Our Bag

The Mr and The Mrs enjoy photography at home as well as travel destinations from the West Coast to the East Coast of the United States and in between including International travel. Whether we are at home or traveling, we often have our camera in hand. We enjoy looking back at our photography from the past as well as planning experiences we will capture in the future. We believe that photography is what captures the memories made at a particular time in our lives. Let us share with you what we use to capture those life memories! No matter the camera you use to capture your photos, you will want to make sure you have what you will need for all types of photography you plan to take. When you capture time and create art, it shines through the eye behind the lens. 

No matter the camera you use to capture your photos, you will want to make sure you have what you will need for all types of photography you plan to take. When you capture time and create art, it shines through the eye behind the lens.

When The Mrs went with The Mr on our first Newly-Wed vacation to Walt Disney World in 2002, we took only a Kodak Advantix point and shoot film camera. Why? Because that is the camera we had at the time. We were also newlyweds living in an apartment and were planning to move in our first house just a few months later. So, we took the Kodak Advantix. We recall having to switch out the rolls of film if we wanted to take a color or black and white photo (does that make us sound old??). That little camera took some great shots and we were happy with what we were taking at that time. That little camera made it a little longer. Then, we began to notice that the camera couldn’t keep up with our photography and photos became very grainy and the camera eventually needed to be replaced.

A little over a year later, we found out our first Little Darling was on the way. So, having a boy on the way, we decided to get a new camera that would give us some great photos of him as well as capture future trips as a family of three. So, since digital cameras were now out (we feel we are dating The Mr and The Mrs here!!), we went with a digital camera, the Sony Cybershot. It was a great camera – It had a lens that had a nice optical zoom and could tilt for different needs. It went on many photography trips with our family. In fact, it lasted long enough for us to have our second Little Darling, our girl. By this time, we were learning to use simple software packages to edit our photos and learning to set up file structure to store our photos (more on post-processing and file storage at another time). Then, The Mr said he thought we were ready for a DSLR,  and he researched the brands and took us to a local camera shop. We purchased a Nikon d80. At first, The Mrs wanted to just use it like a point and shoot, but knew we needed to learn the settings and that is just what we did over time. We continued to practice with our children and eventually it all clicked.

In 2009, we purchased the Nikon dslr d300s for The Mrs to use. Later, in 2012, we purchased the j1, the new Nikon mirrorless, for The Mr to use. We sold the D80 in December 2013 with plans of purchasing The Mrs a full frame camera later.

In January 2015, The Mrs purchased a full-frame Nikon df. The Nikon df has the controls and look of a Nikon film camera (which The Mrs loves) with the sensor of the Nikon d4 and iso up to 204,800! The Mrs is in love. The Mr says The Mrs will be keeping this new jewel for quite a long time.

The Mr and The Mrs hope our photography journey with film to digital inspires you in your photography journey with your cameras.

The Mr and The Mrs want to share a few important tips for choosing a camera and lens that we feel might help you in your photography journey.

When choosing a camera to purchase, make sure to consider the style of photography you want to capture. Have an idea of the style of photography you hope to capture to help you make a decision.

When considering the TYPE of photography you want to capture, think about if you are wanting to capture landscapes (with a wide view of a specific area), lifestyle scenes (photos of your family, friends or others), products (items around your house or items with a specific purpose to photograph), or just general everyday kind of photography. The Mrs loves to capture everyday-lifestyle scenes in her photography of her children and family while she also loves to capture landscapes. The Mr enjoys capturing scenes from the places he travels on business trips as well as places at home or on trips with the family. Think about what you want to capture.

When choosing a camera to purchase, make sure to consider the subject you want to photograph. Make sure you think about what you will be photographing as that may help you choose a camera.

When considering the SUBJECT you want to capture, think about what that will be. Think about how you want those photos to look like. The Mrs likes a shallow depth of field for most of her subjects with the exception of landscapes. She likes the subject to be in sharp focus with an out of focus background. The Mr takes many landscape photos with the full landscape in focus, but other times likes his subjects to have a shallow depth of field as well. Think about how you want your subject to be featured in your photos.

