Paint The Moon Blog

Photography and photo editing tips, inspiration and out of this world Photoshop Actions.


What’s In My Camera Bag?

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One of the questions I am asked most frequently is what camera and lenses I use. So let me start by saying I really love my Nikon camera and lenses. They are amazing tools that help me make the images I see in my head a reality. But I’d like to state for the record what you already know. The camera, lenses and gear are not what make a great image – the person using it does. There are so many things that you need to pair with that great gear to realize a fabulous photograph – knowing how to compose your image and create unique art, how to capture true emotions, how to achieve proper exposure, how to nail your focus, how to process your images well, etc., etc. I do believe, however, that having the right tools to do your job as a photographer will definitely improve your final results and in some instances give you more creative freedom to get the shots you are dreaming of. I think there is a balance between “the camera doesn’t matter at all – an artist can create beauty from absolutely any gear” and “you must have the latest and greatest expensive gear to take good photographs.”

Writing this post has made me realize I have *way* too many lenses and need to sell some of them, especially since I only actually pull out about four or five of them on a regular basis (I left the most unused lenses out of the photos). Focusing on creating your art, educating yourself and growing in your photography and processing will always be the truest road to creating better photographs. It’s not the camera that makes the photo, it’s the photographer. Now, with all that said, let me introduce you to my large family of tools that do such a splendid job in helping me create my images. 😉

Note: this is part one and just about what I personally use. Part two will have recommendations for those on a tight budget and for those shooting with Canon gear. I tend to ramble and include a lot (too much?) information, so I didn’t want this post to be overwhelming. For those wanting to see what I used to use when I used to shoot in the studio (when I was forced to take my shooting indoors in the middle of our Oregon winters), see my Studio Spotlight.


Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon
Click name to jump to more information, example images and details on each item.


The camera bodies

Nikon D3s

Nikon D700


The miscellany gadgets and helpers:

Expodisc in Portrait

L-358 Sekonic Meter

Photovision Digital Target (For Checking Exposure)

A handful of 32GB Sandisk CF Cards

Circular Polarizer Filter

Color Checker Passport


Function and Fashion

Three Epiphanie Camera Bags:

Belle in Turquoise, Lola in Red, and Stella in Gray

Wristlet Straps


The glass

Nikon 85mm 1.4G

Nikon 35mm 1.4G

Nikon 135mm 2.0 AF-D DC

Nikon 105mm 2.8 Macro

Nikon 45mm Tilt-Shift

Nikon 16mm Fish Eye

Nikon 50mm 1.4G

Nikon 24-70mm 2.8

Nikon 60mm 2.8 Macro

Lensbaby Composer + Sweet 35 Optics
Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

First, let me say that every photographer loves different lenses for different reasons. While some lenses may be suited better for some situations, it highly depends on your individual needs and style … there is rarely one “right” lens for any given need. I am a prime lens girl all the way (this is a fixed focal length lens). They are incredibly sharp lenses and we know they are faster which allows for a few things including better shooting in low light situations. They also allow me to shoot wide open at an aperture of around f1.4 when possible, which has become a signature part of my style.

For the very reason, some prefer zooms is another reason I love primes … you need to use your “feet” to zoom. For me, this means I have to constantly be moving around and finding new perspectives and ways of “seeing.” I think sometimes you can get a bit “lazy” creatively with a zoom lens, or at least that is what my experience was personally. Of course, others may have a totally different experience with zooms, love them for their versatility, etc. It’s a highly personal choice (and many use both zooms and primes). Remember that it very much depends on the actual lenses you are comparing. You can’t very well say that Nikon’s lowest end prime lens is going to be comparable to it’s top of the line pro zoom lens. You’ll see I only have one zoom lens in my stash, the 24-70mm 2.8, which is a super sharp and lovely lens but it’s only still in there because I’ve been too busy to get around to selling it. I used it briefly for studio only work while I was shooting with a cropped frame body. I shot with a Nikon D300 before upgrading to the full frame Nikon D700 (which is my backup camera now) – it was a lovely camera and much of my work on Flickr was taken with the D300.

Keep in mind while looking at the lenses I use, love and recommend that I shoot with a full frame camera. If you’re using a cropped sensor your experience and lens needs will differ greatly because of the crop factor. Some of this will be covered in part two of this feature.


Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Another question I hear a lot is what do I actually carry with me in my bag. I admit, it’s a lot (but only roughly half of what’s shown in the main photo – the other half is inside the cabinet you see my baby peeking out of). I happen to think that putting one or two more lenses in the bag isn’t going to make any discernible difference in weight or difficulty carrying the bag around (or in some cases, having my assistant – aka, my husband – carry it for me). And because I’m awful at narrowing things down I tend to carry all my favorites with me all the time. I don’t necessarily use all of the lenses I bring, and if I’m not working and at a client’s session then sometimes I haul the bag around and never even take the camera out – but at least I know I have it just in case. I tend to always have my D3s with the 85mm 1.4G on it, the 35mm 1.4G, the 135mm 2.0, the 16mm fisheye and sometimes the tilt-shift (unless I know there is no chance of taking a more “artful” photo, then I leave it behind because it’s too spendy and heavy to tote around for the heck of it). And note that I really USE my gear. I take excellent care of everything, but it’s definitely not coddled or ever left behind for fear of damaging it. This Nikon gear takes a beating and does it beautifully – it’s built to handle much rougher assignments than chasing around little ones and families.


Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon


Nikon D3s

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

I recently upgraded from the D700 to the D3s and just adore it. I’m finding the high ISO performance is much improved (ahhhh-mazing low light capabilities with minimal noise), and my general experience has been more accurate metering and smoother color and tonal gradations. The low light handling with so little noise is really important to me because I never shoot with a flash and love natural light, however, I live in Oregon and it’s dark, rainy and gray here 6-months of the year. Being able to crank up my ISO without worrying about noise is wonderful. The video function on the D3s is lacking for those wanting serious video, but is fun for taking quickie videos of the kids or for a “just for fun” video for clients. It also has the benefits of a much longer battery life (I rarely even think about the battery even though I always carry a charged back up with me as well as one sitting on the charger in the studio) and two storage card slots. And, finally, even though I’m not a sports photographer in any sense of the word, I love the faster continuous shooting when working with speedy little ones. Being able to shoot 9fps versus 5fps can mean the difference between getting the perfect shot and getting one with eyes closed or a finger up the nose.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Nikon D700

Nikon D700 Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

I really love the D700 … I have nothing but fabulous things to say about this camera body. It also has the benefit of being much less expensive than the D3s (and lighter, however, I always used the battery grip with mine so the size difference was minimal when I upgraded). A fabulous camera for portrait photography and handles high ISO and low light situations beautifully.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Nikon 85mm 1.4G

Nikon 85mm 1.4G Examples Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

The 85mm 1.4G is my favorite lens – I never go anywhere without this one. Absolutely dreamy bokeh that looks like smooth velvet with your subject popping off the background. Images can look almost three dimensional when you’re nailing your focus at a wide aperture (and I almost always shoot in the f1.4 to f2 range unless shooting more than one subject). It’s also a fabulous focal length for flattering portraits, fantastic in low light and very sharp.
85mm Nikon 1.4G Image Examples

Following are a few examples using my Nikon 85mm 1.4G. The first was shot at ISO 200, f1.4, 1/2000 second (it was pretty bright out and right before the sun was slipping away so my shutter speed was very high). Look at that yummy bokeh (and the cute baby is pretty yummy too)! Processed with Fresh Wonderland and Picture Perfect.

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Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon
Nikon 85mm 1.4G – again at f1.4 with ISO 1000 and 1/125 sec (the sun had just slipped below the horizon so I had the ISO cranked up a little). Processed with Fresh Wonderland.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon


Nikon 85 1.4G – shot at ISO 200, f1.4, 1/200 second.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon


Some detail shots turning one … Nikon 85 1.4G – shot at ISO 250, f1.4, 1/160 second.


Another example of the pretty bokeh from the 85mm – f1.4, ISO 200, 1/250 second.

Nikon 85mm 1.4G Comparison Photoshop Paint the Moon


Shot at sunset with the 85mm at f1.4, ISO 200, 1/500 second.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Bag Lenses Paint the Moon
Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Bag Paint the Moon



Nikon 35mm 1.4G

Nikon 35mm 1.4G Lens Comparison and Examples by Annie Manning What's In My Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

This lens is a go-to lens for times when I need a good “walking around” lens and need to either be in close range of my subjects (babies or little ones that speed away from me too quickly) or need something that will capture full body shots easily and take in the surrounding environment as well. It’s a wider angle lens, and therefore has a bit of distortion that can be noted especially when taking photos at close range. This bit of distortion with children’s photos can be cute and add a bit of whimsy to the photo, but point a 35mm up close to an adult and you’ll end up with a not so flattering portrait that widens and distorts the face. I use this one a lot for group shots or for those images where you want the entire scene and story captured along with your subject. It’s fabulous in low light conditions, produces pretty bokeh and is super sharp, is my main lens for shooting sun flare shots and is lightweight. It produces beautiful images and is a good “essential” lens to own.

85mm Nikon 1.4G Image Examples

Below are a few images shot with the Nikon 35mm 1.4G.

This is one of my favorites of my girls. It was shot just as the sun was going down and you can see how beautifully the 35mm did with the sun flare. Nikon 35mm 1.4G – taken at ISO 200, f1.4, 1/1000 sec. Processed with Fresh Wonderland.

Nikon 35mm 1.4G vs 85mm 1.4G Lenses What's In My Camera Bag Paint the Moon


Nikon 35mm 1.4G. Shot at ISO 1000, f1.8, 1/160 second. Processed with Fresh Wonderland.

How To Choose a Lens Nikon 85mm 50mm 35mm 135mm 105mm


This was definitely one of those times where my need to be up close to my subject was apparent. Yes, I’m bonkers to bring my big camera up there on a crazy fast, spinning ride, but it was so worth it to catch her expression on her very first big girl ride! Note that the lighting was horrendous (either pitch dark or neon green and orange flashing lights as we spun around). Nikon 35mm 1.4G – shot at ISO 2500, f1.4, 1/160 second.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon


Nikon 35mm 1.4G – shot at ISO 200, f1.4, 1/640 second.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Nikon 135mm 2.0 AF-D DC

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

I adore this lens. I would say it might be my favorite lens, but all things considered (like the fact that many times with babies and young children I don’t have the ability to get enough distance from my subjects) it has to remain a tie between the 135mm 2.0 and the 85mm 1.4G. It’s one of Nikon’s pro limited-production lenses, and therefore sometimes hard to find in stock (and there has been rumors of it being discontinued). It’s the sharpest lens I own and the bokeh is out of this world. An AMAZING portrait lens. It also has a specialized feature called Defocus Control. It’s been designed (and this feature is patented) for exceptional bokeh (for those who are new bokeh is the appearance of the out-of-focus areas) and helps give your bokeh an extra creaminess and smooth feel. Even without the DC feature, this would definitely be my favorite lens if it weren’t for the fact that I find it a little too long for my shooting style sometimes. I like to get up close and personal with my subjects, whether it’s with my kids or my clients, so the 85mm 1.4G allows me to do this better. Otherwise, this one would be at the top of my lens loves list.

