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What's in my camera bag? by Camera & Kit

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or the bag I use

for my cameras …

What's in my camera bag? It may not be wise to take a peek in there, I'm known for rogue lens caps and random film canisters but in the spirit of learning and sharing, I'd thought I'd share with wedding photographers what is actually inside my camera bag, which may or may not be a good thing. So, if you are a little on the voyeuristic side or if you are a newbie to wedding photography, a wedding photographer just wanting advice, here is what is my camera bag:

1) Of course, I should say that I don't use a camera bag. I don't carry my kit in a bag that screams expensive camera gear. The main reason for this is security and safety, I don't want to look like I'm walking around with £10,000 worth of kit to and fro weddings. I invested in some foam blocks and turned an ordinary bag, sometimes I use vintage suitcases into a camera bag. It works a treat although strutting around with ice lights tends to give me away, but people just think its a light Lightsaber.

2) Business cards like it's 1999! This may sound obvious and a little old fashioned but its a must. I carry some in my pocket and the rest in my bag, and depending on the size and type of wedding, I have cards specifically printed with the wedding in mind that has a link to a gallery for them to buy photographic prints from.

3) To feed your photographer or not to feed your photographer, it's an ongoing debate and even though I request meals be provided, I do carry food. I get super hungry at weddings, and sometimes they forget to feed us. It's true and being hungry leads to tiredness which leads to you being off your game. I carry a combination of super healthy bars and well, some downright unhealthy sweets. I'm a sugar nut from way back. I also find those slim fast drinks helpful.

4) Deodorant and wet wipes, ideal for when photographing a wedding in summer, I learnt the hard way when I shot a wedding in the middle of summer in Lake Como and stupidly wore a fitted black dress.

5) Bottles of water, a refillable one for me and two mini bottles of water for the couple when doing couple shots.

6) Needle and thread and safety pins. You'd be surprised how many times you will hear the question, does anyone have a needle and thread, and don't forget the scissors. Tissues, for when peeps get emotional, I also carry a few tampons, plasters to help out wedding guests in need, trust me. It happens at times.

7) Battery charger and two spare fully charged batteries plus batteries for flashes and film cameras.

8) Three camera bodies with a collection of lenses and hoods to go with them, all prime lenses. 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 100mm plus filters, speed lights, with diffusers and I don't shoot with a tripod anymore nor do I use video lights but I do use ice lights. I honestly cannot remember the last time I used a tripod.

9) Lens cleaning kit, with camera raincoats just in case it rains, lens pens, a dust blower etc

10) A pouch for used memory cards, one for unused. I shoot with two memory card slots acting as a backup, so one goes in the bag, the other stays on me in a little clip bag on my belt.

11) Print outs of the wedding itinerary for the day, including key phone numbers; I do not rely solely on an electronic version just in case.

Phone and/or tablet charger.

12) A bit of cash stashed in away just in case I need it for emergencies.

Ten things I love about destination wedding photography ... by Camera & Kit

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Have Camera, Will Travel …

1) I get to travel, the ability to be able to combine my passions of travel with my love of photography is a gift and an incredible privilege. I'm also one of these people who love the whole process of travelling. I love packing, going to the airport, preparing my kit, collecting stamps in my passport, changing money. I'm insanely happy when I fly.

2) It's super amazing to be able to combine a holiday and work by tapping one an extra day or two for myself at the end of the event. I've discovered some fabulous cities through being invited by couples wanting me to photograph their weddings abroad. My first wedding abroad was in Lake Como, I stayed in Bellagio and I remember getting the ferry across the lake to start shooting like it was yesterday. A beautiful and stunning way to start a wedding day. An epic adventure of sorts.

3) It teaches who how to be super organised as a wedding photographer and implement risk management, and plan for any and all eventualities. I mean, you learn to plan for everything.

4) The wonderment of shooting in a different light that has different textures. Lighting in different countries has a different feel to it. The sand in the air shooting in the desert is different from the Tuscan sky which is different from the Californian Coast.

5) The excitement of planning shooting abroad. From the moment a deposit is paid, I go instantly into count done mode and start brainstorming creative ideas and researching not only the venue but the area, the culture, the people and places to shoot.

6) The absolute joy to see the smile on the faces of the couple when you meet them in the country where they are about to get married, it’s the moment you can see the trust on their faces and a plan coming together.

7) The count down makes me super excited all the time.

8) Arriving two days before the wedding because it gives you time to do a wedding venue walkthrough, opportunities for spontaneous or planned pre-wedding shoots, same for leaving two days after, gives you extra time for shooting.

9) Pushing myself creatively, it's a challenge and a thrill to produce stunning work in such beautiful locations. I enjoy the pressure of creating and shooting to a creative brief.

10) Food. I'm a sucker for foreign cuisines. Yep, it's one of the underrated perks of being a destination wedding photographer.

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