Alright, first thing is first. If you’re just getting started, there is NO need to invest in the best camera on the market. Learn, make sure you love it, and then upgrade. It took me almost a decade to upgrade from my first camera. When you outgrow it, you’ll know. That said, a few of my pals over on Instagram have been asking what’s in my camera bag, so I thought I’d take you for a virtual tour!
I also linked each product so you can check them out for yourself. I want to be upfront that I am an Amazon Associate, which means any purchases from these links may result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost to you). That said, I only share items I truly love and think you’ll enjoy too!
My Camera Body
I upgraded from the Canon Rebel T1i (my OG crop sensor DSLR that I bought when I was 16) to the Canon 5D Mark IV after shooting on a rental for a while! I’ve also shot on Canon 5D Mark IIIs and while they are still a stellar improvement from my crop sensor, the clarity is just that much sharper in the IV! I also love the dual memory card slot available in the Mark series versus my old crop sensor!
Heads Up: There is a difference between the International and USA model of Canon 5D Mark cameras. The international model doesn’t come with the Canon warranty, so while it’s cheaper, you don’t get that Canon support if something goes wrong. I have a friend who bought the international and it’s totally fine, but I was more comfortable getting the warrantied one!
I bought a package very similar to this from this seller. The added lenses and accessories are wonderful if you’re just getting started or changing camera types where your old lenses don’t fit the new body. The 50mm that comes with it is my fave, but even if you opt out of getting this specific package, I’ll link the 50mm below.
My Favorite Lenses
Alright, I have a few lenses I love and for different reasons. I don’t own all of them personally because my friend and I will swap based on what’s needed, but I love all of the following for different reasons!
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
You know how every photographer has one lens that is almost always on their camera? For me, it’s the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8. This little beauty gets the best compression and bokeh. It’s actually the most similar to the naked eye in terms of distortion AND it’s super affordable, making it excellent for beginners.
I personally love it for portraits and it gets the BEST sun flares! Seriously, I was shooting with two other photographers who COULDN’T get the same effect on their 35mm lenses. See for yourself.
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III
The Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 also comes in the bundle I mentioned earlier. It is great for wedding photographers who need to get those close up shots during a ceremony. Because of the aperture that changes with the focal length, it’s not my FAVORITE zoom lens, but it’s super affordable and does the trick if you’re just getting started.
My advice is just pay attention to your exposure changes as you zoom in or out. Nevertheless, you can get some gorgeous shots with this one!
Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di MACRO 1.1 VC USD
Say that five times fast. The Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di MACRO 1.1 VC USD is a lens my friend owns, but I AM OBSESSED with. Details are my favorite part of a wedding day and I’ve gotten some epic shots with this little number. This ring layered on top of the bride’s dress is one of my favorites. Would you believe this was actually taken on a really ugly rock?
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8
My husband actually got a Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 wide angle lens for me for Christmas this year. That wonderful man knew how much I wanted one to capture the landscape beauty in Hawaii. And boy, do I love its versatility. You can get some epic portraits with a focus on the surrounding environment, but it’s also awesome for capturing scenery itself. Just be careful to watch for distortion if using it for portraits!
Fun fact… this is actually one of the oldest designs of lenses that is still sold today. Why fix what isn’t broken, right?
Canon EF 35mm f/2
Okay, this is my best friend’s go to lens, but honestly, I only like it in a pinch. On wedding days, the Canon EF 35mm f/2 is your best friend in a tight space. Think about the girls getting ready in the morning. It’s technically a wide angle lens, so you can capture more of the scene, but it doesn’t distort as much as the 28mm.
To make my point, when I shoot with my best friend, she keeps the 35mm on her camera and I keep a 50mm on mine. It is simply your preference. Here’s a photo I took with her 35mm. It’ll just show how much more of a scene you can get with the wider lens.
I love these memory cards because they don’t slow my flash down with subpar processing speeds. And by far, one of the best investments you can make as a photographer is a large capacity external hard drive to safely backup and organize all of those beautiful photos you capture! Seagate has never let me down!
If you’re considering a camera / lens purchase, I always recommend renting or borrowing one to try beforehand. There’s nothing worse than buying something you don’t love. You also want to make sure the lenses I mention are compatible with the camera body you choose!
Regardless of what’s in my camera bag, you have to build an arsenal that you love. Every photographer has their own unique set of favorites, so take time to find yours!
If you found this helpful and think more individualized help in growing your photography business would be beneficial, head here or my Instagram to find out how we can work together! (Update: I’m now offering limited hourly coaching on a 1:1 basis.)