85mm Nikon 1.4G Image Examples

Below are a few shots taken with the Nikon 135mm 2.0.


Nikon 135mm 2.0 – shot at ISO 200, f2.0, 1/400 second.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon


Nikon 135mm 2.0 – taken at ISO 320, f2.0, 1/500 second.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon
The close up of my daughter here with the 135mm 2.0 was taken at ISO 250, f2.0, 1/200 second.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Nikon 45mm Tilt-Shift

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Tilt-Shift lenses are frequently used for architectural photography to control perspective, however, they have recently become very popular among portrait photographers for achieving beautiful selective focus by using the tilt feature. It’s a very distinct look and one that I personally adore. I believe it’s best used sparingly and with intention. I can tilt the plane of focus to create just a sliver of the frame as my focus point with a unique bokeh in the out of focus areas. They are manual focus lenses and also take some time getting used to, but are really worth the extra special touch they can add to a photo.

85mm Nikon 1.4G Image Examples

Below are a few examples of the 45mm Tilt-Shift lens. The left photo’s settings were ISO 400, f2.8, 1/160 second. The sun was going down (evidenced by Mr. Moon already peeking out to say hello), so it was rather dark out. On the image on the right, the settings were ISO 640, f/4.0 and 1/250 second.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon


This third example of the 45mm Tilt-Shift lens was set at ISO 800, f2.8, and 1/250 second.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Nikon 16mm Fisheye

Fisheye lenses are definitely a lot of fun, but a novelty lens for most cases (not that a novelty lens can’t be an integral part of a photographer’s style puzzle). A fisheye will take an ultra wide angle (most of the time 180 degree) with a very distorted, hemispherical result. I think they can really be fun for kid’s portraits because they match the carefree, silly nature of childhood and add to the personality of those shots. You really have to have a “vision” of how your shot will be and how the fisheye distortion will come into play and enhance your shot. Taking your standard portrait with a fisheye won’t generally give you pleasing results. It can produce some really artistic styles, but give a thought to *all* your surroundings because it captures every little detail. I also like mine for family snapshots when I want to take in *everything* and also stay right in the action.

85mm Nikon 1.4G Image Examples

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon


And another example of a silly snapshot taken with my 16mm fisheye lens. I like how it captures every “real life” detail with the surroundings of your subject and the “lollipop head” distortion just adds to the emotion the viewer feels at seeing her happy laugh.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon



Nikon 105mm 2.8 Macro

Not just a fabulous macro lens, but Nikon 105mm 2.8 Macro is a great portrait lens as well. I don’t do a lot of true macro photography (such as water droplets or teeny tiny spider eyes), but I love getting up close and personal with small details. It’s a great lens for baby bits … the little eyelashes and chubby toes. It’s also fun for floral and nature photography.

85mm Nikon 1.4G Image Examples

Below are a few examples using the 105mm 2.8 macro lens.

Nikon 105mm 2.8 Macro at ISO 250, f3.2, 1/160 second.

Nikon 105mm Macro Lens Compare Review Examples


Nikon 105mm 2.8 Macro – taken at ISO 320, f3.2, 1/160 second.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon


Nikon 105mm 2.8 Macro – taken at ISO 200, f3.2, 1/250 second.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon


And in this close up shot you can see the 105mm does amazing portraits.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon


Nikon 24-70mm 2.8

The Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 is a really great lens if you are a lover of zooms. It’s nice and sharp, but I just prefer prime lenses and, therefore, sold it several years ago. I used it primarily for studio shots when I used to shoot in a studio with a cropped sensor camera because it gave me the extra room I needed in my tiny studio.


85mm Nikon 1.4G Image Examples

Photoshop Actions - Nikon 24-70mm Example
This example uses the Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 at ISO 200, f5.6, 24mm and 1/250 second.

Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 Lens Compare Review Examples

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon


Nikon 50mm 1.4G

The 50mm 1.4 is a fabulous little prime lens and affordable too. I tend to never use it simply because I love my 85mm and 135mm more and if I need to have more room than the 85mm gives me then I love the 35mm focal length. The 50mm is a great starter lens for those moving into the world of prime lenses and is one of the first I recommend to those who are beginning their lens collection (and I think it’s just a must-have for most photographers to have in their bag – it’s a staple lens). It creates beautiful bokeh, is fast and very sharp.


85mm Nikon 1.4G Image Examples

Nikon 50mm 1.4G lens – taken at ISO 200, f4.5, 1/250 second.

Baby Photography Nikon 50mm 1.4G Examples Review Compare
This entire session was shot with my D700 and 50mm 1.4G lens.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon
Another (in studio) shot with the 50mm 1.4G.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon


And a final with the 50mm 1.4G … settings were ISO 200, f5.0, 1/250 second. Processed with Texture Collection Two and and Picture Perfect Photoshop Actions.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Nikon 60mm 2.8 Macro

A great macro and portrait lens, but something I only used with my cropped sensor body (which was the D300). Creates very pretty portraits as well as detail and macro shots. It’s a wonderful starter macro lens. For a full frame camera or very minute details, I would recommend the 105mm over the 60mm.

