Handmade 2014 Promo Mailer
BMW M6 shot with a Phase One IQ160

What’s in your bag?

Why hello there. Nice shirt. What?? You would you like to get to know me better??? Maybe, take a peek inside my bag and see what I use?!? Well don’t you have a dirty mind!! But you did ask nicely… ziiiiiiiiiip

I don’t think I’ve displayed my photo equipment before, mainly because I don’t take much stock in the gear making the photographer. I believe that an aspiring mind is more important than any piece of camera equipment you can possibly own, because an aspiring mind will not ask questions like “how can I get that shot” or “how are you so successful” at a seminar; instead, he/she will already have the mindset that they CAN do it. In my experience, an eager mind coupled with setting goals will be able to purchase any camera gear in given time.

My bag and a beer in Costa Rica, just about all I ever need.

OK, rant over, that was unexpected, welcome inside my head too.
ShotKit recently sent me an email explaining the details of their website that goes inside multiple photographer’s bags. This was a VERY fun idea, especially since well-known photographers like Dave Hill, Erik Johansson and Seagram Pearce were on board as well. It’s always interesting to know what other professionals use to get their outstanding images.

As stated before, I don’t believe gear fully makes a photographer, as illustrated by Digital Rev’s Pro Photographer, Cheap Camera youtube series… but I will say there is a point where more refined equipment is NEEDED. When clients demand the highest quality, highest resolution images, then I call upon the powers of Lance Schad at Digital Transitions to use a PhaseOne system camera. The image size and quality are unmatched (more details on this monster in a future blog post).

What's in your camera bag?

A quick highlight list of what I use

Rent:
PhaseOne medium format camera system via Lance Schad at Digital Transitions
ProFoto lighting
-Extra grip equipment (light stands, sand bags, softboxes, scrims, fog, water, etc)

Own:
Canon 5DMKIII (40D as backup… it has less than 1000 clicks on it!)
-Canon L lenses (16-35mm 2.8, 24-70mm 2.8, 70-200mm 2.8, 50mm 1.2)
Canon 580ex speedlight
Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod with 3030 head
15″ Apple MacBook Pro laptop (2.6ghz i7, 16gb DDR3, 1TB PCi flash storage)
Manfrotto 1004BAC stackable light stand kit (amazing, here is why)
AlienBees lighting + softboxes/modifiers
LowePro X200 roller bag (perfect for fitting in overhead bins when flying)
74street leather bag (mainly for MacBook… LOVE!)
CamRanger (for tethering Canon to iPad)
-Various Neutral Density and Polarizing filters
-6 PocketWizard triggers (never have enough of these)
-Lots and lots of various wires
Westcott 42″ square Illuminator Reflector

I’ve definitely learned the tried-n-true life lesson that you pay for what you get. Sure it may sound absurd to spend $300 on a tripod, or $2000+ on a lens, but if that tripod and lens will last me for the rest of my life, then it is money well spent. The same goes for my newest leather bag from 74streetbags. I recently switched from PC to Apple.. in a big way. Basically I use my laptop for ALL of my computing needs. At home I dock to a 30″ monitor, and on the fly I can disconnect it and carry it with me wherever I go. So obviously I wanted a proper nice bag when traveling. After days of searching I came across this Romanian hand-crafted, hand-stitched, hand-cut bags on Etsy. The quality is stunning and it makes me feel like I’m Indiana Jones (before the aliens, that was just awful).

What's in your camera bag?

What's in your camera bag?

What's in your camera bag?

Welp, that’s about it. I was in no way paid to write/say any of these words… but damn that would be nice!
From my old trusty Canon with AlienBees to the latest and greatest PhaseOne with Profoto lights, here are some shots of the gear above in action from the past few years:

What's in your camera bag?

What's in your camera bag?

What's in your camera bag?

Read a little more in-depth about my gear and how I use it here at ShotKit.

  • JT

    Are any of the L lenses version 2? Also, are the softboxes from Paul C Buff?

  • JT, the 16-35 is my latest lens purchase and it’s a II. Yes my softboxes for the AlienBees are also Paul C Buff. Outstanding value and great customer service. Since Profotos are super consistent with light, and readily available at any rental photo store, I use them for the higher end shoots.