Benefits / Resources / Articles
March 09, 2020

What’s in Your Camera Bag? PPA Members Share the Must-Have Gear that Helps Them Stay Successful and Create Their Best Images.

We love getting a sneak peek inside your gear bags!

The PPA community is made up of so many diverse photographers with different specialties. Your most-used gear and the unique items that you keep inside your gear bags will differ according to your photoshoot needs. We have loved getting your responses to the “What’s in Your Bag?” thread on theLoop, your one-stop-shop for photography advice from like-minded professional creators, and plan to continue to share your responses here on the blog!

Preston Page admitted that he goes a little overboard when it comes to how many bags he has on hand to store his gear, but adaptability is essential to the success of any photographer on the go. 

“Because I almost always shoot tethered, my daily bag is a Think Tank Photo Vision 15, which holds a 15” laptop, and external SSD drive. One item I always pack is a Manfrotto Pixi tabletop tripod, which comes in handy for impromptu stability needs. All my cameras have RRS L-brackets, so the Pixi is topped with a 38mm Arca Swiss clamp. And a Lume Cube is very handy for countless situations.”

Page seems like a pro at being prepared for any unexpected situation during a photoshoot! If you’d like to learn more about his process or check out some of his work, head to his website and have a look around.

Kenneth Johanson is another professional photographer that prioritizes flexibility. Some of his favorite pieces of camera gear to use are his two Canon bodies, due to their adaptability to lenses he already owns.

“My bag changes according to my needs for the photo shoot.  I have a Canon 5D Mark IV Body and a Canon EOS 6D Body.  The only reason I went with Canon is because I could use some of my old 35mm lenses on Aperture priority.  I now have 4 Tamron Lenses and 3 Canon Lenses that cover from 17mm to 600 mm.  I also own 4 teleconverters from Tamron with the SP series fitting on any lens I own.  The TC series only fits on the Tamron 150-600mm Di VC G2 Lens.  In addition, the SP will only work on my 6D and my TC works on my Mark IV Camera Body.  I do not know why but they work this way.”

Johanson lets his gear rotate as his professional habits grow and he packs his bag differently depending on what style he’s shooting


“I photograph anything from landscapes, wildlife, macros, portraits, family candids, and sports.  I pack according to my needs at the time.”


We love to see a jack-of-all-trades photographer tackling a wide variety of photography specialties. It’s always interesting to see our gear preferences evolve as we level up in our profession.

Compared to the previous photographers, Tiffany Kelly's gear bag stands out from the crowd because it’s filled with tons of pet-friendly selections.

“As a pet photographer, my gear bag might look a little different from those of my colleagues. My gear consists of squeaker toys, stinky dog treats, tennis balls, and duck calls. I look SUPER stylish while doing a session with my fanny-pack-wannabe dog treat pouch on my hip and my grocery cart-turned-rolling-light stand, but it gets the job done as painlessly as possible.”

To make sure that all her pet photoshoot necessities make it to her sessions, Kelly purchased a stair-climbing grocery cart to transport her gear. 

“This cart holds my camera bag itself, plus my strobe, my small bag of extra hotshoe flashes, and my ‘goody’ bag full of my tricks, a tote bag that holds all of the bags of good smelling treats, and the ubiquitous hunting calls and tennis balls that I need to get my subject's attention.”

Check out Noble Soul Pet Photography to see the fruits of Kelly’s labor and her adorable dog portraits.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning more about your fellow PPA members and the unique gear that they just can’t work without! Head over to theLoop and add to the “What’s in Your Bag?” discussion to be featured in the next edition of this blog series. You can also submit your information and a bit about your must-have camera gear here.

Bonus! If you’re trying to upgrade your gear bag, be sure to enter this month’s Professional Photographer Magazine’s giveaway for a chance to win your own Think Tank Retrospective Backpack 15L! 

If you aren’t already a PPA member, what are you waiting for? PPA wants you to succeed in your career as a professional photographer. That’s why we offer you educational resources, copyright information, and a community of like-minded creative professionals. Join the PPA community today.