85mm Nikon 1.4G Image Examples

Nikon 60mm 2.8 Macro Comparison Photography Review

Lensbaby Composer + Sweet 35 Optics

Very fun little lens to play with, however, I haven’t put it on my camera since getting the tilt-shift lens last year. It’s manual focus and also takes some time playing around with finding the “sweet spot” but can be a nice novelty lens to own if you want to get artistic.

85mm Nikon 1.4G Image Examples

Lensbaby Comparison Sweet 35 Optics Tilt-Shift Photography Review

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon


L-358 Sekonic Meter

I rarely use the light meter. I first bought it to use in the studio when I was forced inside under my softboxes and Alien Bees. If I think I’m getting an inaccurate meter reading in natural light, I’ll bring it out very rarely (I use spot metering, so I’m usually pretty right on with exposure using the in-camera meter).

Three Epiphanie Bags: Belle, Lola and Stella

I don’t carry or really care for purses … I carry pretty camera bags packed with all my gear, my iPhone, iPad and a small wallet (my one girly allowance is lip gloss, which my six-year-old uses more than I do). I love my Epiphanie bags. I have tried almost all the major brands out there. The ones I’ve purchased (and ended up either re-selling or returning) are mostly the “pretty” camera bags, but I started out with a very functional and very ugly, black Lowepro sling backpack. On family outings and sessions my husband will end up carrying my beautiful camera bag – thankfully he’s man enough to feel secure even while toting a bright turquoise “purse” with flower hair clips pinned to the side. He still begs me to please go back to the ugly, black backpack. 😉

So, I was saying how I’ve tried all the bags out there over the years and I keep going back to Epiphanie. As I stated above, I like to carry the whole shebang around with me in my bag and also need to have my lens attached to my camera body so I can grab it at a moment’s notice. The Epiphanie bags give me everything I need. They offer lots of room, plenty of customizable compartments for whatever my needs are, easy access to my camera so I can sneak it out in seconds for unexpected moments that beg to be captured and they are gorgeous. I’ve never talked with the company personally and don’t often do sponsor-type partnerships because I don’t want my customers and fans to ever feel like I’ve “sold out” or am just trying to plug products to them. I am sharing all this information out of a pure love for their product.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon



Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

I use the Expodisc to set my custom white balance every time I shoot. It’s super duper easy and takes seconds. I have the 77mm size disc and am lazy so I usually just hold it up to my lens (owning the largest size allows me to use it with all my lenses) and take my shot. If there is a lighting change or change in color temperature – for instance, moving from sun to open shade – I’ll take a new shot and set it again.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon


Fun {Funky} Camera Straps

I love my little wristlets from My Funky Camera. I find a neck strap gets in my way and were uncomfortable for me to wear. These are an extra security measure without having a noose around my neck. She also has lovely neck straps. Even my little girl has one for her camera – and pink and sparkly is right up my alley.


Photovision Digital Target (For Checking Exposure)

I’ll sometimes use this target to check exposure … simply taking a photo of the target (subject holds the target up where they will be standing) and checking my histogram for exposure.

A handful of 32GB Sandisk CF Cards

I don’t really have a strong preference for one brand of card over the other. I do carry a handful around with me in varying sizes, the two main cards I usually keep in the camera are 32GB sizes.

Circular polarizer filter

A circular polarizer filter will absorb light, helping to deepen colors and take the glare off water and reflective surfaces. It’s used a lot in landscape photography. I like to use it on very bright days (I usually only shoot during the golden hour, but sometimes it can still be very bright) in order to be able to continue to shoot with a wide aperture and to help keep more detail and color in my skies.

Color Checker Passport

The Color Checker Passport is something I recently purchased and haven’t been able to really sit down and explore/experiment too much with it yet. It helps you create a custom camera profile for using with RAW images. I don’t use it for white balance, just the RAW camera profiles. The jury is still out on whether this was a good purchase or not … it wasn’t inexpensive so I’m hoping to see some improvements in my image color when importing my RAW files.
Miscellany Stuff – candy, wild hair tamers, pony clips, the fun sign, lamp and cabinet. 😉

You also notice I have a bit of candy (for bribes) and a few hair clips on my bag strap (I have to have my hair back and completely out of the way while shooting lest a stray hair get blown in front of the lens and ruin a shot). Other miscellaneous items include pony clips (big clamps) for everything from holding up props or backdrops (like quilts on outdoor shoots, etc.), microfiber cleaning cloths and a lens pen, some spare cash, business cards, and my usual iPhone, iPad, etc. I do have a separate bag of “emergency supplies” in my car for location shoots (which is pretty much 99% of them) which includes baby wipes, bubbles, cute toys like wooden trucks and vintage teddies, a bunch of hats and other accessories, emergency snacks for cranky and tired kiddos (I swear I never break into the Z Bars for kids, cough, cough), a reflector I never use, a few vintage cameras (adorable in tiny hands and it keeps them in one spot for a few minutes while they explore it – then even cuter when they start playing photographer with you), hair brush and hair clips, and other little bits for touch ups and those frequent mishaps kids playing will have (I even have a couple changes of clothes for the ones that explore the pond a little too closely).

