What's in my camera bag | Newborn Photography - Charlotte, NC

I've had quite a few inquiries recently about what kind of gear I use so, I figured this would be the perfect time to do a blog post!

When I purchased my first camera, I opted for the Canon T6i (it's in the Rebel series). It was fairly inexpensive, came with a lens and is recognized as a really good beginner camera. Since it had been a few years since I picked up a DSLR, I needed to dust up on the basics. I was just getting back into the swing of photography and didn't want to go too crazy out of the gate. My husband is very supportive and while he was the one that encouraged me to pick up a DSLR again, I didn't want to break the bank, so this camera was perfect. The good thing is, learning manual mode on a camera is like riding a bike....once you learn it, you never truly forget. :)

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I've upgraded since then and now shoot primarily with a Canon 6D, but still use my Rebel as a backup. It's nice having two camera bodies for the simple peace of mind that if my primary body completely dies on me in the middle of a session, I can continue without a hiccup. 

Why Canon? I took a few photography classes in college and worked with both Nikon and Canon. The Canon to me always seemed more user friendly and fit better in my hands, but it really boils down to personal preference. When it was time for me to upgrade, I chose the 6D because of it's amazing low-light capabilities and full-frame sensor. While it is larger than my Rebel, it fits in my hands perfectly (actually I like the feel of it better than my Rebel) and isn't too heavy; which is really important on long shoots!

 

The lens collection

I try to be smart with my lens selection, because they can get really expensive, really fast. Buying lenses without thinking things through can be a costly mistake. I have my share of  expensive camera equipment paperweights.

 
 
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Canon 85mm f/1.8 - This was the very first lens I bought. I actually got it the same day as my Rebel because it was on sale at my local camera shop and I knew that I wouldn't be happy with just the kit lens. By far my favorite outdoor portrait lens. The images I get from this are always so crisp and the background blur (bokeh) is always so creamy and dreamy. I'll admit, I don't pull this lens out of my bag as much as I'd like, but it will always have a special place in my heart.

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Canon 50mm f/1.8 -The nifty fifty; a staple in every photographer's bag. Like seriously, 99% of photographers have some version of a 50mm. I like this lens because it mimics the naked eye. It feels very natural and it's pretty fast. It's my go-to for running toddlers.

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Canon 70-200mm f/4 - I hate to admit it, but this lens collects dust. I got it when I was still new and thought that it was a good alternative to the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS and that I would use it all the time. Definitely not. It's not great in low-light and because of the f/4, I can't really get my depth of field background like I have in my mind. As I've grown, I've also realized that I prefer prime lenses over zooms (I have one other zoom, but we'll talk about that later). This....is my paperweight....

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Tamron 60mm f/2 macro 1:1 - I found this lens on accident. Seriously...I had no option, no choices...nothing...

I had purchased a macro lens (I believe it was a Tamron 90mm) and I hated it. I hated everything about it. It was slow...it was loud...my images were never crisp. I just didn't have time to fiddle with it. My sole purpose for needing it was to capture newborn details. Cute shots of eyelashes, lips, fingers, toes, etc. Anyway, I ended up sending it back after 2 sessions because it was horrible and bought a different one. Just my luck, I ordered it from Amazon on maybe a Wednesday for delivery on Friday (gotta love that 2-day prime shipping), for a session on Saturday. Well it got LOST IN THE MAIL. It said it was delivered and I never got it. I panicked and ran out to a local camera shop and said, "I have a shoot tomorrow, I need a macro lens, I don't care which one, I shoot Canon." This was the only thing they had. At first I cringed at the thought of another Tamron macro but it ended up being a pretty good lens. 

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Yongnuo 35mm f/2 - Paperweight number 2. Honestly, I don't know why I haven't just sold this yet. Probably because I won't get much for it. The focal length is great, the lens itself, meh. The entire Canon Rebel series are crop sensor cameras; meaning they essentially zoom in on what you see. A 50mm on a crop camera doesn't behave like a 50mm, what you see is more like 75mm.

When all I had was a crop body, I needed a way to still be close to the baby and have a wider view....so I got this because it was cheap and had some decent reviews. I'm pretty sure they're hit or miss - this one was definitely a miss. It's loud, it's slow, it misses focus often....and the last thing I need is to miss a shot with a sleeping newborn because my lens was being temperamental. Eventually, I'll be upgrading to the Sigma Art 35mm.

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Tamron 24-70  f/2.8 G2 - This lens is like butter. So sharp. The colors are amazing. The bokeh is soooooooooooooo dreamy. My go-to for newborns and sitters. I have a very small studio, so a wide angle lens is a must for me when dealing with 6 months - 1 year. For newborn sessions, this lens allows me to change the look of an image with the simple flick of the wrist to zoom in or out. I don't know how I did newborns without this lens. While I still prefer primes, this one certainly gives a run for the money. :)