

This is my 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens. This is my go to lens when I need to photograph wedding rings, detailed florals, or even if I want to give some distance for portraits. It’s so sharp and focuses silently, which is awesome. I added this guy to my collection in 2011 and he has helped me capture some beautiful, up close details. Love my macro! 

 

Here’s a little story about flashes: You get what you pay for. Seriously. When I was first starting out, I was a little arrogant and super naive to think that I didn’t need flashes. I’m a natural light photographer, what do I need a flash for? Well, when I started booking more weddings I realized very quickly that not every ceremony or reception will be during the day time, and even if they are, the venues won’t always have windows. So, I gave in and bought the cheapest flashes I could find. The first one was online by Bower. Well, I get the flash in the mail and guess what? IT DOESN’T WORK. At all. Nothing I do will make this flash work. I got super frustrated, emailed the company, never heard back… it was really annoying and I needed something quick. I saw that WalMart (definitely not the first place you think of when you think camera supplies, right?) was selling SunPak flashes for about $60 a pop, so I bought a couple of those. They work great if you’re in a small room with low, white ceilings to bounce. There’s no flash bounce card on it, they didn’t swivel, and they were definitely not cutting it. I realized I needed to actually invest in this if I wanted to get amazing results, but all the top of the line flashes were $500 EACH, and that was not an option. Then I stumbled upon a company called Yongnuo. They are Korean and bragged about being equivalent to the top of the line Canon Speedlites. I did a lot of research, asked a lot of questions, watched and read a lot of reviews on YouTube and photography forums. I was blown away and even better? They cost me about $80/flash. So I bought two. I am the PROUD owner of two Yongnuo YN-560 III flashes. They are amaze me. They swivel, there’s a built in bounce card AND a diffuser, the recycle time is amazing, they’re built just like the Canons and even look like them, the battery life is great, and the manual settings are awesome. I am blown away how amazing these flashes work and I ALWAYS recommend them to photographer friends. Sure, they’re 3rd Party flashes, but they were THE BEST INVESTMENT for my business. If I’m second shooting, I still bring both flashes, and set up another one in the corner of the reception hall for some extra lighting. They communicate with each other wirelessly and can trigger across the room. Amazing is an understatement. SO MUCH LOVE FOR THESE FLASHES.

*Not pictured is Marc’s gear: Canon 7D, Canon 30D, Canon 50mm f/1.8

 

If you have any questions about my gear, where I got it, or anything like that, let me know! And remember, you don’t have to have the best of the best to take amazing pictures. I hope you enjoyed this post! Have an amazing Saturday!

xoxo, Beth

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