For those asking -the yellow sign in the top photo with all my gear is a hand painted wooden sign you can find here. The lamp is from Pottery Barn Teen (yes, I’m just a 14 year old girl at heart). The rustic cabinet is made from old reclaimed barn wood and I found it on Haute Look.

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Getting Kids to Smile in Photos With Real Authentic Expressions Photoshop Actions Elements PSE

Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I *only* recommend products or services I love and use personally and believe will add value for my readers.


Photoshop Actions Annie Manning What's In My Camera Bag Lenses Paint the Moon

196 thoughts on “What’s In My Camera Bag?

  1. I would love to be entered. I’ve absolutely fallen in love with your site. I think just as much as the beautiful photographs, it’s how the kind and genuine energy of the person behind them. 🙂

  2. Would love to be entered in your giveaway! Thanks so much for the info on your camera bag!!

  3. I would like to be entered in the giveaway. Thank you for sharing all of this. I’m working really hard to improve and perfect my work everyday to turn this obsession into a business. I’ve learned so so much from you. Thank you!

  4. Carolyn Brandt says:

    I would love to win the bag!! I so much appreciate the knowledge you share!

  5. Thank you Annie for an amazing chance to win such fabulous toys!

  6. I would love to be entered too Annie! Your work inspires me so much,thank you for sharing all of this with us!

  7. Lauren Trotter says:

    Can I please be entered in the camera bag giveaway? Thank you:) thanks for the article as well.

  8. I would love love LOVE to be entered into your giveaway! i just love and adore your actions and the photos you take are just amazing!! this is such an awesome opportunity!! thank you thank you thank you!!!

  9. I too have an ugly black camera bag, this Epiphanie bag is beautiful! Thank You for sharing what’s in your bag and for the chance to win.

  10. i would LOVE to be entered!!!!! your pics are AMAZING!!!Thanks for all the great info that you share with your readers!im about to turn 40….:( but a bag sure would cheer me up!!!

  11. Please enter me in the contest, I’m having trouble entering on Facebook. Thanks for all of the information you share, you are amazing!

  12. I would Luv to be entered! Thanks for everything that you do for us =)

  13. Love that camera bag! I’ve been eying Epiphanie bags for a while now but saving for a wedding doesn’t allow for fun photography purchases and I think a new camera is in the works before a bag! Love your work 🙂

  14. Thank you for all the great info.
    I would love to be entered in the contest!!!! =)

  15. Shannon Underwood says:

    I would <3 to be entered in your giveaway. I love your work! Can you share where you found such cute camera straps? Thanks!

  16. Thanks for all the fabulous info! I would love an opportunity to win a pretty camera bag and goodies! Very cool.

  17. I would love to be entered! What a fun giveaway!

  18. You are an inspiration to so many. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing so much knowledge with everyone. That bag is FABULOUS, would love to win those goodies!

  19. Kelly Madison says:

    I would like to enter! Thanks so much 🙂

  20. Ahhh what an absolutely amazing and helpful post! Can’t even believe its a giveaway too! Definitely bookmarking this baby to come back and check for future reference. I never know which lens to get next! Thanks SOOO much! <3

  21. Hello I just wanted to say thank you for all that you do! I think that it’s amazing that you are willing to share so much of yourself with us! You are willing to answer questions and share your “secrets”. You and your family are beautiful. Your Actions are amazing and I can’t wait to buy some. I’ve only used the free ones so far because I’m just starting out and I’m poor but I love, love, love yours! You are an amazing person and photographer and I can’t wait for the Cannon info to come out!!!!!!!

  22. Let me know when you want to sell!!! 🙂 As a mother of 3 – I would love to run out and grab a new lens all the time but it is impossible. Thank you sooo much for this series – I love it!

  23. Annie you are such a great writer!! Great info, I could read that twice!! All of your pictures are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your wealth of information, I appreciate it so much ?

  24. Thank you so much for the chance of winning such a great pile of goodies! And even bigger thank you for sharing so much of you knowledge, it makes a huge difference for people starting out. I love seeing your pics and reading your posts 🙂

  25. Sue Broderdorp says:

    I loved this whole post! Can’t wait for the next one. I’m going to switch my camera system this year, I’ve been shooting Pentax. this information on lenses and other must haves, was great! I love your posts, you have a beautiful family! Winning a new, lovely camera bag would be amazing. I have the boring black slingbacks right now. 🙁

  26. I would love to be entered to win that beautiful bag. 🙂 I’m always so incredibly inspired by your amazing, distinctive style of photography. I’m working on my photography each day, to someday become a professional. It is so awesome to have a chance to see inside your camera bag, to see the tools you use to create your art. Thank you for that opportunity.

  27. Annie…I am not sure if I could get entered on the FB page. If not can I still enter. I do want to thank you for doing the “what’s in my bag” post. I know you are super busy! You have inspired me. I am not a pro…I take photos for fun….it is what I look forward to on a daily basis..and I love it. Thank you!