When choosing a camera to purchase, make sure to consider how often you may want to use your camera.Consider how much time you spend on photography or how much time you think you will spend on photography.

When considering HOW OFTEN you want to use a camera, think about how much you really think you will use it. The Mrs uses her dslr very often. She carries it with her a lot of the time and keeps it in her photo room on a shelf with her favorite lens attached so the camera is ready at all times. The Mr uses his more on business trips and on trips with the family. Think about how much you think you will use a camera in the home and outside the home.

When choosing a camera to purchase, make sure to consider the price and your budget. Cameras range from Entry to Enthusiast to Professional Level and so does the price tag. Consider how the style, subject, and time will go into your photography.

When considering which camera to PURCHASE, looking at a budget is needed. Decide how much you think you want to spend and then go either in your local camera store or look online and look at the range of prices for cameras and look at the camera’s details and compare those details between entry level, mid-range, and pro-level. Consider entry level cameras to mid-range to pro-level. Look at the prices and see where that fits into your budget. Do you want to purchase a point and shoot camera, a mirrorless camera, or a dslr camera? Those are all things to consider with the type of camera you are purchasing. The Mr and The Mrs have always bought one level up than what they thought they needed or wanted and it truly is a good piece of advice for you. By purchasing up a level higher than what you may think is good for you, when you get comfortable with your camera and are ready for the next level, you will already have it. In both of the cameras that The Mr and The Mrs use, we looked at what we both shoot, how much we use a camera, and the price. For The Mr, The Mrs bought him the mirrorless j1 with all three lenses. For The Mrs, The Mr suggested she selling her old equipment and using that to help pay for the new camera since the new camera was a bit pricy, but the right camera for The Mrs. Take your time to make a decision on what you will choose. That is what The Mr and The Mrs do so just the right camera is purchased.
When choosing a lens to purchase, make sure to consider the style of photography you want to capture. Choose a lens that will help you achieve the type of composition you desire.

In addition to considering the TYPE of photography you want to capture, the SUBJECT you want to capture, HOW OFTEN you want to use a camera, and which camera to PURCHASE, also consider the COMPOSITION you want to capture when purchasing your lens or lenses.When choosing a lens to purchase, make sure to consider the subject you want to photograph. Make sure you think about what you will be photographing as that may help you choose between a prime and telephoto lens.

Some lenses can capture macro (subject that is captured by a lens that has a large reproduction ratio) framing while others capture wide angle framing (great for landscapes). In addition to these lenses, other lenses give a fun fish-eye (lens with a hemispherical reproduction) or tilt-shift framing (the lens uses selective focus). Other lenses such as telephoto lenses for being able to focus in on details while still being able to capture a wider view in the frame with the same lens while Fixed or Prime lenses are great lenses with a sharp focus (great for lifestyle photos) and known for functioning in low lighting situations well.When choosing a lens to purchase, make sure to consider how ofter you may want to use your camera. Consider how much time you spend on photography as lenses vary in price and you will want to get the lens for your needs.

The Mrs. loves using prime lenses for lifestyle photography as well as having one telephoto lens for capturing details in her photography. The Mr. likes using both a telephoto lens and a prime lens on his camera as well even tho he likes to capture more details and landscapes and less lifestyle photography.When choosing a lens to purchase, make sure to consider the price and your budget. Lenses range from Kit to Prime to Telephoto and so does the price tag. Consider how the style, subject, and time will go into your photography.

Take your time to make a decision on what you will choose and consider the type of photography you desire when purchasing your lens or lenses.

The Mrs has been shooting with a Nikon since 2007. She has used a variety of Nikkor Lense as well as a few other accessories. She loves looking for natural light through her lens. She is self-taught in photography and post-processing. 

Read more about The Mrs and her photography journey in MEET US

The Silver Edition 50mm f/1.8 prime lens came with The Mrs Nikon df camera. The Mrs loves to have a prime lens due to their sharpness and ability to shoot well in low lighting. She uses her prime lens to capture the everyday details of life with her family and the lens shoots well whether inside or outside as well as landscapes. This 50mm is a little larger in diameter than her other prime lenses and is a great lens on the Nikon df. It stays on her camera most of the time. If you find her Nikon df at home, it is most likely the lens on the camera.

