Let me introduce you to my cute camera bag and her friends

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I’ve gotten some questions about what I use to take photos with and thought I’d share some of my tools. I’m not even close to a professional, in fact, my camera is the very basic DSLR, and less expensive than a lot of the cameras many moms are buying these days. I am attempting to focus much of my efforts on figuring out how to use my camera, different lenses, and how to edit my photos.

I recently bought a new lens for my camera and needed an upgrade for my camera bag. I wanted something cute and different. A lot of bloggers are reviewing a popular designer brand but her bags are $200 and up for not much padding and protection. Instead of trying to review one of those and get it for free I went ahead and bought a bag a friend introduced me to called Cheeky Lime. It’s half the price of the popular designer bag but with more than twice the padding. Not to mention it’s more my style. It even came with a cute camera charm.

A good camera bag is worth spending the money on, you want something that will protect your equipment. This bag has adjustable compartments and has no problem holding all of my gear: My camera, 2 light scoops, my macro lenses, prime lens, kit lens and Tamron lens. Plus my manual, wireless remotes/receiver, wallet, keys, and extra diapers (I only took my camera bag out to the kite festival this weekend and it fit all I needed).

This was my old camera bag. Sturdy, efficient. But I wanted something bigger and cuter.

So what do I use? My camera is a Canon Rebel XS. It’s a basic DSLR, but I don’t need a big fancy one with tons of settings that takes super huge photos for billboards because I’m not printing images that big. I also think my photos come out pretty well using the manual settings and doing any sharpening (if needed) in Photoshop.

The second lens I got after my kit lens was my 50mm prime lens. Its good for portraits and I used that lens 90% of the time before getting my Tamron lens. I love it because it takes great portraits of my daughter, but the prime means its a fixed focal length–Or doesn’t zoom, so I have to back up a lot to get more of her in the frame. I have the 1.8 f-stop which is great for low-light situations and creating a blurry look in the background (or bokeh).

I decided to skip getting another prime lens for now and go for another zoom so I could get more of a wide angle if need be, but also take nice portraits, so I got a Tamron 28-75mm, with a 2.8 f-stop, so it still works great in low light, and creates great bokeh.It’s also nice because with Lil’ J moving so much now I can adjust zoom based on where she goes versus having to move each time. It also can focus with her being right up on my lens, which my 50mm can’t do. But it still has the great focal length for portraits. I love it!

I don’t have an external flash I use with my camera, I use Lightscoops indoors though, which bounces my camera’s flash off my white walls and ceilings to give my photos a more natural look when the sun has gone down or there’s low light.

My macro lenses make it so I can take extra close-up pictures with my Tamron lens. Think insects, flowers, small detail, etc. It’s good quality for my type of photos. My macro shots with these lenses aren’t going in magazines or anything but  they look great for my hobby use.

I have a .45 wide angle lens adapter for my 50mm, in case I want to use my prime, but get a full room photo for example, it creates a slight fisheye effect.

I use UV protectors and polarizers for each of my lenses. The polarizers to take the glare out of water and the skies bluer, and the UV protectors to protect the lenses from smudges and scratches. I also use lens hoods, which sorta do the same thing, I’ll probably drop the filters soon.

I have a tripod and wireless remote/receiver to take self-portraits with Lil’ J, like the first photo in this post. That’s probably one of my favorite pieces of camera equipment. No more running back and forth.

I wanted to get a cute camera strap to match. So I got the Harper strap cover courtesy of Whitney from Little Miss Threads that matches my bag. It has a lens cap pouch to hold my cap while I’m shooting. Helpful since I’ve lost a few of them. The draw-string pouches that hold some of my camera equipment, I made to match. These aren’t mandatory, but if my camera is ever in a line up for a group shot, I’ll be able to pick mine out.  Her straps are affordable and unique. You can use the code BMM311 to get 15% off right now too!

