Replay: What’s in My Bag?

Aloha folks! Welcome welcome welcome!

So appreciative to have your listening ears.

If you’ve listened before you know that a lot of this content is not only helpful for folks building and maintaining photography businesses, but for people running businesses in most creative fields. I wanted to distinguish the photo episodes from the rest, so you’ll see it in the title if we’re planning to dig deep into photo-specific things.

This week I wanted to answer one of my most common questions: what’s in your bag.

Before I dive into this episode’s main content, I want to take a minute to share my appreciation and gratitude for those of you supporting this podcast effort. As of this recording, we have a few itunes reviews, and I want to make a point to give them some airtime here:

kai river, 05/08/2019

So excited for this podcast! Natalie is full of all sorts of amazing information regarding photography and the business.

Thank you! I love hearing that people are excited for this podcast adventure, since I am too! If you’d like to join the review crew, head to

It’s kind of a funny question lately because what was once my favorite kit is now in a sea of other pretty killer options. Sigma brought a big game with the art lenses. Fuji came out with retro looking, powerful travel cameras, and Sony is so sophisticated you could basically shoot in the dark.

I don’t take sides, which I feel is kind of an old school mindset, particularly between Nikon and Canon. I’m also not much of a gear head, it’s not what lights me up. Taking photos and editing photos lights me up. But the gear doesn’t matter too much to me, as long as it works.


I started with Canon and am still primarily shooting Canon. I shoot prime, and I’ve been really happy with Canon’s prime lens selection.

Before we dive into what’s IN my bag, I’d like to talk about my favorite actual bags.

I carry most of my gear, especially when I travel, in a beautiful, padded AND customizable bag by a company called Porteen Gear. They were SO easy to work with and the product is gorgeous. I really feel drawn to elephants for some reason, so I chose a swatch for the cover flap with an elephant pattern.

When I’m not traveling with my whole kit, I have used the same Kelly Moore bag for 8 years. It’s a black purse style bag that is super versatile. It came with easy to swap out straps, a short and long one. The inside has a super cool velcro interface with dividers for lenses that can be removed and placed in different spots. It’s the perfect bag for a DSLR, and extra lens, and your wallet or whatever else you usually carry around.

Finally, in the bag department, I don’t know where I’d be without my Shoot Sac. It’s a lightweight durable neoprene bag with six slots for lenses, flashes, card books, or whatever. I use it every single time I shoot and have for my whole career. I shoot prime, so it’s amazing to have an easy way to carry lenses without extra weight. I love it. There are customizable flaps if you’re into extra style, too.

As for what’s INSIDE the bags, here we go:

I have two back up 5Dmk iis, but I still shoot one pretty regularly. I’d love to know what you Canon shooters think, but the mk ii has colors that are not present on the iii or iv. It is still magic with a 50mm 1.2

My main camera is a 5D mk iv. Usually I shoot double bodies, but I’m not super sold on the iv, so I only bought one this time. I’m going to wait a year and try something else. (This is an affiliate link and I make a percentage when you buy using it…I have to say that).

I have a fuji x100T which has been a great little mirrorless travel camera. (This is an affiliate link and I make a percentage when you buy using it…I have to say that).

Those are the cameras I carry to gigs. As for lenses I always work the same combo:

28mm 1.4

35mm 1.4

50mm 1.2

135mm 2.0

45mm 2.8 tilt

Still rocking the 580exiis for flashes, but I’m not a big light user. I think I still have a couple of the 4 hundred series for back ups.

If I could only keep 2, I’d keep my 50 and 135. I definitely use them the most, and they are beautiful lenses. The 135 is an amazing value, too.

I just started shooting on 64GB cards, but that’s only because the mk iv has an extra slot for another card. The mk ii only has a single Compact Flash slot and I was always careful to not shoot bigger than a 16GB in case of a card corrupting and losing 64+ GB of data.

The only time I ever lost files from something corrupting was the very first wedding I shot. That’s another story.

So those are the basics of my bag.

I feel pretty strongly that the latest and greatest isn’t as important as knowing your kit inside and out and being able to shoot well with just about anything. Especially if you’re shooting high pressure, no-do-over situations like weddings.

I love trying out new things, yes. But if you’re on a budget or just starting out, don’t stress one minute over not having a perfect, shiny new kit. It’ll happen. Get really good a one lens you LOVE. Then save for a new one or rent one to try.

Hell, if I shot something with my phone and put it on my website, there’s a chance people wouldn’t be able to tell if it was edited well enough. That’s how good the tech is getting. But you should be good at the art. Keep refining that.

A friend of mine (Laura Kane Scher Photography) mentioned to us in the FB group that she tries to shoot ONE image each time she goes out to a family session, etc. for HER. Not what she thinks the client will want, but something for HER, that lights her up.

Try that sometime, and don’t worry about what’s in your bag too much. If you have any questions for me, I’m at

Consistency is key.

With light and love until next time!



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