Friday, February 28, 2014


If you're a curious creature like me, you often wonder what kind of gear different professionals use to make the art they make. As a photographer, I always want to know what lens my favorite photographers use or what their go to camera system is for when they travel. As such, I thought I'd show everyone what's in my bag! 

I shoot with a Canon 6D and have a Canon 5D as a backup. My lens kit includes the Canon 50 f/1.4 which is on the body in this picture, Canon 35 f/1.4 L, Canon 85 f/1.8, and Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L. I try to use natural light when possible but when flash is needed I have a Canon 600 EX Flash. I also have a Canon 580EX II that I use Pocket Wizards with when I need off camera flash. My lighting kit is minimal but I've found it very effective for a variety of situations. 

I also have a teenie reflector I carry around that comes in handy when shooting details, food, and portraits. It is so small and cute! Also pictured are is a set up Eneloop batteries which are definitely my go to rechargeable battery. They don't get as hot as most batteries so they let me flash cycle faster and I've found them to be long lasting. The only down side is they take quite a bit of time to recharge, but otherwise I am obsessed with them! 

My most used lenses at the moment are the Canon 35 f/1.4 L and Canon 50 f/1.4. Those lenses can get me through just about anything. The 70-200 I mostly use for wedding ceremonies and then to capture candids at the reception. I would say it's my least used lens, but it definitely serves its purpose. 

The second set up of cameras you see are my film cameras. These are usually the ones that come on trips with me and that I use alternatively to shoot all of my personal work. The Land Camera 195 shoots pack film, you probably have one that looks just like it laying around your house. The beauty about this camera is that it is fully manual which gives me A LOT of flexibility when shooting. Next to it is a Canon AE that I actually found curbside in a box of things waiting to get picked up by the garbage man. It was in mint condition and it has been one of my favorite cameras to shoot with since I got it, about ten years ago! The Polaroid 680 is probably one of my most used film cameras. I love it! It is what I shoot almost all of my Polaroid and Impossible film on. Next to it is the Contax T2. This is the newest member of the film camera family and it has quickly become my go to 35mm camera. It is easy to use, makes great images and has a Carl Zeiss lens. 

You might have noticed that three of my cameras have the same leather straps. I love them! They are from Gordy's Straps. They are light but sturdy and really, really good looking! 

I carry my cameras in my Union Street Ona bag, which I LOVE. You can see a post about that beauty here

Thursday, February 27, 2014


I have been collecting photos of VW bugs and vans when I see them! You can see my growing collection here. Pictured above are a few I spotted in Hawaii! Remember these cuties I saw in San Francisco in October? I'm looking forward to warmer weather so I can go hunt these down!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I have had a few different camera bag set ups and I've never been as fully pleased as I am with this sexy Ona Union Street bag. I LOVE Ona bags. They are very well made, they age well and most importantly, they don't look like camera bags. This is important to me as I'm often traveling to shoot weddings or toting my bag on public transit around the city and I do not want to draw attention to myself. 

This particular bag is awesome, it has four built in SD card readers in the front pocket as well as two pockets that are the perfect size for storing batteries and my lipstick. This front pocket also has a few pencil holders and it zips shut. The inside compartment is completely customizable which is great for me, because when I'm not shooting weddings, my gear set up is different and I can use this one bag for carrying around all my different gear set ups. 

I love that the Union Street has a laptop compartment. When I travel, I can fit all my gear, my laptop and travel essentials (I try to keep it light) in this one bag that I can carry on and tuck under my seat sitting upright, which actually gives me leg room! The bag I previously used for travel took up all the leg room under the seat in front of me so this bag is a huge improvement for me and makes traveling that much easier. 

There are pockets on both sides of the bag which are perfect for tucking away sunglasses or a travel size pack of tissues. Lastly there is the back pocket which runs the length of the bag. It is held shut magnetically. I like to keep my travel documents, wallet and phone charger in this outer pocket which allows me to easily access important items. I also like to tuck that miniature reflector in there. Isn't that tiny thing so cute?! 

The Union Street is made to last, the stitching is nice, the leather accents are so classic- I love the leather and wax canvas shoulder strap which makes carrying my sometimes heavy bag easier. The snap closures are nice and easy to use and I like that the leather part of the closers are adjustable. I usually have mine on the last hole because I pack a lot of gear into my bag and they are able to remain closed, securing my items.

Another thing I love about this bag and the other Ona bags is that the branding is minimal. There is a ONA stamp inside the bag cover and on the leather trim on the left side of the bag but they are barely noticeable. Other camera bags I've had are clearly branded which always made me feel a little uneasy. 

Can you tell I'm totally smitten? Take a peek at the rest of the Ona line. I have my eye on this one next and I already own the Roma Insert, which I've written about here. You can see a little feature Ona did about me and my Roma here! 

What's your favorite camera bag?


Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Although the days here in Chicago are getting a teenie bit warmer, as in, it is no longer in the negative degrees, it's still pretty darn cold. I keep looking back on the photos I took in Hawaii and wishing for the warmth of the sun on my skin and all the delicious garlic butter shrimp in my belly!

If you want to warm up with me, take a peek at my Hawaii set on Flickr!


Monday, February 10, 2014


All the snow and cold we've been having in Chicago has me thinking of warmer times, especially the trip Christopher and I went on to shoot a wedding in Hawaii back in November. Let's warm up while we look at these pictures! 

Amy + Josh had such a rad wedding that I was so honored to be a part of. They had a beautiful, intimate wedding on the beach in Kapolei, Hawaii and danced and drank Mai Tai's into the night. What better way to celebrate such a wonderful union? 

The part of the beach the ceremony was held at is called Lanikuhonua which translates into "where heaven meets the earth"- super romantic! The ceremony was gorgeous, it was sunny, not hot, beautiful vows were exchanged and then everyone walked a few feet over to celebrate well into the night. 

During the reception Amy changed into the dress that her mother in law wore on her wedding day. She did a wonderful job of restoring the dress and it fit her like a glove! I love little details like that on a wedding day that make it so much more meaningful.

I had so much fun shooting instant photos throughout the night. Those are always such a hit with guests and a really special way to remember your wedding day! Amy had made really neat clothes pins with shells on them to pin the instant photos onto a net she put up in reception tent as a cute way to show the photos off as I snapped them. 

It was truly such an honor to capture these photos for Amy + Josh and I was really happy to have Christopher alongside of me shooting video. You can see his version of the Starr wedding here