What's in My Bag?: Erin Joyce Photography

These have always been my favorite posts from other photographers; especially when I was first starting out as a photographer. We all have our favorite photos (whether you're a photographer or not), and it's always so awesome to know what equipment they use to achieve their art. When others ask me what lens they should get next, I always tell them to start at the bottom and work up from there. You don't need the biggest and the best from the beginning. This shit is SO expensive. You better know that you're in it for a longer haul if you decide to start dropping thousands. With that said, I started my business with a modest Canon Rebel T3i and a Canon 50mm f/1.8. Yup, that's all I had. And that's all I had for a really long time. I eventually added a Canon 35mm f/2.0 on there and very slowly continued to move forward. With my passion growing and my client list growing, it was important to me to invest the money I was earning into my business to continue to upgrade my equipment so that I could, in turn, give my clients my best. Finally, this year, I sit here and can tell you that I'm totally happy with my equipment. I have a lot, but I love it all and use it all. The images I'm able to create with these lenses and cameras make my heart sing.

So, what's in my bag?

First up, my camera body used all day every day is my Canon 5D Markiii. This bad boy is amazing. I love it dearly. Next to my 5DM3 is my Canon Classic 5D. This was my step up from my Rebel t3i. He lived with me for a short time... and in fact the mirror fell out (common problem), so while he was at the doctor I rented a 5DM3 and the rest is history. This classic 5D hangs out in my back up equipment bag. So, even though he's not used, he's an important body in my bag.


Next are my memory cards. My go to are these Lexar Professional CF Cards. I carry many - several 64 gb, a couple 32 gb and several 16 gb. They all get used all the time. Just imagine how many pictures I take!

First lens is my absolute favorite, the Sigma ART 35mm f/1.4. It's a beaut!! It lives on my camera. I use it for lifestyle indoor and outdoor, food, landscape/street, EVERYTHING. It's just a kickass lens. Period.


The Sigma ART 50mm f/1.4. Another beauty. I had been using the Canon 50mm f/1.4 which is also a phenomenal lens. But I used a friend's ART one day and was hooked. The difference is just amazing. It has my heart. I don't use the 50 all that often, but it has an important place. I use it most for portraits of newborn babies, headshots and it's my go-to lens for the freelensing technique.


The Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS ii is just a beast. I love this lens. I pull it out of my bag for outdoor portraits, albeit family or couples, and it's also phenomenal for wedding receptions. When there are speeches and dances, it's nice to be able to be out of the spotlight and zoom in instead of being up close to the couple and their guests during such intimate times in the reception. The quality of the images from this lens are amazing.


The Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro. An essential lens for details. I use this lens for ring shots (and other wedding detail shots) and those adorable little newborn baby parts. It's also my workhorse for food photography. Yum!


The Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 doesn't come out often, but when it does, it's a favorite. It gives such awesome wide angles that can really create an artsy edge to a typical portrait.

With the 16-35 I often have this speedlight on top. The Canon 580 EX II is essential for wedding receptions. This flash with the 16-35 gives me dancing receptions pictures that I absolutely love.


The last two lenses are rarely used, but two I simply don't want to part with. The Canon 24-105mm f/4L is the kit lens that came with my 5DM3. It's an L, so it's great glass, but it's not a top of the line kinda lens especially because of the limitation of the f/4. However, what I really, really love about this lens is how diverse it is. It gets a really cool wide angle at the 24mm focal length but then can also give you a macro picture. It's like the best of all worlds. I find that I love this lens the most if I can't choose one and just need a good walk around lens. It covers all the bases.


Finally, the Canon 85mm f/1.8. Ah, this lens. I remember when I first got it, I was giddy. It's such a gorgeous lens for the price. It really does produce some amazing images. I've been back and forth about selling it since I rarely use it right now. I feel like the 70-200 has been giving me the images I want that I typically look to get from the 85. Part of why I haven't use it much is because the focusing is off. I need to send it in to Canon to get a check up and get recalibrated. Perhaps, after this, if I continue to not pick it up, I'll consider selling it. But for now, I'm hanging on.

Oh, and what the heck do I use to lug all of this stuff around?? My two main bags are both Epiphanie Bags. The one on the left is new. I waited a long time to buy this because I wanted the very right one. Now that my kids are not really in need of a diaper bag, I wanted a bag that I could use for myself, have my camera safely packed away, but still have room for sippy cups, snack and a diaper. This bag hit the nail on the head. And the fact that it can be cross body or back pack style is just icing on the cake.

The bag on the right is one of my first camera bags. It's a little big and bulky but has been with me through the long haul and still joins me on every single photo shoot. I love it.

And lastly, my big ol' Kelly Moore Bag. An essential for my wedding days. This guy holds EVERYTHING, from all of my main equipment, batteries, battery grips, hoods, snacks... it's just an awesome bag. When it's not with me on wedding days, I have it stuffed with my back up equipment and I keep it in my car when I'm out on portrait sessions in case one of my main pieces poops out on me.

There you have it! Now, you know what's in my bag!