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Updated by Robert Slippey on Nov 23, 2016
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My Everyday Carry Bag, essential items for everyday photography

I subscribe to the principal that I should always carry my camera with me. As such 9 times out of 10, wherever I go, my camera is with me or within the area. Meaning it's handy at home, at work, and when I go to friends or family.
This practice has saved me many times over. Usually, it goes something like this.Something for work is taking place that day and at 6 AM someone texts and asks if I can "bring my camera"

So what do I always keep in my bag?

1

The bag

I have a lot of camera bags! I switch between bags depending on what I'm doing or what I want or need to carry.
Currently my everyday camera bag is Canon Deluxe Photo Backpack. Obviously, this isn't the most expensive bag in the world. It's actually rather cheap but it has held up to abuse and it works for my everyday, holds most of what I need for the day and serves as a rather useful day bag all at the same time.

2

Camera

Obviously a camera is important. My primary camera is the Canon 5D Mark III.
Up until recently, I still used a Canon 5D Classic and Canon 60d.
Both cameras are up to the tasks I put them through. The only reason I upgraded to the Mark III was better low light performance and with the recent introduction of the Canon 5D Mark IV, I found a REALLY good used deal!

3

Lenses

I actually carry 2 lenses right now. I could get away with just one, but I like my 70-200mm too much to leave it at home.

  • Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM AF While I do like this 24-70, I really can't wait to upgrade it to the Canon 24-70mm. I've had some minor problems with the Sigma in the past. Right now it's what I have and it does work so no reason to rush an upgrade. If I hit the lottery though, it would probably be the first to get replaced.
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM I actually have the non-IS version of this lens, but couldn't find it on Amazon. The non IS is an amazing lens in my opinion. I love shooting at longer focal lengths and the 70-200 seems to be a my work horse portrait and event lens. I do look forward to seeing the IS version one day but it isn't a huge priority at this point as the 5d Mark III is more than capable in low light. An extra stop of light might be nice though!

If I really want to go light, I'll dump the 70-200 and the bag altogether though.
One lens I do miss for its simplicity is the Canon 50mm F/1.8 II I gave this lens to my daughter a while back for her camera. She is just getting started in photography and the 50mm is a perfect lens for her to start with. She can focus on, well focus, and exposure before getting into a zoom lens. I do miss this lens though as it is an awesome little lens and it's supper cheap too!

4

A Tripod?

A Tripod?

Yes, that's right, I carry a tripod in my everyday camera bag!
Truth be told, it's more of a futuristic tripod. Not a true tripod in the sense of the word but just as functional and sometimes much more!
If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm talking about the Platypod Pro. Checkout my review of the Platpod Pro! This little gem is something I never thought I'd like but it turns out I love this thing. It's easy to use, easy to carry and offers a number of use options. Platypod recently released the Platypod Pro Max Plate Mini Tripod which is an awesome upgrade to the Platpod Pro. It offers a larger base plate and a few more mounting options. I like the strip cuts that allow you to put a strap through the plate and strap it to an object. I use both the Platypod Pro and the Max but 9 times out of 10 the Platypod Pro is the one that is always in my bag ready to go. It's the perfect size for my day bag and I find it offers all the functionality I need!

Both of these do require a ball head and I personally use An Oben BA-0 Ball Head but almost any ball head will do. Just make sure it support your camera's weight and watch out for big knobs that will get caught on the Platpod's plate. The BA-0 has a spring loaded adjustment knob, so I can pull it and spin it back around to get it past the plate if need be.

5

Business Cards

This should be pretty obvious but, I run 2 businesses. I never leave home without my business cards! Even if your not a business, having a business card that says your a photographer helps to authenticate you as a photographer. If your into street photography you could offer potential subjects a copy of the photo. In my case I don't do street photography but it helps with events where people ask me for a photos, I can provide them a card and ask them to email me. Then the burden is on them to contact me. Plus it makes life a lot easier than writing everyone's email down!

6

Speedlite

This changes depending on my mood.
I have both a Canon 430 EX II and a Yongnuo YN-560 II

Both are excellent flashes. The best feature, in my opinion, is the ability to redirect the flash away from my subject. So I can bounce off a wall or the ceiling.
There is however one major difference between these two flashes. The 430 EX II supports E-ttl (or through the lens metering) and the Yongnuo does not.

This isn't as big a deal as you would think though. You just need to be able to understand manual exposure and adjust accordingly. 99% of the time, when I'm using flash, I'm just doing a little fill anyway, so I can set the flash power manually and not worry about it too much. It also makes good practice!