This is a curated list of all the photography gear and related products I own and use everyday either in my photography business or personal life.
As you can imagine, I’ve tested, owned and reviewed a lot of photography gear over my time as a pro photographer and founder of Shotkit. The products below are ones that I’ve either paid for or have been gifted, but they all have stood the test of time as being the things I enjoy using day in and day out.
If you’d like to support what I do here on Shotkit, please consider making your next purchase via one of the links below.
After testing over 200 camera bags of all shapes and sizes, these are the ones I’ve chosen to keep. If you’re anything like me, you’ll know it’s very hard to find the perfect all-round camera bag. Instead, I’ve chosen to get camera bags which are perfect for each situation, personal and professional.
By far the best camera sling bag I’ve ever come across. Lightweight, stylish and very well designed. I use it for engagement shoots or any time when I only need to carry one camera and 2-3 lenses. Can also fit my 13″ Macbook Pro, an iPad Mini and lots of spare batteries.
My favourite camera messenger bag, handmade in the UK (like me!). It’s the perfect size as a supplementary wedding photography bag, used in conjunction a roller bag. Stylish, lightweight, very well made and highly functional. Fits my laptop, DSLR and a few lenses and flashes.
Available in lots of awesome colours.
This is what I take to shoot weddings both local and overseas. It’s the lightest, best made roller I’ve ever come across. I can fit 2 DSLRS, 4 lenses, 2 flashes, modifiers, LED light panel, laptop and more. (See: Rolling Camera Bag reviews.)
It’s also an Amazon best seller.
Understated, durable, lightweight and highly functional, this is the best camera messenger bag for carrying enough gear to shoot a wedding. It fits everything the rolling camera bag above can fit. Amazing shoulder strap too. (See: Think Tank Retrospective review.)
Available in lots of colours.
This is the camera sling bag that contains my backup 50mm lens, and stays in my car. It’s the lightest, most practical sling I’ve come across – perfect for carrying a few lenses or spare body, and even the 12″ Macbook. Simple, practical design. (See: Think Tank Turnstyle review.)
This is the ‘Internal Camera Unit’ that I pack full of camera gear and place inside my Samsonite Hardside Spinner when I want to travel 100% carry-on. It allows me to pack half my case with clothes, and the other with gear. Light as a feather.
Convert any bag into a camera bag easily.
I’ve tested and used many camera straps over my time as a professional photographer, and these are the ones that I’ve stuck with. Much like camera bags, it’s almost impossible to find the perfect camera strap. Since they’re an affordable accessory, I recommend investing in a few to cover all situations you find yourself shooting in.
A popular dual camera strap for wedding photographers, this stylish, robust strap has saved my neck and back from carrying 2 heavy cameras all day for years. Looks and feels better with every use; always attracts compliments. (See: Holdfast Money Maker Review.)
Available in lots of awesome colours.
Definitely not purchased based on its looks (!) this is my DSLR camera strap I use when traveling, due to its light weight, strength, ease of use and ability to fold down to a compact size for packing. Carrying a camera from the base is practical and quick to deploy.
I don’t like neck straps on small cameras so I choose to use a wrist strap with my Fujifilm X100F instead. Gordy make beautiful hand made straps which will last a lifetime. Don’t be tempted to buy an imitation, of which there are many – it won’t age nearly as gracefully!
Available in lots of awesome colours.
I’ve tested a great many cameras over the years, but these are the ones that I currently use to shoot both personal and professional work. I have no affiliation with Nikon nor Fujifilm, having chosen each brand initially based purely on aesthetics and how they felt in my hands.
Most pro-grade cameras and lenses these days are similar in quality and ability – take my advice and choose the ones that make you happiest to hold.
By far the best value for money full frame DSLR available today, these have been my workhorse cameras for the past 3 years. I love its dynamic range, flip screen, light weight, manageable size and image quality. I also use it for personal use and as a travel camera when I don’t want to compromise on image quality and performance. (See: Nikon D750 Review.)
An absolute steal for under $1.5k!
I named this the best travel camera of the year, and I’m in love with its performance and stylish good looks! Other Fujifilm bodies may share the excellent image quality, but the fixed f/2 lens brings simplicity, compactness and un-rivalled performance. This is the camera I grab first when around the house with the kids, or on holiday. (See: Fujfilm X100F Review.)
Maybe not a camera per se, but I use this drone to take aerial photos for fun, and occasionally for client work too. Without a doubt, the most fun you can have while shooting, this compact, silent drone has opened new doors on creativity and exploration. Be sure to get the ‘Platinum’ model for extended flight time and reduced noise. (See: Spark vs Mavic Pro)
Make sure you get the Platinum version!
I’ve owned, tested and sold many camera lenses over the years and have tried to whittle down my collection into ones I regularly use, and love using. I’m a great believer in simplicity when it comes to camera gear choice – I shot professionally with just 2 lenses for years, and can easily use just one 35mm for everything. However, more lenses definitely means more fun, and more creative options too.
