What’s in My Camera Bag?

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me “What kind of camera do you have?” or “What kind of lens is that?” I would be a hundred-aire.  I’ve been thinking about this post a lot and I’m going to spell it all out for you below.  What lenses I use, why I use them, and what I use them for. Recently I shot a beautiful wedding in Tulum, Mexico so I needed something good and sturdy for traveling.  I’ve owned every kind of camera bag out there from the expensive Kelly Moore bags, sling bags, and hard cases.  I still use my hard case to store all my equipment in, but if I’m running around or traveling I use this backpack.  Thanks to my photographer friend Cindy who told me about it.  This bag has become a new favorite!  I have two camera bodies, two flashes, four lenses, extra camera cards, charger, accessories, AND a change of clothes!

I also have a hard case like this one that I use for storage.  It’s waterproof and STRONG, also great for travel.I shoot with a Nikon D750 camera body.  I considered the Nikon 810, but unless you’re shooting pictures that need to be blown up into billboards, I wouldn’t spend the extra money.  The D750 is an AMAZING camera!  I would recommend buying a camera body and all your lenses separate.  The lenses that usually come in kits are crappy and you get what you pay for.  If you want good glass and a great lens to go with your high end DSLR camera do your research and buy what you need, not what comes with the camera just because it’s there.  In my opinion there’s a reason why it’s in a kit.  It’s not the best quality lens and you think your getting a good deal…when in actuality you aren’t. Okay, now let’s talk lenses.  My go-to lens is what most people call the “nifty fifty”.  That’s probably because it’s one of the most universal lenses that can be used for both portraits & landscape.  It’s also really lightweight and easy to carry.  You can’t go wrong with this lens.  It’s a fixed lens, so you can’t zoom in or out, but once you learn to master it then you’ll find yourself grabbing it all the time!  This lens is also relatively inexpensive compared to most DSLR lenses.

 

 

A 50 mm also works really well in low lighting situations.

I carry a Nikon 28-300 in my bag.  This is a good overall zoom lens for just about anything and it pretty universal.  We used this lens when we traveled to Europe and it did just fine.  This is a great lens for any situation- up close or afar.

Now this is my MAC DADDY lens.  My baby.  My 70-200 lens.  This is great when I shoot weddings and need that up close and personal shot from waaaaay down the isle.  This is a zoom lens in every capacity.  I love this lens for all that it is…shoulder pains and all.  This is not something you want to carry on your shoulders all day long, but dang is it crisp and sharp.  If you’re searching for an all around zoom lens- this is it.Example shot:

I was standing pretty far away in this photo, but you can still see how close I got and it’s pretty crisp.

Last, but not least is a great wide angle lens.  This is a Nikon 20mm lens.  A fun lens to have for landscapes, real estate, or parties.  If you want to get a large group of people, an entire room, or a HUGE mountain….this is your lens!  Example shot:

As far as accessories go I’ll list a few out here.  I used to have a lighting set-up but I rarely used it, so I ended up selling it.  I have two off camera speedlights and a ring light if I need it.

Other accessories I always keep on hand are extra camera cards, an extra battery charger for my camera, extra flash batteries, and filters for all my lenses.

Accessories every photographer needs to have:

White Balance Card

Wireless Remote (for your flash)

Polarizing Filter

A couple of good tripods

UV Lens Filter

Light Reflector

Camera Cleaning Kit

I hope this answered some of your questions and feel free to leave a comment if you have any more. I love photography and it’s truly become my creative outlet.  It takes a lot of practice and time, but it’s so much FUN!  One thing I’ve learned over the years is you CANNOT compare yourself to other photographers.  Everyone has their own eye and their own editing style.  No picture is just alike and no matter how much you just loooove a picture on Pinterest and try to recreate it…it’s not going to be exact.  Just like I can’t make everyone look like a super model, even Photoshop has it’s limits!  If you are looking into editing software then Lightroom is a great place to start.  After you’ve mastered Lightroom you can get into heavier editing using Photoshop.  It’s all about your creative outlet and your eye for the photo.  Most importantly have FUN!

xo – Becky with the good coffee 😉

Laundry Made Easier With LG

This post is sponsored by Best Buy.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

One of our favorite places to go and walk around on the weekends is Best Buy….well, actually I would say it’s more Terence’s, but there are so many things for me to look at as well!

