What’s in the Bag of a Commercial Photographer?

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What’s in the Bag of a Commercial Photographer? with Angela Marklew

If you’ve ever been curious about what’s in the bag of a beauty photographer, look no further. Below are the contents of my camera case. At this point, my camera gear moves around in a Manfrotto rolling suitcase. Make sure that your camera case complies with airline carry-on guidelines—I always advise against checking your camera gear.  

As we go on, I’ll break down the purpose of everything and why I always have this stuff.

Pictured above are what I call the “essentials,” or my core gear. Even if I didn’t have anything else, I could confidently shoot anything from a test to a commercial job with just these things.

My core gear is made up of:

  • Canon 5D MK4 body and 100mm macro lens
  • Tether cord
  • Pocket wizards
  • Battery charger and extra batteries
  • Hard drive for backups

Some examples of both personal and client work shot with just the core camera gear:

Next we have the backup gear:

  • A Canon 5D MK3 body
  • Memory cards and card reader
  • A second battery charger
  • A tether cord for the MK3
  • A second tether cord for the MK4

I learned the hard way about the importance of having backups when it comes to your camera gear.

I had driven from Los Angeles to San Diego on a Sunday to shoot with a hair stylist friend of mine at her salon. We were about halfway through the shoot when my shutter broke. When I say broke, I mean send-back-to-the-manufacturer kind of broke. No rental houses were open and I didn’t have another camera body with me. One very panicked call to my boyfriend and he was on his way to San Diego to bring me his camera so I could finish the shoot. I’m thankful that this happened on a low pressure shoot—no clients were involved, we were all friends, and hanging out for two hours while we waited for the camera was no real hardship.  

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