As a college student about to graduate, working part-time at a small daily newspaper, and trying to figure out what gear I needed to have, I found that getting a look at what other photographers were using was very helpful. When I saw that The Photo Brigade was looking for someone to do this weeks â€śIn My Bagâ€ť column I figured Iâ€™d give it a go. It seemed like a good way to show other P.J. students what someone in their shoes carries.
Working part-time at a small daily newspaper I cover a pretty big variety of assignments. On an average day I could be shooting anything; portraits, prep sports, feature assignments, or weather features (lately lots of snowy weather features).
As a young photojournalist Iâ€™ve been saving, buying, selling, and trying to figure out exactly what I needed to make photos efficiently and the way I like. When I first got into photography I felt that big, expensive, zoom lenses were what you needed to be a working photojournalist.
As soon as I started actually working as a photographer I realized that wasnâ€™t always the case. I realized pretty quickly that those big, expensive, zooms were just that, big, awkward, and heavy, oh and expensive. These lenses definitely have their place though.
My 80-200 is one of my favorite lenses and I use on just about every assignment. I do occasionally use one of the paperâ€™s 24-70s (mostly for sports), and I use their 17-35 from time-to-time as well.
So, what do I use then? Iâ€™ve been a really big fan of the Nikon primes. Theyâ€™re light, unobtrusive, and pretty inexpensive. That last part is pretty important for me right now, because Iâ€™m a broke college student.
- Nikon D300 w/ MB-d10 Battery Grip
- Nikon D90 (used to take the photo)
- Nikon 24mm f/2.8 (used to take the photo)
- Nikon 35mm f/1.8 (On D300, this is an awesome lens by the way. If youâ€™re shooting a DX Nikon body I highly recommend it. Also, it works pretty well on a full frame, if you can deal with a – fair amount of vignetting.)
- Nikon 50mm f/1.8
- Nikon 80-200 f/2.8
- Nikon SB-700 w/ dome diffuser (doesnâ€™t leave the bag much)
- Extra body cap and lens mount cap
- Dust blower
- 4 reporterâ€™s notebooks
- Ice Breakers Mints (youâ€™ve got to keep the breath fresh for those interviews!)
- Extra EN-EL3e battery
- 2 grocery bags (in case I get caught in the rain while on assignment)
- Extra pens
- Flash drive
- Extra 8 GB CF card
- Extra 4 GB SD card
- Gels for SB-700 (Iâ€™m not sure if Iâ€™ve ever used these)
- Assorted microfiber cloths
- Flash light
- Random cords
- Extra batteries
- Card reader
- Gerber multi-purpose tool
- MacBook w/ all the necessary programs to tone photos
- MacBook laptop charger
- iPhone 4
- Cheap light stand (pretty much is always in the trunk of my car)
- Cheap 24â€ť soft box (always with the light stand)
Some gear I use from the paper I work for includes:
All of this gear fits into my Lowepro Fastpack 250. I was using a National Geographic NG A2560 Africa Series Medium Satchel, but I was filling it with too much stuff, and my back/shoulders were paying the price. The backpack is much more forgiving. At the end of the day though, I believe that any photographer should be able to make compelling images with just about anything, so donâ€™t get too hung up on the next cool lens or body.