Virginia Based Joyful Wedding Photographer

What’s in my bag!
Lenses and Camera Bodies to Invest in


March 18, 2021

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Hi, I'm Hanna.


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When I was first starting, I looked at every single, “What’s in my bag” blog post I could find! I wanted to know exactly what other photographers used and what I should invest in. So writing this feels a little bit of a full circle in the best way. I am definitely not an expert, but I am an expert on my current gear and absolutely love most of it! So I thought I would share the exact lenses, camera bodies, bags, and other things I always have on hand when going to any shoot or wedding day!


Before you read, you should know I only own Canon bodies and lenses. I started with Canon and don’t trust any other lenses! I’d much rather save for a Canon lens then get an off-brand one!

Lenses and cameras I use


Canon 5d Mark IV

I use the 5d Mark IV at every wedding and shoot! I love how fast and sharp this camera is. It deals with low-light receptions like a pro and gives me the creamy skin tones I’ve always wanted! It’s perfect for self portraits (which I do a lot especially with my kids!) and for wedding days and everything in between. I love that I can hook up my phone through wifi to shoot and download photos directly to my phone to edit them! I absolutely love this camera…. but may trade it in one day to mirrorless! If I do, I’ll be sure to update here!

50mm 1.2

My favorite lens by far is my 50mm 1.2. I have it on my camera 95% of the time because I love the look and ease of this lens. It keeps the background super creamy with lots of bokeh. It also is relatively sharp and can be a close-up lens or capture the full scene. I love it! I use this lens at every single shoot. On wedding days, I use it primarily for getting ready, family pictures, bridal party photos, bride and groom portraits, the ceremony, and reception. (Did I miss anything? Because I probably use it for that too!)

I love it so much that I also have it on my camera when taking pictures of my kids at home. My camera has a permanent home on the counter with my 50mm on it so that I can grab it whenever there’s a moment! It’s always my go-to for sure!

85mm 1.4

If I’m not using my 50mm, I am using this lens. This lens is SO SHARP even wide open and never fails me. I feel confident shooting on this lens super wide open which I can’t say about the 50mm. But it does require some distance between you and your couple. I tend to avoid this lens when there’s not a ton of room for me to backup, or if the location is loud. I want to make sure my couples can hear me while shooting at all times, unless its totally worth it or necessary!

The creamy backgrounds always get me with this lens, but I started with the 85 1.8! It was a great starting lens at a much better price. So if you’re just starting out, this is a perfect lens to start with!

100mm 2.8

This lens is the perfect macro lens and what I use for every ring shot, close up detail shots, and also for ceremony shots! I love that I can use this lens for portraits and details. I tried out macro rings that were super cheap and just found I got super frustrated with them. So I am much happier having spent the money on the macro lens, and that’s what I would suggest for you as well!

35mm 1.4

This lens is fine. It’s a necessity to have in my bag at all of my sessions, but I rarely use it. If I didn’t have it, I wouldn’t be able to always get full length shots in getting ready spaces, wide shots of the ceremony, and the wide landscape shots of the venue. BUT, if I can use my 50mm to get close enough, I do. The reason I don’t love this lens is because there’s not enough depth and too much detail when using this lens. Also the wide angle is not my favorite. The more I use this lens, the less I like it. But it’s still necessary to have just in case!

Yongnuo YN560 IV

I own three of these flashes and have loved them! They are reliable, heavy duty, and create the look I have always wanted. I own three just in case I need them, but I usually only use two right now. For the price, I wasn’t nervous going off-brand for these, and I am so glad I did!

Kelly Moore Libby 2.0

I love this bag, but it’s already falling apart! But, I do love that I can carry it on my shoulder or as a crossbody, it is easy to set down and reach in quickly to change lenses, and it’s beautiful! I have used it HARD and probably wouldn’t recommend using it with your laptop for multiple wedding days. It’s still my favorite bag!

I hope this was helpful for you to learn what’s in my bag! Let me know in the comments what you want to know more about! I’d love to help in any way! And If you liked this post, you might love this: Three ways to make your engagement session more fun!

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I'm Hanna, and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal about our lives, weddings, and other photography things! Stay a while and say hello!

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