What’s in My Bag? – Lifestyle Photography Mentor

October 13, 2016


As a photographer, it’s not uncommon to get questions about what gear I’m shooting with. I shoot a lot indoors and in low light so it can be helpful for some people to have an idea of what certain cameras and lenses are capable of. No, you will not automatically take better pictures if you have better equipment, but shooting in tight, dark places has special challenges and having the right gear CAN make a pretty big difference when it comes to image quality. A wide lens with an aperture that can open to at least f/2.8 and a camera with a decent sized sensor will make shooting indoors a breeze. So what’s in my bag?


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Camera Bodies

Nikon D750 – This is the newest addition to my collection and my main dslr body. After 3 years of daily use and client sessions, my D700 was getting a little ragged so I upgraded. This is a full frame camera so the sensor is larger than consumer cameras and it has incredible ISO capabilities. It also shoots video!

Nikon D700 – This used to be my main body, another full frame camera. I bought it used after Nikon stopped producing it because it was everything that I wanted at the time. It also fit my hands really well. I still shoot with it often because I love the colors it produces. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of this camera; we go too far back.

Nikon F100 – This is my film body. I don’t shoot much film since I tend to shoot in limited light, but I like having the option available if I get the urge. All of my lenses work on this camera and it’s set up a lot like my D700 so it feels familiar to shoot with.

Fuji x100t – This is the mirrorless camera I take with me whenever we leave the house, whether it’s for an hour or a week. I love it for its size. I stopped taking my dslrs with me when we went out of the house because they were so heavy. I can fit this little guy in my jacket pocket and I rarely feel limited by it’s capabilities. It also attracts much less attention when shooting in public. My favorite feature is probably the wifi connectivity. When connected to my iPhone, the Fuji remote app makes taking self portraits with this camera nearly painless!


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Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 – This was the first prime lens I bought. I don’t really use it anymore. I should sell it, but I think it might have sentimental value or something.

Sigma ART 35mm f/1.4 – This is the lens that built my business. It’s wide enough and fast enough to capture most of life that happens indoors. It’s tack sharp and perfect for most of my shooting. If you’re looking to seriously start shooting your everyday, your life inside your home, I highly suggest investing in this lens. The Sigma ART 24mm f/1.4 is on my shopping list.

Tamron 24mm-70mm f/2.8 – This lens doesn’t get as much use these days, but I love it during the summer at the 24mm focal length. I also like using this lens when I’m shooting events since I can’t always maneuver around quickly enough (or at all) to get the shots I need.


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Yongnuo YN- 468 II Speedlite – I don’t use a flash often, but I love having one on hand (and knowing how to use it) just in case. Bounced off of a wall behind me, I can add light to a scene that might otherwise be too dark to shoot anything and still make it look natural.

Hand Strap – I never used neck straps when I had them, so I bought a leather hand strap that I love. When I have a family or newborn session, I spend most of my time with my camera in hand, ready to take a picture at any moment. A hand strap provides some security against drops without getting in my way.

Extra Batteries and Memory Cards – Because you never want to find your memory card full or battery dead when you see something you want to shoot!

iPhone 6Plus – I use my phone to connect to my Fuji x100t when I want to take a self-portrait on the go. Also, if I’m out of the house and don’t have a camera with me or don’t have time to pull one out, I will frequently take the shot with my phone. Is it ideal? No, but if the moment is important enough to want to photograph it, I am often happy to have any pictures at all. As they say, the best camera is the one you have with you!


Interested in learning more from me? Check out my online photography mentoring options and email me at Kayla@kaylamaltesephotography.com. Be sure to follow me on Facebook.