  28. Please enter me too! Hoo-ray!

  29. I would love to be entered. You can discard this if the facebook part worked, but I am just not sure if it did or not. 🙂

    And I’d love to note… I am still starting out and very slowly building up my equipment (so far it’s camera and a separate flash), and I love that you’re so helpful (and kind about it). My friend and I are huge fans. <3 <3

  30. thankyou for the great giveaway! i’m all entered 🙂 I just want to say thankyou for all you do and share, i can honestly say i’ve learnt most of what i know from you! Although this is the first time i’ve actually gave “thanks” i just want you to know that you fb page, blog and everything you share is greatly appreciated every time i visit. Thankyou so much Annie

  31. Thank you for the information and the opportunity. Please enter me into your giveaway. Thanks!

  32. I would love to enter for the give away. Tried on facebook but it wouldnt let me, so here is my entry. Love the blog, thanks for all the info

  33. OOOOH!!!!! I <3 those bags! Thanks so much – you are amazing <3

  34. Great post and thank you so much for the awesome giveaway!

  35. I’ve entered the giveaway, which is absolutely wonderful of you to offer! Also, I figure this is the perfect opportunity to tell you how much I look forward to reading your fb/blog posts! You really are an incredible and genuine photog! You Rock!

  36. YES Please enter me !!!! I love the information you are sharing and I especially appreciate you sharing photos taken with each of your lenses. You really inspire me!!!

  37. Would LOVE to win an epiphanie bag! I’m working on incorporating “grey” my middle name, into my business slogan, and the gray bag is beautiful, not to mention needed! Thanks so much for an awesome giveaway!

  38. Just entered, this was a great post. I could REALLY use a new camera bag, seeing as mine is an ugly off brand backpack that is too small to fit all of my gear in. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  39. Oh how I would love to win this set.

  40. I just want to say that you’re one of my inspirations. I love your photos and your actions, thanks for sharing!!

  41. I just love your post “whats in my bag”! I would love to be entered into your giveaway! I definitely need a new camera bag!!!

  42. Thankyou so much for such useful information on the gear you carry. What lenses to buy can be very daunting to a novice, so your sample pics are very very helpful. I really appreciate the time and sharing you have given

  43. I love the chance to see inside your bag… I love Nikon and love all your stuff! I reallo like you showing us a picture with the lens! Thank you so much

  44. Gorgeous giveaway & invaluable information that is so handy for those looking to buy a few more lenses. My fingers and toes are crossed 🙂

  45. Teresa Harris says:

    Wow, love, what’s in your camera bag…I am just now getting into portrait photography. I am glad you shared this, now I Have some ideas of what I may need. Oh and I am entering the contest 😉

  46. This was SO awesome! You totally answered a question that has been killing me for months!! I know now know how all the wedding photographers are doing the crazy blurred photos. With the tilt shift lens! Thank you so much for taking the time to do all this. You inspired me to bust out my 85mm more!

  47. Oh wow! I was drooling over your bags half way through the post that I started looking them up before I even read about the giveaway! I cant wait to enter, I’m headed there next. Thank you! Also, if you are looking to unload lenses, please let me know. I would definitely be interested in buying them off you 🙂 Thanks again for all you do, I love your work and all your amazing actions!

  48. Leneah Willis says:

    I would also love to be entered! I LOVE your work to death and think you are an amazing artist! <3

  49. Love it Annie! I really love being inspired by your work! Thank you for the giveaway.

  50. Thanks so much for the detailed info on each lens, and the corresponding image examples. I would have never thought to use a tilt shift lens or macro lens for portraits – very clever of you to think of it! The shot of your daughter on the carnival ride is amazing for the light and movement conditions – just fabulous!

  51. Awesome post Annie! Thanks for the giveaway!

  52. You are one of my biggest inspirations! I love to see things through your eyes and I love watching your babies grow. I hope to be half as good as you one day. Thank you for all your help and support. I would love to be entered into the give away.

  53. Leanne Hogins says:

    Annie..again..your big heart amazes me! That is such a great info piece and I can’t wait for the next one. Thank you for your generous give away! Would be an awesome b’day present! 🙂 But for whomever wins, that is SO nice of you! Thank you!

  54. Thanks for all of the info and the opportunity to win such cute stuff. I am really just getting started and all the knowledge I am gaining from this blog makes a huge difference!

  55. Woo hoo! I’m crossing my fingers over here and so is my daughter. She just loooves the Epiphanie bags as do I. Thanks for all the inspiration you’ve been throwing at me! I’ve taken the very best photos with much help from your actions and photoshop tutorials. Thank you for always being there for all of us momtographers including myself. Have a blessed day!:)

  56. Am new to this site but am already in love. thanks for all ur wonderful info

  57. Thanks for sharing Annie! And thank you for the giveaway, you are very generous!

  58. Thank you for doing this! As a newbie with zero professional training I need all the help & direction I can get. Thank you again…

  59. Thanks so much for all the wonderful information! I have been wanting an Epiphanie bag for so long! Enter me please!

  60. Wow! Thank you for the great giveaway!

  61. You’re family is beautiful and work amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing the details that going to getting the perfect shot!