And that pretty much sums up what’s in my bag. The other half of my photography hobby is here on my laptop, as I do a lot of editing in photoshop to make a good photo great. I’m not a pro at that either but I’m having fun learning. I don’t think I’ll be getting any more lenses any time soon. Maybe in a few years I’ll get another lens that will be good for sports or something (for some reason I envision Lil’ J playing soccer), but for now, I think I’m good.

What’s your favorite piece of camera equipment?

Everyone who comments on this post before March 15th  2011 11:59pm will be entered to win a camera strap cover from Little Miss Threads. If you “like” Little Miss Threads on facebook, and tell her I sent you, you get an extra entry, just leave a 2nd comment. Good luck!

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  1. very cool. i recently upgraded my xsi to a 50d. i love my 50 1.4 lens but recently rented the 85 1.2 and oh my word. i’m in love. do not rent that lens. you will have to have it. i’m currently saving. 🙂

  2. So glad you posted… I’m looking for a bag and also don’t want to spend the $$$ on an Epiphanie bag. Oh! And I’d love to win a strap.

  3. That is the cutest camera bag I have ever seen! I also love hearing about your lens and settings. I have always had a nice camera, however have failed on learning much about taking photos on manual.

  4. wowww I love that bag!! I recently got a Kelly Moore bag and I love it, but your bag is too cute. and I love the little camera keychain! 🙂

  5. What a great post! I’ve been wanting an SLR for years but not quite in the budget. My point and shoot just doesn’t quite cut it! I’m a big researcher and will definitely be referring back to your post when it’s time to get my SLR. Love that cute strap too! Maybe if I win I can tell DH I HAVE to get an SLR to go with it 😉

  6. I’ve yet to find a good camera bag that’s easy to get my camera in & out of. Now that I have more than one lens, it’d be useful, though! Great find!

  7. Great post as usual. I am looking for a DSLR camera that can go a step higher than my current compact camera. I like photographying, and I believe a DSLR will help me achieve photos that look professional. I still have to buy the camera but I am one step closer to get it :). Finger cross i will get it by the end of this month. This bag would be the perfect gift for my future camara :).
    Please God I want to win it, LOL ;)!

    Well, I really like the all the pictures you took but the top one is super cute. Did you take it yourself on timer?

  8. So thankful that you have shared your secrets! Your pictures are always great. I have the same camera, and am trying to learn how to use it. Practice, practice, practice. I would love to get a new lens (currently just have the kit lens), but can’t decide which one to get. So many options!

    Your bag and strap are so cute! I’m definately going to get a bag, and hopefully I win a strap before I have to buy one!

    Keep up the great blogging!

  9. So thankful that you have shared your secrets! Your pictures are always great. I have the same camera, and am trying to learn how to use it. Practice, practice, practice. I would love to get a new lens (currently just have the kit lens), but can’t decide which one to get. So many options!

    Your bag and strap are so cute! I’m definately going to get a bag, and hopefully I win a strap before I have to buy one!

    Keep up the great blogging!

  10. Very cool bag, I just spent that same amount of money on a plain jane black bag… But mines is a Lowepro slingshot bag and even though it’s all black and boring it really does do what I want it to do… I have a Nikon D5000 with an 18-55mm lens, 55-200mm lens and I just got my first fixed lens 35mm 1.8 (the other one I wanted won’t work with the automatic focus on my camera). I use the filters each lens has it’s own, makes life just a little easier. I have been in search of a fisheye lens that is reasonably priced, but when are DSLR camera lens reasonably priced…? I also carry around a couple of point and shoot camera’s like my Nikon CoolPix S4000, and of course my trusty film camera that I only use with black and white film, and my old school Polaroid Camera that I think is finally busted because my kiddos thought it was super cool so they always played with it and took pictures (It was pretty cool getting the pictures right away). I love trying out new things on my computer but I can’t get the hang of that new Adobe CS5… might go take a photo class or something just so I can learn how to work that thing, LOL! What photoshop program do you use? Oh yeah, I also have the remote and the tripod, they are both fun little things… I went onto Ebay and got some Angel wings to take pics of my baby niece… this can be an expensive hobby if you are like me… Thanks for sharing!

