After years of using another well-known brand, I was fortunate to have picked up a ThinkTANK Urban Disguise Classic 60 bag. The word 'tank' tells you a lot about the quality of build! There's more than enough room for my goodies. I wish I had gone with ThinkTANK much sooner!
I have two camera bodies. The one you'll see most often is a Canon 5D Mark III. It's one of the most popular full-frame DSLRs ever, and is my 'go-to' choice. My paranoid side means I also have a backup, and that's my Canon 7D Mark II. You won't see it often, but there are opportunities for it's APS-C crop now an then, especially if I need more speed or compression. Thankfully the two are nearly identical in their layout and menus, so bouncing from one to the other is simple and easy.
I went a little crazy on my lens choices, with Canon's EF 24-70mm f2.8L II USM, EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM, and EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II USM lenses. They are a bit heavier and more expensive than their siblings, but I wanted to ensure you of high quality results you'll enjoy for years to come!
Looking your best means controlling the light around you. For the best lighting options, I've chosen Canon and Paul C Buff. Canon's Speedlite 600EX-RT portable flash delivers high-performance and dependability in a compact and lightweight package, and I always have three ready to go! I'll trigger them with a Yongnuo YN-E3-RT. It's a super-inexpensive way for me to adjust each Speedlite's output. To make sure I quickly get the exposure correct the first and every time, you'll see me use my Sekonic L-478DR. It's easy to use and has a large display. If the session calls for studio lighting, I'll set up my Paul C Buff Einsteins. Buff is based in Nashville and has over-the-top customer support at prices that don't kill a dream! Their tiny Paul C Buff Cyber Commander is so versatile, with power adjustment and metering all in one!
For all those things that need batteries (and there are many!), I've come to rely on Panasonic Eneloop Pro recyclable batteries. These batteries are amazing for their ability to deliver consistent power over and over, and hold a charge while in storage! They aren't cheap, but they last a long time and I'm not filling up a landfill!
You'll see that I don't show up with just one bag. For most jobs, I depend on one of my FJ Westcott Soft Sided Gear bags. It's incredible how much I can pack into one bag and still keep everything lightweight. In one bag are three Westcott 8' Light Stands, three Westcott umbrellas, all three of my Canon Speedlites, the Yongnuo YN-E3-RT, my stash of Panasonic Eneloop Pro batteries and still have room for a small bag with a make-up mirror, hairspray and rice paper!
I occasionally use a second FJ Westcott Soft Sided Gear bag, which is loaded with a different set of light modifiers and accessories. There are two 26" Westcott Rapid Box Octa's, which can be ideal for a super-portable modifier on the go. I can hold one of these in my left had while triggering my camera with my right, or their unique design makes being hand held easy for my assistant or the mom who wants to lend a hand for their senior! I also carry two 28" Medium Apollo Soft Boxes, and one 16 x 30 Apollo Strip Softbox. While I don't use the Apollo gear as much as I once did, they can be ideal for the right situation!
If we have a more flexible schedule and location, I'll use a variety of modifiers for my 3 Einsteins. Whenever possible, I'm going to go with the phenomenal Westcott 7' Umbrella. Because of it's size when open, I had to have high ceilings, but oh what a beautiful soft light it makes! Otherwise, I will use one or more of my Paul C Buff Softboxes. Each has a unique purpose, whether that's getting in tight with the 24 X 36 for a great headshot, setting u the 30 x 60 for a greater spread of light, or using the 47" Octabox for superb catch lights in the eyes!
But what seems to get noticed first is the cart I use to carry all of these options! The Travel Smart by ConAir Ladder Cart saves my back while allowing me to get a different perspective of my clients.
So there you have it ... that's what's in my bags!