If you've ever wondered what camera gear I actually carry with me on a daily basis, then this is the post for you. Today I'm going to chat through what equipment I really use, and what's hanging out on the shelves at home - just incase you're curious.
I shoot with the Canon 5D Mark III camera body. This is the top of the line camera body and I seriously couldn't love it more. Thanks to my professional wedding photography business, I can justify the hefty price tag. This camera is amazing in more ways than one, but especially in low lighting.
For more information on choosing a DSLR camera body, check out our guide to DSLRs here.
Again, my photography business allows for me to justify shooting with top of the line equipment. I certainly don't take that for grated. I'm actually lucky enough to have a full lineup of fabulous lenses, but I really only use the following two to regularly capture my family.
Canon 50mm f/1.2 This lens is hands down my FAVORITE lens. It's a prime lens, so it doesn't zoom in or out - which may seem like a bummer at first, but it gives the BEST bokeh (aka blurry backgrounds). I find 50mm to be a very versatile focal length - just close enough for nice portraits, but wide enough to still tell the whole story. And because the aperture opens to 1.2, it works great in low light situations, meaning I don't always have to bring a flash.
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 This lens is a workhorse. I love bringing it along because it works so well in a huge variety of situations. I can zoom out wide to capture the whole event, or get in close for a portrait or details - all without having to ever change my lens. This baby isn't cheap, but it's quite possibly the only lens you'll ever need.
For more information on choosing the best lens for you, check out our ultimate lens guide here.
I always carry an extra memory card and a fully charged battery along in my bag as well. I'd always rather be safe than sorry. There's nothing worse than running out of battery juice or getting down to zero memory space right when your kids start doing something super fun.
My external flash gets thrown in from time to time as well. I generally only take it when I know we're going to be somewhere dark. For example, indoors in the evening or somewhere where there will be little to no natural light.
In this phase of life, my camera bag is actually more of a diaper bag. The diaper bag goes everywhere and the camera just comes along for the ride. One of the most common misconceptions about DSLR cameras is that they're fragile. After four years of motherhood I can assure you that couldn't be farther from the truth! Sure, you don't want to go dropping them on the regular, but they can certainly be thrown in the diaper bag and they'll handle just fine.
I totally understand that you've spent a lot of money on your camera and the last thing you want is for something bad to happen to it. The problem is, if you don't ever take it with you, then you're missing out on the whole reason why you bought it in the first place - to document LIFE.
Below are a few tips that make me more confident when bringing my camera along for the ride.
1 | Remove the camera strap
Kids are notorious for pulling on everything and for whatever reason, camera straps are extra interesting. Don't even tempt the kids to tug by removing the strap from day one.
2 | Use a lens filter
It's one thing if your camera body gets a scratch or two, but a scratch on your lens glass could mean spots on your photos for the rest of time. To avoid scratches on your lens, consider purchasing a UV filter that screws over your lens glass. Worst case you get a scratch on the filter and you can replace just the filter - a fraction of the price of the lens.
Filters vary depending on the size of your lens, so you'll want to make sure you find one that fits your particular lens(es). This one should give you the basic idea of what you're looking for though.
3 | Keep it simple
Each time we leave the house I just choose one lens to take along. This saves me from having to swap lenses while we're out and about - which leaves less opportunity for mishaps as well. I also don't have to worry about bringing along extra lens caps or having expensive lenses floating around in the diaper bag. Sure, I might wish I had something different from time to time, but I know that if I brought all my equipment along all the time that I would never actually take any photos - or even want to bring my camera along for that matter! Less is always more in my book (or bag in this case).
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