lifestyle photographer camera gear

Forrest Mankins

Commercial, Lifestyle | Last Updated: February 16, 2021

Hi, my name is Forrest Mankins. I’m a commercial outdoor lifestyle/travel photographer currently based out of Montana. I’ve spent much of the last year and a half traveling and living out of my vehicle, valuing experience over comfort.

The original goal was to create a neverending road trip, and much of my inspiration comes from documenting that feeling. When living in such small quarters, keeping things simple is the difference between productivity and headache, and that mentality is the primary motivator of my camera setup.


I’m currently shooting a Canon 5D Mark III I bought this spring off of craigslist in Portland. I’ve shot the Canon 5D, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 6D, and Canon 5D Mark III in the past and definitely prefer the Canon Mark II’s colors, but doing commercial work for a living necessitates a body that can handle low light.


Canon 24mm f/1.4L II – most of the time I’m shooting a mixture of landscapes and people/motion in low light, and a lens this fast and wide is perfect.

Canon 35mm f/1.4L – There’s just something about the 35mm focal length that feels natural. This lens comes in handy for a lot of portraits and lifestyle shots, and again is fast enough to do it in low light.

Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II – A lot of my favorite landscapes have been shot with this lens. It’s great for compressing foregrounds with distant backgrounds, and the IS is a big help with a lens this long.


I travel with 3 Canon batteries, a charger, card reader, and SD/CF cards all rolled up into an Osprey Ultralight Roll Organizer. Keeping all of these odds and ends modular helps a lot with organization, and is great when you’re switching bags for different applications.


I use a few different bags depending upon what I’m doing. In the truck everything is usually in an ONA Brixton bag, it’s quick to get into and simple. For day hikes, I use a MindShift Gear roation180° Horizon, it has a camera compartment that swings around and allows access to your gear without taking the pack off.

For everything else, I’m using an Arc’Teryx Khamski 38L bag (pictured). Usually the 35mm will stay at home for hiking, so I keep one lens mounted and wrap the other one up in a puffy jacket or something similar along with my other outdoor gear.

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