In My Bag – by Melissa Golden

Melissa GoldenMelissa Golden lives in the DC metro area, but she isn’t really from anywhere in particular.  Her nomadic childhood, courtesy of the United States military, has led to a life marked by continuous change, renewal and wanderlust.  Her work is influenced by all the places she’s called home at some point- the brazen oddity and beauty of Southern California, the tradition of the Deep South, the storm light of rural Florida, the heady intrigue of the Middle East and the stiff formality of the District of Columbia.  She may not know where she’s going next, but her pictures help her to keep track of where she’s been.

Melissa Golden's bag

After a few years of carrying shoulder bags and backpacks, I decided rolling bags and beltpacks are the only way to go if you want a healthy back.  I’ll bust out a shoulder bag on occasion, but I don’t load it up with heavy things. My rolling bag is a Think Tank Airport AirStream.  I got it a few years back and it’s been serving me beautifully ever since.  It fits under the seat in front of you in airplanes.  If you’ve ever been on a puddle jumper where they asked you to check your rolling bag at the gate, you will know this is huge.  I would never allow my cameras to be checked, and with this bag, they can stay with me at all times. When I don’t have the luxury of stashing the big bag, I use a Think Tank belt system and pare things down slightly.

Melissa Golden's bag

I don’t carry a lot of large gear.  I prefer my cameras without battery grips and I roll with speedlights and various little accessories.  I take the following with me to most assignments:

Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 5D Mark III
35mm 1.4
50mm 1.2
135mm 2.0
– 3 Pocket Wizards
– 2 580EX II speedlite
– 580EX speedlite
– Speedlite modifiers (diffuser and grid)
– Various cords and cables and mounts
Black gaffers tape
– Body and lens caps
Litepanels MicroPro (for video interviews and some close-up portraits)

Melissa Golden's bag
My other bag essentials include:

– Business cards
– Tons of rechargeable AA batteries
– Extra camera batteries
– Pens and sharpies
– Notepad
– Press credential
– Gels (which I never use, but they take up no space, so why not?)
Earplugs
Moleskin (A hiker’s friend, I carry this in every bag I own. When you get a blister, this is a great quick-fix)
Lens cleaners
Altoids Smalls
Leatherman
CF Cards
Energy gel (just in case I’m on the verge of crashing from hunger and there’s no food around)
Shine paper (if you shoot portraits, this is great for taking the shine off people’s faces. I sometimes carry translucent powder too, which I think is the ultimate tool in a makeup artist’s kit.)

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One Response to “In My Bag – by Melissa Golden”

  1. […] also put together two bag-related posts for The Photo Brigade.  In My Bag is a look at the gear I travel with.  I then reviewed a really pretty leather camera bag from […]