The 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 telephoto lens is the only lens that The Mrs kept when she sold her Nikon d300s camera/lenses. She kept it as she knew it would work on the Nikon df and it had been a great lens on the d300s. It would also be a great distance lens while she decides on the lenses she wants on her Nikon df at no cost to keep it. Plus, if it was a great lens on the Nikon d300s, then how great would it be on the Nikon df?? Well, it didn’t disappoint. The Mrs uses this lens for distance shooting (animals at the zoo and other things that are not close, but when she wants a closer shot and can zoom in and out between 70mm and 300mm) and for macro shooting (for things like flowers that she wants to capture their detail and beauty up close). 

The 20mm f/1.8 prime wide angle lens is a great landscape lens for landscape photography. The Mrs knew the 50mm prime lens covers about 95% of her photography, the 70-300mm telephoto lens takes care of her distance photography, but she also knew she needed something to shoot landscapes with a wider view and she added the 20mm to her Nikkor collection.

In addition to her lenses, she has a set of extension tubes that fit onto a prime lens that work well for capturing insects and floral photography. These tubes attached to a prime lens allow much detail on the insect or flower to be captured. These work well for capturing snowflakes in addition to insects and flowers.

One thing she loves about her Nikon df is not having a lot of lenses to choose from. She wanted to keep the number of lenses to just a few and enjoy shooting instead of worrying about which lens to use. Below, she shares some of her past lenses with you.

One other lens The Mrs used was the Nikkor lens she started with, the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 telephoto lens. It was a great lens to start on a dslr camera with and learn to use. It took some great shots also. She sold it with her Nikon d80, but it really was a great lens to learn with.

The Mr has been shooting with a Nikon since 2007 alongside The Mrs. He has used a variety of Nikkor lenses as well as a few other favorite accessories. He loves looking for interesting places when traveling for photography. He is self-taught in photography and usually leaves the post-processing up to The Mrs.

Read more about The Mr and his photography journey in MEET US

The 10mm f/1.8 prime lens is a great addition to the Nikon j1 camera. It did not come with the camera, but The Mrs bought it for The Mr as she thought he might enjoy having all three j1 lenses to use for different reasons. As The Mrs, The Mr also loves the sharpness of prime lenses and that your feet are the zoom since the lens is fixed. He likes the prime lens as it has great sharpness and shoots well in low lighting. It is also called a “pancake lens” because it’s nice compact size is similar to a pancake. It’s lightweight, small, and fits in your camera bag easily without taking up a lot of space. The Mr uses it most for landscape shots where he needs a lens with a wide view.

The 10-30mm zoom lens came with The Mr’s Nikon j1 camera as well as the 30-100mm telephoto lens. He uses this lens the most out of the three lenses he shoots with on the Nikon j1. He likes this lens because it is also lightweight, but takes well in daytime and early evening lighting. He has even used this lens to capture fireworks with the mirrorless camera.

The 30-110mm telephoto lens also came with The Mr’s Nikon j1 camera. The camera store had a special rebate if the camera was purchased with the 10-30mm and 30-110mm lenses and The Mrs thought The Mr might like both lenses and she later added the prime pancake lens. The Mr likes this lens for more detailed shots. He has learned how to use this lens with the camera to capture up close details.

The Mr  and The Mrs hope our examples of photos with each lens and that lens description we use with our Mirrorless Nikon j1 (The Mr’s camera) and dslr Nikon df (The Mrs full frame camera) are helpful to you. Really consider where you want your photography journey to carry you and make a decision on a camera and lens or lenses that fit your needs best. That is what The Mr and The Mrs have done and we have truly enjoyed our journey behind our lens together.

When going out with a camera in hand, it is also nice to be accessorized and shoot in style. The Mr and Mrs share our favorite camera straps, tripods, bags and backpacks with you as well as flash options and remote cables. Enjoy!