Usually while Terence is looking at the speakers and entertainment systems I’m looking at all the cool appliances Best Buy offers.  A recent favorite is the  LG Twin Wash system which includes LG Front Load laundry paired with LG’s SideKick Pedestal Washer.

With LG’s TwinWash system you get the best of both worlds. For small loads that can’t wait (The sweatpants after hot yoga, the red shirt in a pile of whites, the dirty school uniform on a Sunday night) there is the LG SideKick pedestal washer. You can even use it simultaneously while you do a bigger load up top on your LG Front load washer.  There are so many times I just need to wash one or two items like my favorite pair of jeans or a shirt Connor spilled something on.  I love this tiny little washing machine feature.  Not only do these washers have mega capacity to tackle any size load, they are energy efficient while giving you the best cleaning performance. No wonder more households have chosen LG laundry over any other brand!

Right now Best Buy is offering a great deal from 1/11-4/25 to receive up to $500 off a LG laundry solution for your home.

So what are you waiting for?  It’s time to replace those old appliances for sparkly new ones!

This kid as made SO many messes over the years and I can’t believe he’s going to be 8-years-old in a couple of weeks.

The Toyota Highlander Is Worth The Hype

Hello Everyone!  So, I just got back from the DFW Auto Show this past week and it was AMAZING!  I was super excited to be covering Toyota this year and check out all the new and upcoming models.  Terence and I have talked a lot about what our next car will be and we’ve decided on an SUV or a truck.  Just this weekend he had to pick up some shelves from the home improvement store and he said “Man…if we only had a truck to pick up those shelves I ordered”.  I get so excited when we get to drive new cars and try them out.  It definitely helps narrow down what we like and don’t like.

Late last fall we were able to drive a Toyota Highlander SE model.  I think someone was a little bit excited about this car???  Ya think???

The Toyota Highlander was basically the perfect vehicle….if it were up to ME!  We have gone back and forth between the Toyota Highlander and a Lexus RX.  They both have great qualities, but the Highlander price point fits more in our family budget.
I really enjoy being a bit higher up off the road in an SUV.  For some reason this makes me feel more “large and in charge” while driving.   The automatic trunk opens and closes with a push of a button.  You know those days when it’s raining outside and you have your hands full of 20 things and can’t dig through your purse for the keys?  Just press the button on the trunk and “viola” it opens for you!   Of course Connor’s favorite thing was the TV.  Oh my goodness I’ve never had a more quiet car than when I was driving this Highlander! LOL!  It comes fully equipped with headphones and a remote.  Roadtrips would definitely be much more smooth with these fun extras.

I’m sure a lot of Mom’s have heard this before….“Mommy…Mommy…the sun is in my eyes!!!”  The built in sunscreens are a life saver on those hot, sunny Texas days. The dashboard and command station have everything at the press of a button.  This car was sooooo COMFY y’all!  I didn’t find myself reaching and extending for things or pressing certain buttons because they were all within an arms reach. That third row seating is a definite bonus too.   I could car pool ALL the kiddos in this Highlander!  The third row also folds down for extra storage, so the next time we need to pick up a bulky item…like shelves for the garage…just pop that seat down.
Do you ever find the smallest things to be your favorite as well?  This little shelve that was in the front dash was my FAVORITE thing!  My phone is usually sliding all around my car, but I found it so easy to just pop the things I needed right there on this little shelf.  
The Highlander is definitely one of my most favorite Toyota vehicles. It’s got just about everything you could ever want and need for any adventure.

Until our next adventure…..xo Becky