So, I get asked this question over and over again and I think it's time to share! Shall we dig in?
Camera Bodies | My main squeeze is a Canon 80D and she has served me well this year! (I bought the Canon 80D Video Creator Kit Bundle. It comes with a few extras if you're interested in videography as well.) The backup camera I currently use is a Canon T5i which used to be my main camera...moving up in the world, slowly, but surely. HA! I spend most of my shooting days outdoors, in the elements. Those are not always forgiving when electronics are involved, so a back-up is an absolute MUST! Nothing has happened YET (knock on wood) but a little built-in insurance is never a bad thing! ;)
Lenses | I am OVER THE MOON in love with my "nifty fifty!" It's a Canon 50mm f/1.8 and such a great price for all that buttery bokeh it gives me! Great for portraits, landscapes, and lifestyle/everyday use. Also, the 50mm gives you the most true-to-life representation for portraits. If you take a look at my portfolio, most of those images are from this little gem. I also use my Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 for times when I need to zoom (and don't want to use my feet). With this lens, I can stay a little farther away during intimate moments for a wedding or engagement portraits and just use the zoom feature to capture the magic. The Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 came with my T5i as a kit lens, so it's not the highest quality in the world, but good to have around in a pinch either way. It is really light-weight and with the improved Image Stabilization feature, these lenses are better than ever before. Last, but not least, my favorite lens for real estate photography, the Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6. This is a small, light-weight, wide-angle lens. I love it for shooting real estate because I can stand in a corner of a small room and photograph the entire room in one shot. If you've ever tried the "pano" option on your phone because you just couldn't get everything you wanted in one image, this is for you! Bonus, it can also shoot macro!
Light | I use natural light as often as the situation allows. It's always the best. However, sometimes (especially at wedding receptions) us photogs deal with super low light. It's important to have extra light options just in case. Obviously, I have pop-up flash options on my cameras, but those aren't very strong. Sometimes, I just have to blind you all and get out the big boy! My Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT.
Extras | There are lots of other "little things" needed to make your portrait sessions go off without a hitch. 1. Batteries (for your camera & flash...I use Rayovac Rechargeable)! Bring so many, that you don't even know what you'll do with them all. Seriously! 2. Flash modifiers. Diffusers, soft box, and collapsible reflector to bounce light. 3. Expodisc. Have you ever used this nifty little tool? It's a professional white balance filter. You can take a reading with this on top of your lens to get the perfect white balance every time! Game changer! 4. I also like to use lens hoods. You can find one to fit every lens you could possibly buy. They protect the glass on your lens from getting scratched and shield your lens from light coming in on the sides. That's what creates lens flare (which is not always a bad thing...trust me). Oh, and lens wipes. 5. Camera straps. While I DREAM of one day owning the Holdfast Moneymaker, I currently have a super cute, durable, light-weight Ciesta Cotten and Lace Camera Strap in Blue that I LOVE! 6. SD Cards...don't cheap out! Get the good ones, and get lots of them. Here are the ones I trust. 7. The cutest goodie in my bag is a little tan bunny that fits around my lens to keep the little ones happy and entertained during our time together. You'll just have to book a shoot with me to see how adorable he is. I ask one of the littles I photographed to name him for me, and he obliged. His name? Bunny. ;) 8. All the personal necessities: CHAPSTICK (I prefer Burt's Bees) all my friends will vouch for me, I have lots of chapstick emergencies. Hair ties, bobby pins, water, and my new favorite, chocolate sea salt RX bars. You never know when you'll get to eat at weddings, so planning ahead is key!
The Bag | This big, beautiful backpack style bag holds so much. It's light because it's made of canvas, and if you wear both back straps properly (unlike me sometimes) it distributes the weight of all your gear evenly. If you're a photographer with back problems (oh wait, who isn't?!) this is such a great option. You can find the link here. There are a few different colors choices. Mine is called Black Flower.
Hope you found this helpful in your search for the perfect gear! Click any of the links to order my exact set-up from Amazon.
love & stuff,
(Well, most of it anyway.)
*Affiliate links in this post.