The Mrs loves the camera straps from Bloom Theory. They come packaged well, are very feminine in design, and complement The Mrs so she shoots in style. The Mr cringes at the thought of using The Mrs camera strap in public (which is why he has his OWN camera). He uses the strap that came with his camera as it is lighter weight and works well. The Mrs also loves to use her sequined sparkled handstrap from Sam & Kate Design. This handstrap is wonderful! It connects where a camera strap would at the top of the camera and the other end connects on the bottom through the tripod opening and the strap contains a tripod connection. Now let’s get to the detail of the handstrap. It is fully sequined with lots of sparkle and shine (which The Mrs just loves) and if that’s not enough, the edges are adorned with tulle to give it a very feminine style for the camera. It fits on The Mrs Nikon df well and this is what she uses for at home photography as she can use it and set the camera down. Since it is just a handstrap, there is not a long strap to get in the way. For trips, she plans to use a strap for carrying the camera. 

Camera bags and backpacks are great to have so the camera, lenses, and accessories can be carried.

Our favorite camera backpacks and tripods – The Mr and The Mrs have tried a variety of bags, backpacks, and tripods. We have found some things that worked really well for us and our photography at home as well as while traveling.

Manfrotto Tripod, Backpack, and Lens Pack – The Mr and The Mrs really love, love, love this set! We purchased it at our local camera store and it was a great purchase.

Tripod /Tripod Storage: The tripod is lighter weight (The Mrs loves to use it as it is not heavy like some tripods), yet can hold and support our Nikon df for night time photography. This is something when looking for a tripod that is important to find out. Will the tripod support the weight of the camera body (and lenses). Often stores that don’t really truly understand this part, may try to sell any tripod, but IF the tripod can support the weight of the camera and the lens or lenses that will be carried is important. The tripod inserts into the right pocket outlined in red. Yes! We just said the tripod has a place in the backpack! We take out ball head off the tripod and place the tripod in the red outlined pocket and zip it up. The ball head, we place in the outside pocket directly across from the tripod pocket on the top left of the bag and it zips to hold the ball head securely.

Lens Pack: Below the ball head storage is another pocket that holds a divided bag that has a zipper closure and can hold lenses or other accessories. The Mr and The Mrs use this bag to hold their lenses if we are taking several lenses. The bag is detachable and can be carried separately if desired. It has a velcro strip on the back and attaches to the inside of the backpack without movement. Other accessories like cables and such can be placed in several zipper pockets on the inside of the bag behind where the ball head is held.

Backpack: In addition to the pockets we described above, another feature to this backpack The Mr and The Mrs love is that there is another pocket with zipper closure on the back portion of the backpack that holds a laptop computer. Yes! So it holds all the camera, lenses, tripod, and accessories on the front of the pack and a laptop to carry along in the back portion. So on a trip where a computer as well as camera gear is planned to take, this is a great backpack to carry to transport your precious items.

Other use…..The Mrs has even used this backpack in the nurse office on field trips to carry her camera, lenses, and accessories while also carrying first aid supplies and medication along. So, it can be used another way also.

The way The Mr and The Mrs use the Manfrotto Backpack System: The Mr and The Mrs use this system to transport their cameras, lenses, tripods, accessories, and laptop when we go on bigger trips. It works well! Once we get where we are going and settle into our hotel room, we then carry smaller bags/backpacks that hold just what we need for the day.

click here for manfrotto backpacks

Small FUL backpack and Joby Gorilla Tripod – The small FUL backpack can hold an ipad, 2-3 lenses (depending on size of lenses) and has a place for credit cards, money, and other small items. If The Mrs uses this backpack, she carries a telephoto lens, a prime lens, and maybe another smaller lens. If the Mr uses this backpack, he carries all of his lenses. If the backpack is worn on the back, the Joby can hang on the side strap or if the backpack is worn on one shoulder, the joby can fit in the backpack. The Joby is a great smaller tripod option that holds a larger camera body and lens. It can also wrap around items to give height needed in some situations. It’s a great accessory to have!

click here for ful backpacks

Cam-Pack & Ful Backpacks – The Mr and The Mrs like to carry the Cam-Pack and the Ful Backpacks and get our Little Darlings to help carry the backpacks. It works really well doing this! We leave our big Manfrotto Backpack in our hotel room and carry these two smaller backpacks with us. There is extra room for souvenirs in these backpacks plus room for lenses and other accessories.

