Welcome to the third installment of our "What's In My Bag" series! (You can read our previous installment, featuring landscape photographer Alex Miller, here). With each WIMB feature, we're going to take a deep dive into the tools that our CG Ambassadors rely on to capture the perfect shot. What lenses do they love? What are their essential accessories for on-site sessions? We hope each photographer's bag provides some inspiration for your own gear as you continue to build your photography tool kit.
This month, join us as we learn the tools wedding photographer & cinematographer Anesha Collins has come to rely on to create her shots.
When I first started shooting I purchased every piece of equipment that I wanted and booked a shoot to do so. Why, because I wanted to own my equipment. I didn't want anyone to take it away from me. I was fully invested and knew exactly how I would do this to gain momentum with the purchasing of equipment. Fast forward a few years later, I still have some of that same equipment, a few upgrades, but most importantly as I grew I learned what I really needed. Being a wedding photographer and cinematographer, I take care of my equipment because it’s very important to me. Here are a few of my favorite pieces of equipment.
Holdfast Money Maker
If you're local to Orlando, Florida you'll also know that my nickname is Laura Croft. Why? Because of my Holdfast Money Maker straps. I've wanted this piece of equipment for so long and I kept looking online at the colors and sizes. Yes, I'm that type of shopper -lol.
Photographer's and cinematographer's ask me about my gear all the time and I always share that my Holdfast Money Maker is the best piece of equipment that I have. It's definitely in my top-five must have pieces of gear to own! These straps changed my entire shooting experience when it comes to photography. They are comfortable. Durable. They don't get in the way and they are stylish with fashion-consciousness.
Having two cameras at once is also convenient and it allows me to make the most of my time with my clients; especially weddings.
My favorite lens: Sigma 70-200 mm 2.8
When I first purchased this lens I said, "What the heck are you doing, Anesha?" It was the biggest lens that I owned at the time and it was also the most expensive. I thought about everything that I could buy with the money I just spent, but this ended up being my favorite lens and still is! It is a great lens for weddings because it allows me to still capture key moments without being in the way. It allows me to zoom in and zoom out.
It's fair to say that I use this lens whenever I shoot photography and cinematography because I know the value it holds. Looking cool with it on is a plus too!
Next favorite lens: Canon 50 mm 1.8
My next favorite lens is my Canon 50 mm 1.8 because it is the nifty-fifty. If you're a photographer you know what that means. When we all first start out it's the one lens ever experienced shooter tells you to get because it is universal to a lot of environmental conditions and lightweight. So, as an experienced shooter I am here to pass this advice on to you. If you're a new photographer or videographer get yourself a 50 mm lens.
Next to my Holdfast Money Maker straps, my LowePro Roller bag is a very piece of important equipment that I love. It saved my back when my shoulders began to hurt carrying all of my camera equipment in my over the shoulder bag. I've had this bag for over five years now and it's the best bag ever. I haven't replaced it because like all of my equipment I really take care of my stuff. The only thing that I did eventually have to replace were the wheels which overtime like anything else made of rubber - it starts to wear off. But, thank you LowePro for sending me a new set of wheels for my bag.
This is my desktop computer and it has been a blessing to me because I can really take the time to clearly see everything I am working on and know that my computer can handle the speed and size of the content I work with.
This is probably the most recent piece of equipment I've purchased and it was after I noticed that I really needed to move a little bit faster with my lighting on location to match my physical speed. Adjusting the height of my light stands that didn't expand instantly was slowing me down; this is why I love Cheetah stands. It is another piece of equipment that has saved me so much time and has made what I capture even more beautiful.
About Anesha Collins
Anesha Collins is a Wedding & Events Photographer, Cinematographer, and Educator based in Orlando, Florida who also specializes in video-marketing. She’s the founder of LearnWithAC, where she empowers business owners, photographers, and cinematographers with the knowledge they need to incorporate video visual presence within their brand. She was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. She’s a granddaughter, aunt, and a lover of quotes. She is also a self-starter (with a lot of initiative), and she’s obsessed with being organized and solution-oriented.
Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, The Knot, Borrowed & Blue, MunaLuchi Bridal, The Knots-HowHeAsked, Harness Magazine, Catalyst Co., the NFL, BlackBride1998 and more. She is also the recipient of Central Florida’s 2017 Best of Weddings Award for Best Photographer & Best Videographer.