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Livonia, Michigan

Being prepared for any situation is crucial as a family photographer in Livonia, Michigan. Whether capturing candid moments, posed portraits, or spontaneous joy, my gear needs to support every scenario. Here's a peek into my photography bag and the essential tools I carry to ensure I can capture the perfect shot every time.

The Bag: Domke Made in the USA Camera Backpack

First, my Domke Made in the USA Camera Backpack is the foundation of my gear setup. Known for its durability and thoughtful design, this backpack offers ample space and organization for all my equipment. It's comfortable to carry, even for extended periods, and keeps my gear secure and accessible.

The Camera: Nikon D800

My trusty Nikon D800 is the heart of my photography. This full-frame DSLR delivers stunning image quality with its 36.3-megapixel sensor, making it perfect for capturing the fine details in family portraits. Its robust build and reliable performance make it a dependable choice for any shoot.

Battery Grip and Extra Batteries

I use a battery grip for extended shooting sessions to ensure I'm never caught with a dead camera. Alongside the grip, I always carry two extra batteries. This setup allows me to shoot for hours without worrying about running out of power, especially during longer family sessions.

Nikon Battery Charger

Of course, extra batteries are only helpful if they're charged. My Nikon battery charger is a staple in my bag, ensuring I can keep all my batteries ready for action. It's compact and efficient, making it easy to bring wherever I go.

Audio: Nikon ME-1 On-Camera Microphone

When I need to capture high-quality audio, like during client testimonials or behind-the-scenes footage, I rely on the Nikon ME-1 on-camera microphone. It significantly improves audio quality compared to the built-in camera mic and helps me create more professional video content.

Memory Management: Lexar USB SD Reader

Having a reliable way to transfer photographs is essential. My Lexar USB SD reader is a fast and efficient tool for transferring images from my camera to my computer. It's portable, durable, and compatible with various devices, making it an invaluable part of my kit.

Cleaning: Microfiber Cloth

A clean lens is crucial for sharp, clear photographs. I always carry a microfiber cloth to quickly remove dust, smudges, or fingerprints from my lenses. It's a simple but essential tool for maintaining image quality.


Versatility in lenses allows me to capture a wide range of shots. Here are my go-to lenses:

  • 35mm Lens: Perfect for capturing wide shots and environmental portraits, the 35mm lens is ideal for including backgrounds and context in family photographs.

  • 70-300mm Lens: This telephoto zoom lens captures distant subjects and creates a beautiful background blur, making it perfect for outdoor sessions and candid shots.

  • 50mm Lens: Known for its versatility and natural perspective, the 50mm lens is my favorite for classic portraits. It works well in various lighting conditions and produces stunning, sharp images.

Lighting: Neewer TT560 Speedlite Camera Flash

Lighting can make or break a photograph, so I carry the Neewer TT560 Speedlite camera flash when natural light needs a little boost. This flash is easy to use, reliable, and provides the extra light to create beautifully lit portraits, even in challenging conditions.

Stability: Sirui Tripod and Monopod

I rely on my Sirui tripod for stability and flexibility, which conveniently converts into a monopod. This dual functionality benefits shooting scenarios, from long-exposure shots to on-the-go captures. It's lightweight, sturdy, and easy to set up, making it a must-have for every session.

Gobe/Urth Lens Filter

One essential accessory in my photography bag is the GOBE Lens Filter 58mm. This filter is a game-changer for enhancing image quality and protecting my lenses. The GOBE filter reduces glare and reflections, allowing for more transparent, more vibrant photos, especially in bright outdoor conditions. Its multi-coated glass ensures minimal light loss and color distortion, making it ideal for capturing those perfect family moments. Plus, GOBE’s commitment to sustainability means that each purchase helps plant trees, aligning with my values of supporting eco-friendly practices.


Every item in my photography bag is vital in helping me deliver high-quality family portraits. Each piece of gear, from my reliable Nikon D800 to the versatile Sirui tripod, ensures I'm prepared for any situation. Being well-equipped allows me to focus on capturing the special moments that families will cherish forever. Whether you're a fellow photographer or a client curious about what goes into a shoot, I hope this glimpse into my gear setup has been insightful!


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