  11. Thank you for posting! I have the same camera as you do & with the spring sport season looming I’ve started looking for lenses to get distance shots of my kids on te basketball court or soccer field!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

    PS: I’m really, really in love with you bag! I know what I’m asking for as a gift for Mother’s Day! *wink*

  12. I love the inside print of your bag. So cute! Our camera bag is the simple Canon one. Boring! Love yours!
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. Thanks for sharing! Your pictures are always so beautiful. It’s reassuring when I have the same camera as you that there’s still hope if I continue to learn!

  14. I am a newbie. My hubby bought me a Nikon5000 for my birthday (which is on the 24th). I have been saying for about 3 years now that I wanted a great DSLR camera that I can teach myself photography with. I wanted a camera that had the shutter speed to keep up with my kids so I could snap, snap, snap without care. I LOVE IT!! I’ve been using it for 3 days and I can’t get enough. It is the best camera I’ve ever owned. The pictures are amazing and make me feel pro. I can’t wait to take this camera to the hospital when my SIL has my nephew and take pictures of his little toes!

    However, the camera strap leaves little to be desired and I need a camera bag. Etsy has become my second home in search of these things.

  15. The lens cap holder on the strap would be great! I never know where to put it!
    I have the XS. Too. For now only the kit and a zoom lens. I would love to have all the accessories you do!

    I’d love to get good enough to make money at it. One day I will take a class!

  16. I just stumbled across your blog. Your baby is so cute! I have only recently started a blog about the antics of my 12 children ranging in age from 26 years to 5 months. Please take a minute and visit at http://www.twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com
    I also have a brand new give away that ends March 25. Bring all your friends! Let me know what you think!

  17. Very cute camera bag and straps. I would love to win the camera strap so sign me up please :). I got my first DSLR for Christmas Canon Rebel T2i and I’ve been excited. I love it!

  18. Awesome, I just posted on my blog how I’m looking for a camera strap – love LMT’s & will probably end up buying one with the awesome discount code!

  19. I really need to get a DSLR, I used to take B&W photos with a regular SLR but I sold it when I lost access to a dark room. Now I really need to upgrade and get a new one so that I can take pictures of my kids. Thanks for the information.

  20. I just got a brand new camera! A Nikon D3100…. figuring out how to use it properly.

    The lightscoop looks fab!!

    I’d lov to win a camera strap please 🙂

  21. Just came across your blog and I love it!! The photography tips are awesome (I have the same camera but haven’t perfected my skills to your level yet) and the mommyhood tips are great. My babycakes is about the same age as yours….such a precious time! Feel free to check out my blog!

  22. I’ve been curious what you used for your pictures too because they are always sooo good! I’ve never really tried photoshop or anything, but you are definitely a pro!

  23. Thanks for sharing what equipment you use. The lightscoops are really interesting. I know nothing about flashes/diffusers(?), I just know the built-in flash is too harsh! I might have to get one of those.

  24. I got a Canon Rebel XS for Christmas and I love it. Now the camera bag that came with it, not so much. I plan to invest in other accessories like a light scope and more lenses so I know I need something different. The bag you have have is unique so I need to check it out!

  25. I have a Canon 40D and love it! I definitely need to look into purchasing some great accessories. Thanks for the motivation, I love your new bag! 🙂

  26. I totally have lens envy. I would love a 28-75mm. But for now, I will just swoon over yours. I do have a 85mm 1:8 lens which I absolutely adore. I own a Canon 20D about 6 years ago and I still love it. I’m learning
    ( slowly ) that it’s not the camera or the camera equipement that produces great pictures, but the photographer. And you, my dear, are a great photographer. Thanks for sharing what’s in your camera bag.

  27. I used to be advisable your blog by the use of our relation.. canon camera lens I will be will no longer certain whether this article can be written by him or her as no one comprehend like focused roughly the trouble. That you are awesome! Thanks!

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