Kari Rae

What's In My Bag | Kari Rae Photography

I've been receiving more and more questions recently about my business and work, which is really flattering and a bit overwhelming! So I thought I'd start posting responses for all to see. :) Today's episode: What's In Your Bag?

Camera: Canon 5D MarkII (and Canon 7D, used as a backup)

Favorite Lenses:

-50mm f/1.4 - It's great for almost everything! From details to large shots including a lot of environment, and intimate close-ups (but not too close, it causes quite a bit of distortion since it's a shorter lens). It's super versatile and really light. I love it :)

-70-200mm f/2.8 L - Talk about gorgeous images! The compression on this bad boy is soooo yummy.. and the zoom capability is just wonderful. I LOVE this lens! I use it on every single shoot and all throughout wedding days. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

-135mm f/2.0 L - This lens is really fast, really crisp, and really creamy. I don't use it as often as the other two, but when I do, I adore it. Being a prime lens at 135mm, I am limited to using it when I have enough space between me and the subject. The bokeh is lovely, the creaminess is amazing, and it's got really pretty compression too. It's overall just gorgeous! If I could use it all the time, I might. :)

-24-70mm f/2.8 L - The versatile lens. I used to say that I could use this for an entire wedding, and that's probably still true. It's awesome for family and group shots, dancing, and other wider angled things. Wide-angle looks are not totally my style though, so I don't use it all too often. I only take it to weddings.

-100mm macro L - RING SHOT!!! It doesn't get much better than this lens for rings and details that you want to highlight in macro. Yummy.

Flash/Lighting Equipment:

-Love me some speedlites. The Speedlite 600EX-RT is my flash of choice, and the 580EX was fabulous until it died on me (I got a LOT of use out of it though!). When on my camera, I use the flash for fill light or bounced light off walls and ceilings. Unless it's on the lowest possible option, I wouldn't ever flash straight on to my subject. That's just gross. :) AND that's why the flashes included on your camera should really just never ever ever be used. Just don't do it.

-Photoflex Octodome, with a stand. My not-so-secret weapon. I pair it with my Pocket Wizards (the Mini TT1 and the Flex TT5) for off-camera goodness. I'll also pull out my Tiffen Neutral Density Filter to stop down the light and allow a lower aperture with off-camera flash, even in the brightest sun.

-Reflectors! The Westcott Illuminator Reflector set. My rule of thumb: Never gold, always silver! Unless you prefer the overly fake n' baked look. ;) And the diffuser is great for portraits in a bit of patchy light. It's best to just avoid patchy light whenever possible, but hey..sometimes you've gotta do it!


Th-th-th-th-that's all, folks!  Comment here and let me know what YOUR go-to equipment is, or what's next on your wish list! :) I hope this has helped!