I’ve loved photography since I was a kid. I remember when I got my first point and shoot camera that I brought everywhere with me. At that time, I had no idea camera equipment like DSLR’s existed, but before too long, I hopped on the SLR train and got my first professional camera when I was a sophomore in high school. At the time, I didn’t care too much about what equipment I had, I was just happy that I was able to take such nice, high quality images. But, once I named the photo editor of my high school newspaper, I instantly started to grow interested in different lenses, flashes, and other equipment the pros use. Now, here we are, almost 5 years later, and my camera bag has grown quite a bit. 

BODY: Canon T6i Rebel: This body is one of the newer additions to my camera bag. I’ve had it for almost 9 months and I absolutely love it. My very first SLR was the T1i Rebel and I loved that camera. It was a great introductory SLR to own; it was so easy to use and it got the job done when it came to taking photos. But, this past summer, I felt I had advanced a lot as a photographer and was looking for a step up. I searched high and low for the perfect camera, I even considered upgrading to a full-frame, but for monetary reasons that seemed a little out of reach. So, I settled for an updated version of my old camera and absolutely fell in love with it. The best part about this camera upgrade is that the body has built in wifi, so I can send photos straight from my camera to my phone, which is pretty cool (technology these days is nuts, amirite?!).

Canon 50 mm lens 1.8 (pictured on my camera body): I got a great deal on this 50 mm lens when I got my T6i. It’s great in low light and for shooting concerts, so it’s been a staple in my camera bag (especially at shows) over the last several months. Sometimes in close-quarter photo pits this lens can be a bit of a struggle since the images end up being a lot closer then you may have initially wanted, but this lens produces really great, crisp images. Some of my favorite images I’ve ever taken have been shot with this beauty!

Tokina 11-16 mm lens 2.8: This is the newest edition to my camera bag, and this lens was well worth what I paid for it. This lens was half a Christmas gift to myself, and half a “I’m proud of myself for making it through a really hard semester of school” present. I got a great deal on it and honestly will never look back. It’s quickly become my favorite lens to use at shows because its wider angle makes it easier for my to catch multiple band members in one picture instead of only being able to get one or two in a shot. I’ve only had this lens for a few months, so I’m still figuring out what it’s capable of, but I’ve been over the moon with the results it’s given me. It’s making me excited for the next bunch of shows I’ve got lined up…

Canon 18-55 mm lens 3.5-5.6: I definitely don’t use this lens as much as I used to. I got this lens in a kit with the first DSLR I ever owned and just kept it around when I got rid of my other body. It’s a nice lens to use for portraits because it has a nice focal range, but for the majority of the photography I do (i.e. shooting concerts) it’s not great. This is the lens I primarily used before I got my 50 mm and my 11-16 mm and I took some good images with it, but they were never quite as crisp and polished as I had wished they were. 

Canon 55- 200 mm lens 4-5.6: I also got this lens in the kit with my first DSLR and I really don’t use this lens at all. I’ll only really use it if I am at a concert venue that has no photo pit. But other then that, I don’t find that many opportunities to use it. Nonetheless, it's still great to have it just incase I ever end up shooting an arena show where I have to shoot from the soundboard or something like that!

FUJI INSTAX Polaroid Camera: I’ve had my INSTAX camera for about a year-and-a-half now, and I definitely don’t use it as much as I initially thought I would. I used it some at first, then I didn’t use it for months, and now I’m trying to get back into using it more often. It’s a lot of fun to have those instant printed memories. I love going around Chicago and taking more urban, city scape photos with this camera. It’s great for all kinds of things, but I’ve grown to love taking pictures of Chicago on overcast days (how much more specific can I get?). There’s just something about the contrast balanced with the tones of the buildings that just comes out in such a pleasant way.

FUJI Disposable Camera: I love disposable cameras. I love film. I just love carrying these around with me everywhere I go. It’s easy for me to just toss one of these in my backpack or camera bag and bring it everywhere with me. I usually buy them in packs of 2 or 3 on Amazon so they last me a bit. But, it’s just fun to use these. Film photography is so cool and some of my favorite images I’ve taken over the years have been taken on these little disposable cameras. 

Assorted Prisms: I have phases where I used these and love them, and others where I hate them. They can give you some really cool effects on images but they can also be a pain in the butt when your camera is on auto focus. I always make sure I have them with me though, in case I feel like trying something different for a picture.

In my camera bag, I’ve also got an extra battery, SD card, and a portable phone charger. All are important to have around, I usually don’t end up needed the extra battery or SD card, but I figure it’s better to be safe then sorry so I always have them with me. They really come in handy when you’re going to be shooting all day (i.e. at a festival). The portable phone charger is always good to have around, especially because a lot of the time I’ll be heading to a show straight from work. So, it’s good to have that on me so I can listen to music going to and from a show, and then also so I can have enough battery power to do some quick phone edits on the train ride home.