In My Bag – by Eric Thayer

Eric Thayer


Eric Thayer is an American-born freelance photojournalist who works regularly for clients such as Reuters, The New York Times and Getty, among others. He has extensively covered politics, breaking news and issue-based reportage. He is currently based in New York.



When I was going to school, I remember bigger being better. I wanted the fastest and largest cameras I could get, and couldn’t wait to save enough money to get rid of my primes, a 24mm and a 50mm, and buy a 17-35mm zoom lens and a Nikon D2H.

Somewhere along the way, I have reverted to using a 24mm and a 50mm, and have traded the large cameras for smaller cameras again. I’ve also tried to minimize the amount of gear I carry. When traveling, it’s tough to carry all that gear.

That being said, ask my friends, I am a notorious gear borrower. If I’m covering something that requires more than a 5D, a 50mm, a 24mm or a 70-200mm, I will hit you up for a lens or a faster camera. But for the most part, I can work with what I have in most situations.

I use a 5D (which I bought after selling all of my Nikon gear when I moved to New York) and a 5D Mark II, a couple of primes, and a zoom that mostly stays in the pouch.

My bag is an REI backpack, but for a long time I used a Domke. Though that was before I had to carry around a laptop. I recently purchased an 11-inch MacBook Air, which has been great for travel.

REI backpack

Gear list:

Canon 5D Mark II
– Canon 5D (sold all my Nikon gear in 2006 to buy this camera)
Canon 24mm
Canon 50mm
Canon 70-200mm
– Think Tank Whip it Out (for my one zoom)
MacBook Air 11”
InCase laptop sleeve
– Some kind of flash, that I keep around mostly in case I really, really need it
Power inverter (I find this great for rental cars and pool vans)
Mophie iPhone charger (the iPhone battery is terrible)
– Battery chargers, power cords
Holga lens for Canon (I bought this in Iowa, used it a couple times, then left it in the bag)
– Card reader I borrowed from Stan Honda on the 4th of July (sorry Stan, I’ll return it when I see you next)
– Backup card reader I still owe Luke $9 for (yes, I burn through card readers very quickly for some reason)
ThinkTank card wallet
Verizon 4G mifi
– Bandanna from Eddie Adams Workshop (Red team 2004)
– REI midweight base layer (for cold weather and padding)
– Credentials (including my expired NYPD and UN credentials)
1TB Lacie Hard Drive 
One backup battery for a 5D

Please support The Photo Brigade!

You're awesome and that's why we work hard to bring you quality content, gear reviews, and guides. If you're interested in purchasing any of the equipment or services mentioned in our posts, please use our links as we will receive a portion of the sale to help run the blog. You can also search for gear directly via Amazon, B&H, and Adorama.

Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and listen to our podcasts on iTunes!