What's in my camera bag?

Stephanie Bryan Photography - What's in my camera bag?

I should start with a disclaimer that I'm just a wee bit obsessed with camera and equipment. I love seeing the different ways a lens can work for me and I love learning about my camera. I use a Canon 6D and have for years and I'm always finding new tricks and fun things this camera can do. 

I upgraded from a Canon Rebel T1i a few years back and I have to say that the Canon 6D is a FANTASTIC camera. When I was looking to upgrade, I knew I wanted a full-framed sensor (and not a cropped sensor like the Rebel had).  I was also looking for a camera that handled low light well without a ton of grain. Compared to the super expensive Canon Marks, the 6D was a way more affordable option and checked all of my "requirement" boxes. I have been 100% satisfied with my 6D (although in true camera-geek fashion, I'm already dreaming of my next camera)!

Part of purchasing a camera, though, is really taking the time to learn the ins and outs of the functions and how to make them work for your images. Learning how a camera works takes a ton of time and a load of practice, but the end results are so worth it. And the best part about cameras and photography in general is that the learning is endless. There are always creative ways to expand your knowledge. 

When it comes to lenses, I wouldn't say that I have a "go-to" or favorite lens. I switch my lenses out frequently and use them all for different reasons. I've practiced with them enough to know which one might be best for whatever shot (or client session) I have in mind. Here's a look at what's in my camera bag.

Sigma Art 24mm

This is the baby of the family. I've only had this lens for a few months and it has been a big game-changer for all of my indoor lifestyle sessions. It's fast, sharp and good! This is definitely my go-to lens for almost everything indoors, especially newborns. The wider angle gives me plenty of room to compose my shot without chopping off fingers/toes/heads, etc. It also allows me to make sure I get everyone in the frame. It's a great lens for making a space feel much larger than it really is and is great for "lifestyle" images where a room or space contributes to the overall story. 

The only real "con" to this lens is the vignetting and distortion around the edges of images (which happens with all wide angle lenses). It's nothing that can't be fixed in post-processing, though.

If you are a lifestyle photographer or just want more "space" in your photos, I highly recommend adding this one to your collection! 


Sigma Art 35mm

This lens is probably on my camera more than any other lens. I love all of my lenses for different reasons and truly  don't think I could pick a favorite, but the 35mm is a great "classic" everyday lens. It's wide enough where you don't feel like you're standing on top of your subject and works great in low light situations.

As far as focusing is concerned, I do feel like this lens (compared to the Sigma 24mm and 50mm) is a little sluggish. I've calibrated with the Sigma dock and it seems to be a little better, but this lens would be amazing if the focusing were faster. It also doesn't appear to be as sharp wide open (f1.4-1.8) than my other two Sigmas. Regardless, it's still a great everyday lens, and like I mentioned, it's on my camera more than any other lens. I've heard amazing review about the Canon EF 35mm, but it's almost twice as much as the Sigma.


Canon EF 135mm

If you want some amazing compression, tack sharp photos and gorgeous bokeh, then the Canon 135mm is the lens for you! I LOVE using this lens at sunrise/sunset or whenever there's pretty light filtering through trees. The bokeh is beautiful and the subjects just pop from the frame. If we are going out for an adventure, I always bring this lens (and either the 24 or 35mm) with me. I also pull out this lens at the end of client sessions to give a different look and feel to the photos.

The 135mm is crazy sharp wide open (sharper than any of my Sigmas, I think) and the compression just can't be beat.




Sigma Art 50mm

Clearly I have a love affair with Sigmas right? 
This lens was the very first Sigma I purchased after getting my 6D. I used the Canon 50mm 1.2 prior to grabbing this beauty and heard the focus, compression and sharpness of the Sigma was better (which I totally agree with!).

This lens, sadly, doesn't get enough use. After using the wider angle lenses, I kind of got used to the "space" and have a harder time transitioning back to a smaller viewpoint. BUT- after writing this post and looking back through (older) photos where I used this lens, I cannot wait to stick it back on my camera. It's an amazing lens for detail shots and portraits!! 


When it comes to cameras and lenses, the options really are endless! It's fun to add a new piece of glass to your collection, but I always make sure I do my research and know why I want to add another lens (aka - try to convince my husband why I need another lens). What about you? What's your favorite lens? What's on your lens wish list??

looking for more inspiration + tips?