Even though I own a few additional specialty lenses to the ones mentioned below, I’ve chosen to recommend only those that I’ve used over 1,000 times and will continue to use in the future.
After resisting a wide angle lens for years, I finally decided to ‘expand my perspective’ with this one and haven’t looked back. Shooting up close with 24mm is challenging but rewarding. Nailing focus at f/1.4 delivers beautiful bokeh. Well-built with great image quality, this is great value for money when compared to Nikon & Canon’s offerings. (See Sigma 24mm ART Review and the Best Wide Angle Lenses.)
By far the most versatile, best all-round lens I’ve ever used. It’s easy to shoot everything with a 35mm lens, and this is the best offering from Nikon. Nailing f/1.4 is easy, and gives a dreamy look that’s not possible with other lenses. Excellent build, delivering amazing colours and contrast. I’ve shot over 300,000 images with this lens and it’s still going strong. (See: my wedding photography.)
Expensive but well worth the money.
Yes, I own two 35mm lenses – I love them that much. This was bought with the intention of being a backup lens, but I ended up using it regularly as a primary lens as it’s smaller, lighter and balances perfectly on the D750. What it lacks in creamy bokeh compared to the f/1.4, it makes up for in greater sharpness and speed to focus. A perfect all round DSLR travel lens. (See: Nikon 35mm f/1.8G ED Review.)
Make sure you get the FX version for full frame.
The first lens any Nikon full frame shooter should buy, this is what I use at wedding receptions when I needed lightning fast focus and light weight. The speed, size, cost and sharpness of this dinky little lens is incredible. Carry it around in a jacket pocket for flattering portraits with great bokeh and razor sharp details. Great as a backup lens or for lightweight travel use with a DSLR.
One of the best cheap DSLR lenses.
What I carry on my second body when shooting wedding ceremonies, or at times when I need a bit more reach without producing an image that feels too detached (which can be the case with longer lenses). Worth its weight in gold when shooting speeches during low light receptions. Anything at f/1.4 obliterates the background into a creamy blur, and stopped down this lens becomes razor sharp.
One of the 9 best Nikon lenses.
Whilst most wedding photographers prefer to use natural light for simplicity and speed, it’s good to mix it up a bit with some artificial light (learn some lighting techniques with my LIT book). I rotate between an off-camera spot light to illuminate speech-givers, an on-camera speed-light to freeze action on the dance floor and an off-camera LED light panel for creative night portraits.
I used to think that with the high ISO capabilities of cameras, lighting wasn’t necessary, but then I realised how it can help to differentiate your work and elevate your brand.
I dabbled around with cheap 3rd party flashes for a while before investing in a Nikon model and have never looked back. For pro use both on and off camera (I trigger the flash remotely using these), the reliability, long battery life and durability on the Nikon SB-700 is unmatched at this price point. Can be triggered remotely via line-of-sight infrared (‘Nikon CLS’) using a built-in flash in a pinch too.
So reliable I’ve never used my backup!
Not an essential piece of kit, but still very useful in certain situations. I’ve used this spot-light for creative portraits, but prefer to use it as a continuous light source for dark reception venues to illuminate the speech-giver. The quality of light, colour temperature and ease of focusing are great. The weight, shape and price suck, but there simply isn’t a comparable product available.
Bulky but way better than a flashlight.
This is the ideal lightweight, powerful and adjustable LED light panel for those times when you need W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G. off camera light in a hurry. It’s also ridiculously cheap! AA batteries last a long time, but I recommend getting these camcorder batteries which make the unit far lighter. I use this at the end of a wedding for my go-to creative night portrait (See: Wedding Photography Lighting Techniques.)
So cheap I’m surprised it has lasted this long!
I talk in more detail about all the software and tools I use to run my wedding photography business here. I use them all almost every day, but for simplicity here, I’ve distilled the list into 3 items that have made the biggest impact to my workflow this year.
Don’t be afraid to invest in software or services that help to save you time as a photographer – no matter what your current situation, we can all use more time to concentrate on our craft, rather than sit in front of a computer clicking a mouse!
This is the online gallery/print fulfillment service that I use to deliver photos to my clients and allow them to order prints. The galleries are well designed and look professional, and uploading to them is easy with the desktop app. Automated print fulfillment to my services has brought in more revenue this year, and freed up my time to concentrate on other things. (See: Earn Money with Photography Sales.)
Outsourcing my photo editing has saved me countless hours this year, and given me more time to spend with my family. I cull my images, upload them to ShootDotEdit, then get them back within 5 days completely edited, ready for me to add any final touches if necessary. Outsourcing the editing of your photos is a game-changer. (See: Best Photo Editing Service.)
There’s a big selection of Studio Management Software, but I decided to settle on this one after wasting countless hours testing the others. Studio Ninja doesn’t have the fullest feature set, and lacks advanced functionality, but that’s why I like it – it just works. The core functionality is well designed and fun to use, and updates continue to improve on what’s there.