What’s in my camera bag. Professional portrait photographer

At some point in most photographers career, we all get a bit obsessed with camera equipment.

Whats in my camera bag. Professional portrait photographer

Camera Bodies

I own 2x Canon 5dMk2 cameras for stills and video. Then a 5D1mk for behind the scenes and time lapse work. I work predominantly with portraiture and food photography, so this setup works really well for me. As I discussed in this post HERE, I am not one for upgrading simply because an upgrade has come out. If I were a press or music photographer then I would have upgraded to a 1Dx, but I am not, so I use these. They are a bit like Triggers broom from Only Fools and Horses. They have new computer boards, replaced shutters, hot shoes, connection ports and have been serviced 3-4 times a year.


My lens set up breaks down to two groups of two. At one point I had 8 lenses. Too much choice is bad for me. Less time choosing lenses and more time working with my subject.


35mm Sigma Art 1.4 and the Canon 85mm 1.8 USM. Both of these lenses are great and cover 90% of what I require during portrait sittings. I sometimes rent/borrow a 50mm 1.4 prime and 24mm 1.4 prime lens if I am doing something more specific, but 35mm and 85mm are pretty much the way I see the world



Zoom lenses

Canons 17-40mm F4 L  and Canon 70-200 2.8 L are the two lenses I use for event work. Or anything a bit more run and gun. You lose image quality, but you gain versatility. Both lenses resolve plenty of detail on a Canon 5Dmk2.

Leicester Forrest Cyclo Cross
Taken with the 5Dmk1. it was very muddy and rainy so I used the back up camera and my 70-200 F2.8L
Leicester aerial photograph of city scape
Taken from a helicopter with the 17-40mm F4L. Changing lenses was not an option on this shoot so I took two bodies with two zoom lenses.


When I first started as a photographer, I worked exclusively with speedlights. I started off with the 430 ex2s, but they lacked power and you could not add an external supply to increase recycle time. They also blew out a lot. I then moved to some youngnu lights, these were more powerful, but the white balance was all over the shop and the power options were not accurate. They should be in one stop increments…… they are not. The higher the power got, the less the F stop increased. Not good. Then I purchased a load of Canon 580 ex2 flashes. These are a lot better, have great white balance and accuracy for metering. They are also fully weather sealed, which is a big plus. I use Pocket Wizard Flex TT5s for HSS and sync off camera.

For bigger images or images where I need a lot more power, I use Elinchrom rangers or Bowens Studio lights. When I am running around like a mad man I stick to the speedlights with an umbrella.



The Bag

I use a Think Tank Airport security bag. I don’t fly often, but when I do it is very useful. It is also built so well. At one point I was walking 4 miles a day minimum with it. It still works perfectly and it comes with a lifetime repair service. When I need a lot less kit, or when roller cases are not suitable I use my Billingham bag, which doubles up as a day to day man bag.

Camera equipment

My previous Whats in my camera bag post is HERE

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