  62. Sara McLennand says:

    Wow, great information, ideas, and photographs too! I would love to be entered in the giveaway. You are generous and inspiring! Thank you <3

  63. Jennifer Reilly says:

    What a great post for everyone to enjoy. Love your detail and your examples of amazing photos. A true artist you are. :O)

  64. Wonderful post, I saw this shared on my friend’s page (Genevieve Elaine Photography) and as a beginner this was very helpful. I only work with my kit and telephoto lens at the moment (once I can afford a new lens I’ll be getting one with a wider aperture for better light, I’ve been eyeing the 50mm 1.4 as it’s relatively inexpensive) but having little money to expand my photography equipment, I feel like I’ve been forced to make do with what I have, and experiment more. That means when I take photos with my regular kit lens, I choose the time of day that works better for me, I made my own reflector for my studio shots, I’m forever fiddling with the DoF and I have been teaching myself more about photoshop. Before my DSLR, I was happy shooting with my point and shoot, and I have to say, some of my most favourite photo’s came out of that camera (a beautiful landscape in New Zealand was one of my fav’s). Once my point and shoot died after 8 good years, I decided to step up to the world of DSLR’s. I feel like photography is just something each of us individually are forever growing and learning in, and even though having the best gear and equipment helps to gain a clean, sharp and crisp image – it’s not everything.
    Thank you so much for a wonderful post 🙂

  65. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your Facebook page and I am constantly amazed at the generosity you show in sharing your tips for photo processing, lenses and settings, etc. Your photography is breathtaking. Thank you for taking the time to share with us. I am a Pastor’s wife and also an avid amateur photographer. My Nikon goes with me everywhere and I often donate my time and the photos for those who don’t have the money for professional pictures. I always suggest that they use a professional, but then I will reluctantly take pictures if they are truly using a limited point and shoot! I look forward to your next post. Take care ~

  66. I am just amazed at how talented you are. What an inspiration… my goal is to photograph like you! Entered your giveaway…..would love to win!

  67. Thank you very much for sharing and giving such awesome details! Thank you for the giveaway!

  68. Annie, such a helpful post. TY!!! I now want a Nikon d700 and a 50mm 1.4g lens. Oh, and that bag you’re giving away. 🙂


    really excited about all of your posts. I love reading this post and thank you for starting off that it’s not all about the equipment! 🙂 I hope i win the bag! I NEED IT! 🙂

  70. Annie thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed and informative blog post about your equipment. I am a Nikon girl and most of the equipment you listed is on my wish list – now more so then ever! Your pictures are beyond wonderful, love your actions and your generosity is amazing. Thank you so much!

  71. Hi Annie! Thanks so much for sharing! And for doing the awesome giveaway!! Tweeted about this and sharing ;D!/Lauraleelien/status/1652800958655522896 I just love your photography. Yes it is about the ability of the photographer. Not everyone can take a great picture with great equipment. Me, I just have this retched little kodak point and shoot that takes crummy pictures no matter what I do.( the condesation spots on the inside of the lense from last winter doesn’t help either) lol. Had a really nice Nikon years ago but my son dunked it in the pool on accident. Never have your toddler hold the camera for a second when you are in the pool. 😉 A great camera and classes are on my wish list.

  72. For whatever reasons my twitter link didnt work….will repost on facebook.

  73. Carey Busatto says:

    Thank you for all the info you provided! It was very helpful. I’ve been trying to decide what camera and lenses to purchase. I am looking forward to your next post. This has really helped me out! I never knew they made fun camera bags!!! I did enter on FB but if I don’t win I think I might be purchasing one. Love them! Thank you again!!

  74. I really appreciate the time that goes into posting such detailed information. I feel like a winner with just the knowledge I walk away from your blog with. I often see myself as a lens hoarder, so It’s not only awesome to have your input, but great to see what each lens does in action. I try my best to picture what I think a lens is capiable of, but a picture (after all) is worth a thousand words. Thank you for the inspiration Annie!

  75. words cannot express the emotions that your pictures evoke in me….and i don’t even know you. now THAT’S amazing photography.

  76. Love this post Annie! It’s always nice to not only know what my favorite photogs shoot with but also why they choose what they do. I have to ask as a newbie- how do I keep the focus spot on for the whole subject when my aperture is wide open? Do I need to step fartherback?

    Love your giveaway- bummer I’m not on Facebok to enter. Someone is going to be so very happy!

  77. Carina Montes says:

    thank you so much for the wonderful share! you rock!

  78. Thank-you for this amazing post… my lens wish list just got a whole lot longer… 🙂

  79. Wow so happy I stumble across your site just outstanding… Thanks for the giveaway~

  80. Brenda Howell says:

    Thank you for giving me a glimpse into how a professional comes up with an image!!! Also thanks for opportunity to add to my Epiphanie collection!! Already have a red Lola and black Paris bag!!! One can never have too many epiphanies!!!

  81. I would love to enter your giveaway Annie! Im not sure how to enter on facebook but please count me in 🙂 Your the best for doing this!

  82. Love this post, so informative. I love that with each lens you posted examples, it makes it easier to see what each lens can do and help in deciding what lens to get. I have had my eye on the 85 mm, so based on your post it has helped me so much, that will definitely be the lens I get.

  83. Such a great informative post. Even though I am a canon girl, the same focal lengths come in canon so it was good to see examples of the lens. I just can’t get over the fact that you are just and hour up the road from me. If you ever do a workshop, I am so there!

  84. Thank you for such a lovely give away, as well as the “freebies” on your FB page!

  85. Thanks for the giveaway, you are so talented xxxx

  86. thanks so much for this great peek inside your inspiration and your bag! would love to win the bag! follow you on pinterest now! fun! also on fb 🙂

  87. Alicia Puntoriero says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your insight, talent and general sharing is totally amazing! You are an inspiration to me and to many… xxx

  88. Laura Schneider says:

    I love this!!! Thanks for sharing!

    What is the backdrop you you used on the studio shot where the baby is sleeping on the bed (50mm 1.4G lens). I love that shot!!!

