Hi all. My name is Benjamin Lee (@itchban) and I’m a freelance photographer & filmmaker based in Sydney, Australia.
A few years back, I quit my office job on a whim. With no plans other than to take a break and enjoy life, I picked up my first camera and started documenting my days.
Pretty soon, I grew a sizeable audience, made a name for myself in the industry and found myself a new and prosperous career.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing clients such as Canon Australia, Adobe, DJI, Adidas and many more. I shoot a lot of genres, but currently it has been more travel / adventure mixed in with some influencer work and corporate gigs.
As I shoot both photos and video in varying locations, my kit is relatively lightweight and run-and-gun. The kit you see in the flat lay mostly fits into my camera backpack.
Canon 5D Mark IV
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 IS
Canon 85mm f/1.4 IS L
Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 II L
Sigma 35mm f/1.4
DJI Mavic Pro 2 (Hasselblad version) + 4 batteries
DJI Ronin S Gimbal Stabiliser
Samsung Note 9
Samsung T5 SSD (1TB)
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Logitech Slim travel mouse (T630)
LaCie Rugged Hard drive (2TB)
Peak Design Cuff (Wrist strap)
Pelican SD card case
Anker PowerCore 10,000mAh portable battery
I am a big fan of Canon equipment as it suits my needs and is reliable. The Canon 5D Mark IV does a great job at shooting stills and is a very capable camera for shooting 1080p footage. The available glass for their DSLR’s is very high quality and affordable compared to other camera brands.
The DJI Mavic Pro 2 is by far my favourite drone I’ve owned to date. It is very portable which is great for travelling and the still/video quality is great.
The DJI Ronin S is an amazing 3-axis gimbal stabiliser which is great for video work. I like that you can split the battery handle from the gimbal – which allows it to be a little more portable.[Related: Gimbal tips & tricks]
I usually have at least one main SSD drive in my setup which I use as my working drive. They are expensive but super-fast and compact. I have a secondary regular HD as a backup.
The Chanel cologne is a must, because nobody likes a smelly photographer/videographer.
Inside Benjamin’s camera bag:
My name is Benjamin Lee (@itchban) and I’m a freelance content creator & photographer. In terms of photography, I specialise in Adventure & Lifestyle photography as it suits my interests and shooting style. I like to pack light and shoot on the go.
My photography style is very much centered around the candidness of life so it’s crucial that I have a light and minimal kit. Instagram is what really kicked off my love for photography and since gaining a modest following I have quit my previous job to embrace the freelance life of a content creator & photographer.
In the past 12 months my photography has been printed in 5 publications & exhibited internationally twice.
In my bag:
- Macbook Air (2013): Although this laptop is getting a little old, it can handle most of the photo editing and blogging I do on the road. It’s definitely due for an upgrade to something with a retina display.
- Eleven+ Felt Macbook Air Sleeve: This stylish laptop sleeve has a few handy pouches and even doubles as a laptop + mouse pad.
- Apple Mouse: I always carry this thing with me as I am not very good with editing on laptop trackpads.
- Oscar Wylee Glasses: Turns out good vision is quite important in photography. Oscar Wylee also donates a pair to someone in need for every pair you purchase, which is definitely something I stand behind.
- Apple Earphones: An absolute essential for solo photography sessions & editing. (Tip: when taking photos with your phone, use the volume controls on the earphones as a remote shutter button).
- Joby Gorilla Pods x2: I highly recommend having at least one of these tripods as they are so flexible and versatile. You can use them to mount your camera down low or even wrap them around something higher. I prefer carrying these around than a big old tripod.
- Toshiba 1.5TB External HD: My Macbook air doesn’t have much storage on it so I have to carry a hard drive around to store my photos. (Tip: if your laptop/computer supports USB 3.0, go with that. It is a lot quicker than USB 2.0 and will save you a ton of time transferring files).
- Seagate 2TB External HD: Having a secondary backup for your photos is essential. Hard drives can and will crash, break or get lost/stolen. (Tip: separate where you store each hard drive so you don’t damage / lose them both at the same time).
- iPhone 6S Plus: an essential for managing and keeping up to date with my social media. (Tip: the larger sized iPhones have larger batteries and last longer).
- Apple Watch: Not sure if I’d recommend this to everyone. It does a good job in telling the time. That’s about it.
- Moment Lens Wide (18mm Equivalent): If you’re after a third party lens attachment for your phone, look no further. Moment makes the best quality lenses (IMO). Beware though; you’ll have to permanently attach a somewhat flimsy backplate to your phone. Mine bent and broke after 3 days.
- Dark Energy Reservoir (8000 mAh) battery pack: If you don’t already own a battery pack, buy one now. This particular battery pack can hold charge for up to a year and has two usb power outputs.
- Canon 50D with kit Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 & Sigma 35-100mm: This is an entry level DSLR (15.1MP crop sensor) that I carry with me as a backup camera. (Tip: if you’re going to carry around a secondary camera, always keep a different focal length lens attached than what is on your primary camera. It will save you a lot of time if you need a different lens).
- Lumix GX8 with kit Panasonic 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6, Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 and Leica 25mm f/1.4: Don’t let its compact size fool you. This little thing is a fully featured 20MP camera and can handle most situations. The only downside to this camera is it’s sensor size (micro 4/3) and its poor low light capabilities. Other than that, it is a hard camera to beat when the light is good.
- Quick Connect Straps Converter (Amazon): I like using third party camera straps as they are more low-key and comfortable. These convertors allow me to quickly change straps and they don’t scratch the body of my cameras.
- Spare camera batteries: Always carry spare batteries and charge all of them before a shoot. If you can afford it, buy genuine batteries as they are more reliable and last longer than the generics.
- Sandisk CF/SD cards: This brand hasn’t failed me yet. Always research which SD cards are best for your model of camera as it will make a world of difference if you get the best suited card for your camera body.
- Sandisk SD Card reader (USB 3.0): This card reader is handy on the go. Make sure you buy a USB 3.0 as this will greatly effect your offload speeds when transferring your photos.
- Tap & Dye handmade leather neck strap: I’ve owned this New York made strap for years and the quality leather has aged nicely.’
- Gordy’s leather wrist strap: wrist straps are always handy if you’re shooting a lot and need to keep your camera on hand.
- Minimaxlab Blockey Key holder: This magnetic key enclosure is handy and will keep your keys from scratching everything in your pockets and bags.
- Manfrotto Tripod: The tripod pictured is basic & cheap (and not very good). I would highly recommend spending good money to buy a good tripod or else don’t buy one at all.
- Cold Shoe LED light: handy as a torch, to help pull focus in low-light situations and to add a bit of lighting to subjects.
- iPhone tripod mount adaptor: if you need to record video or time lapses on your iPhone, you can pick one of these up for relatively cheap from eBay.
- Sharpie + Lenspen
- Chanel Bleu Cologne: There is nothing worse than a smelly photographer.