The Epiphanie Camera Purse/Bag – The Mrs loves carrying an Epiphanie Bag. The Epiphanie Bags come in colorful soft leather with removable dividers to carry a camera, lenses, wallets, iphone/ipad, and keys and whatever else ladies like The Mrs like to carry. The Mrs carries her Epiphanie around town for local photography mostly. Occasionally, she will take her Epiphanie on a trip and carry it one day for a photo as Epiphanie shares those photos where the bags go. Usually, on trips, The Mrs prefers the other backpacks listed about so her Epiphanie isn’t damaged since trips can be rougher on a bag.

click here for Epiphanie Bags

The Cam-Pack – The Cam-Pack is a great backpack. It has two small mesh pockets in the inside at the bottom. The Mrs loves to use these pockets to carry her prime lens when she is using her telephoto lens. The prime fits well in those pockets. There is also a pouch in the upper part that is great for carrying a small wallet or a smart phone. There are two outside pockets that can carry external battery packs for smart devices. The Mrs purchased this backpack in a local scrapbook store about 10 years ago and was unable to locate it online. 

When going out with a camera in hand, it is also nice to have a few other items to help shoot in style. The Mr and Mrs have a few accessories they like to use.

Flashes and Remotes – Things to help with lighting

Hood Loupe – The Hood Loupe is a great little extra to carry. It is great on those bright sunny days. You place the lens hood over the display screen, turn the focal ring until the image is in focus, and it’s much easier to see what was just captured. It’s an extra item that isn’t really needed, but it’s inexpensive and The Mr and The Mrs love to have it along.

click here for Hood Loupe

Remote Shutter Cable  – The Mr and The Mrs love carrying a remote shutter cable along for mostly night time and firework photography. It’s an inexpensive item (most start about $10) and such a huge help with nighttime photography where the camera needs to be very still. Instead of touching the camera, The Mr and The Mrs can hold the remote shutter cable and by using manual/bulb mode settings, we can press the remote for the desired length of time. Sometimes, The Mr and The Mrs use this in daytime lighting as well, but use it most in darker lighting with a tripod.

click here for remote shutter cable

Sb-700 Speedlight Flash  – The Mr and Mrs purchased a sb-700 Speedlight Flash to use at times when the lighting is darker and even with a low light lens and increased iso, noise is increased. The Sb-700 flash can be directed at the ceiling to bounce the light instead of pointing the light at the subject. The diffuser can also be used to diffuse the light even more.

click here for Nikon Speedlight

Lightscoop  – The Lightscoop is a nifty little tool that The Mrs purchased prior to purchasing a flash (mostly to see if a flash would be a good purchase). The Lightscoop fits into the hot shoe on the camera. It has a mirror so when the camera’s flash goes off, it reflects onto the mirror and bounces with the result of the subject being well lit, but without direct light on the subject. It was also inexpensive, but unfortunately, does not work with The Mrs Nikon DF, so she found a happy home for the Lightscoop.

click here for Lightscoop

White Balance Lens Cap – The white balance lens caps from Photojojo are a great accessory to have (they are pictured in the top of the post under the choosing a lens section). While over the lens and facing the light that is on the subject, take a photo in custom white balance mode. This sets the white balance. The lens caps come with a white and off-white option. The Mr and The Mrs prefer the white option and really like to use these lens caps.

click here for white balance lens caps

When The Little Darlings go out and go on trips, they like to take pictures also. The Little Darlings like to carry their mini-Lowerpro Bags with their ipods, a mophie backup external battery, cables for recharging, and earphones. Once we arrive at our destination, they can take photos, recharge their devices, and have photos on their ipods to show us and look back over and over. 

THANK YOU so much for stopping by to read about what The Mr and The Mrs (and The Little Darlings) carry in our camera bag/backpack. We hope this was helpful for you and we hope your journey behind the lens is full of  learning and growth! Have a wonderful day!

If you enjoyed reading this, you may also enjoy reading about The Mr and The Mrs The Process, Q&A, and Meet The Mr. and The Mrs.

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