What’s in my Camera Bag

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Lauren taking photos

Lately, there have been SO many of you contacting me, asking what camera equipment I’ve been using for taking all my photos I feature on the blog. First of all, THANK YOU for thinking my photography is good enough to warrant this post. But let me warn you, it’s taken me a long long time to get here! Nearly 10 years of practice using a DSLR and editing software to figure out what I like best AND what works best for me. With practice and time, you’ll learn your camera like the back of your hand plus gain the confidence to shoot completely manually.

It’s taken me at least 7 years of practice to have the quiet confidence in my skill to be totally happy with the photos I take. I am sometimes prone to get stuck in the comparison trap, but with more time and practice, I’ve gotten to a place where I love the photos I take now. They are my style and I can’t expect anything else.

What’s currently in my camera bag

Just recently, I upgraded my camera body to a Canon 5D mark iv, the newest on the market. It takes amazing, crystal clear photos and has some pretty great video capabilities. The first photos I took with it were all featured in our trip to Maine. The best all-purpose lens that can work between food and family is the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8. It is big and bulky, but man does it work in every situation. I used to have the first generation which was enormous, but recently traded that in for the second generation lens that is slightly shorter and lighter, though not by much. Certainly a heavy camera, but worth it.

For all of my food photos, I either use the combination above or switch over to the Canon Macro 100mm f/2.8 lens (with my 5D) which takes BEAUTIFUL up close shots.

I also own a basic 50mm f/1.8 lens which is a great starter lens, especially for food, and usually around $125, which is a steal compared to some of these other lenses.


I pay a fee to use Adobe Lightroom. I think it is the best, most powerful editing tool on the market, plus very user friendly. I’ve been using it for years and have just grown accustomed to it. My favorite feature is being able to edit one photo and copy and paste those edits to multiple photos. It saves so much time!

Previously, I have used photoshop, but at the end of the day, Photoshop and Lightroom serve different purposes. Photoshop is better for doctoring or changing photos, Lightroom is better for editing (in my opinion).

Starting out

When I first got into blogging (read our story here) we were poor college students with a small little 6 month old and we did not have any money at all to drop on new camera equipment. That wasn’t the priority for probably the first two years of me having a blog. I got really good at using a point and shoot camera because that’s all we had. But as this little blog generated a few dollars here and there, we were able to save that and eventually get a Canon Rebel T3i with the 50mm lens I mentioned above. I used that camera for another two years before getting a Canon 6D with the first generation 24-70mm which I LOVED and used for the next 5 years until I just recently got the 5D.

I saw growth with my blog, so I kept investing back into the business with more camera gear. If you are just starting out, you don’t need the camera with all the bells and whistles. Heck, I don’t need the latest and greatest camera on the market either, but after doing this 10 years, it is easy to see the differences in my photos and I can better appreciate the more expensive tool I hold in my hands everyday.

As a side note, Canon has discontinued making the Rebel T3i, but a Rebel T6 would be a comparable camera.

Tips for Starters

If you go out and buy everything I recommended, it won’t automatically make you a great photographer. You need to learn your camera and figure out how things like aperture, shutter speed and ISO work together to create beautiful photos. Then go out and take a bunch of photos.

I am a Canon girl, but brands don’t matter as much when it comes to photography. Nikon and Sony also make very powerful, amazing cameras. I know a lot of people shooting with newer Sony mirrorless cameras and they LOVE them. The point is if you’re wanting to improve your photography, get a DSLR at a price point you are comfortable with and learn its capabilities and use it consistently. That’s it! Practice does in fact make perfect. I have not taken any photography classes ever, just looked up youtube videos and read my user manuals for all my cameras.

If you have any other specific questions for me, be sure to leave a comment in the comments below. Have a great day, friends.


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5 Responses
  1. Vickie Cannon

    LOVE LOVE LOVE, that you take the time to share these type of tips with your audience/fans. Keep up the great posts, recipes and beautiful pictures of your family!

  2. Cholly Hill

    I have a canon t6i and it shoots great ! I like the wifi feature, u can tranfer photos to your ohone and iteract with social media. I will look into that 24 to 70 mill. Lens it sounds like its worth it .

    1. Lauren

      I have an external hard drive where I store all my photos so my computer doesn’t ever slow down. I have the files organized by year, travel, family, recipes and then broken down further. So, an example: 2019 > recipes > dinners > name of recipe.

  3. Suniya

    Hi Lauren! Thanks for the great tips!
    With the new phones coming with great cameras and lens, it gets harder and harder for me to take out my DSLR 🙁 sheer laziness!