  89. Thank you for everything!! You are amazing!!:**

  90. Annie, you are sooo generous…
    I “know” you for a year now, and you inspire me every day…
    Thank you so much for everything you already gave me. I´m not just talking about the freebies(they are amazing) but when you share your photos you give me inspiration, and that`s fabulous!!!
    PS:sorry for my English 😉

  91. Thanks so much for all the information! I love how you take the time to “talk” to your followers 🙂

  92. Annie,
    You are AH-MAZING!! Thank you so much for all you share and teach everyone! You have taught me SO much and you are SO inspiring to me! I am incredibly jealous of your lens and camera collection! I am so broke and wish I could afford some of those lenses and full-frame cameras! I have been just drooling over the epiphanies bags since I first saw them and would absolutely LOVE to have one!! Please enter me in the contest. Thanks again for sharing your “bag” with everyone! You rock!!

  93. Thank you so much for sharing! I have the 50mm and am debating what to get next. This is so helpful! Please enter me in the giveaway.
    Thanks again!

  94. Thanks for sharing Annie! I love hearing about anything you have to say really! 🙂 and this giveaway, wow! I have fingers crossed, it all looks divine and this bag is just amazing!

  95. Love what you do Annie! Thank you for everything! Please enter me!

  96. Thanks Annie, you write beautifully and have a big heart! Thanks for sharing.

  97. Lisa Whittington says:

    Thank you so very much for sharing your experiences with your lens’. I am a fledgling business and appreciate the fact that you are sharing. I try to when I can. I will be ordinging some of the photoshop plugins because I am using it to do my editing and found your use with them simply amazing!!!

  98. Thanks for sharing what gear you use to make those wonderful photos.We photographers are visual learning folks.

  99. Thank you so much Annie. Please enter me 🙂

  100. Thank you for sharing!! So informative! Love the peek a boo image. I’ve been wanting the canon 85mm 1.2 very badly. Someday. And, the epiphanie bag is amazing. I love gray! Oh, would so love to have it:) Thanks again for the great giveaway!!

  101. This is awesome Annie! I hope to win, thank you so much- you are such a caring is sharing kinda girl!

  102. Autumn Clifton says:

    Annie – You are so very generous! Thank you for the opportunity & letting us peak into your bag! I would love to win!

  103. Annie – Simply put, you ROCK!!! I am a self taught hobbyist photographer (happily to my surprise now for hire) and have been actively searching out professional advice and recommendations. To my surprise, I’m often met with disregard and many times professional photographers are unwilling to share their knowledge or creative opinions and expertise. It’s always so baffling to me since EVERY artist and professional has a unique style and no two (no matter how hard they might try) are alike. It’s not the tools or equipment you use but the artist behind the camera that actually MAKES the photo. Thanks for being such an inspiring role model to BOTH new and seasoned photographers alike!

  104. Thanks for such a thorough post! Must have taken you forever. 🙂 always great to hear the why’s of someone’s gear, not just the preferences!

  105. Thanks for this information. I looked at the list at the start and my heart sank: I didn’t even know what most of the terms meant, let alone had an opinion about them. But you explained it beautifully! Still don’t have an opinion, but at least I’m a bit more informed. Thanks also for the tip about the camera bags: have pinned it to the board that I’m *hoping* DH will consider come my birthday in September 🙂

  106. I have loved reading this blog and you’re images are absolutely stunning. For me it’s great to see other photographer’s perspectives are and see how they view the world. Brilliant.

  107. Heather McLinden says:

    I would love to win these goodies. I look foward to your next part!

  108. eeek ive just purchased the expodisc thanks to your recommendation 🙂 embarrassingly i never thought about the white balance when shooting and fixed things in post processing so this is going to be an experience when it arrives lol.
    To be honest i had never even heard of it untill i read in one of your posts and its been on my wish list since. Ive also just purchased a calibrator so hoping so see some differences in my photographs… thanks for all your info and recommendations annie 🙂

  109. I cant thank you ENOUGH for doing this!! I’ve recently switched to Nikon and I have been trying to decide which lenses to buy. Its soooo much easier when you get an honest review from a real photographer, and with beautiful photos to boot! AWESOME!! I appreciate all the work you put into helping others. You are a kind, and beautiful person 🙂

  110. Your site is amazing!! It is the best thing since sliced bread!! LOL!! I am totally addicted to all the actions!! Will definately be purchasing some soon!!! PLease enter me for the giveaway, thanks!!!

  111. What an awesome article. I loved reading up on all your equiptment you are seriously amazing Annie! Would love to be entered in this giveaway.

  112. Great blog!!! Please enter me, thankyou.

  113. thanks so much for doing this give away!!

  114. Annie please include me in your drawing! I hope I am not to late…I would love to win this as I HATE my boring old black back pack! Thank you for all of your hard work you are such an inspiration!

  115. Hi Annie, please enter me. 🙂 I wasn’t able to do it on the Facebook giveaway tab. Thanks for this post!

  116. Kathy Dickinson says:

    Annie please enter me in the giveaway. I attempted to enter via the other link but it wouldn’t even let me complete the first step of liking the page. Thanks so much! Hope I did it in the right place this time.

  117. This is so great! Thank you for the sharing and letting us see inside your bag.!!!
    I would love to win so I can change my boring black backpack too!

  118. We have similar taste in cameras and lenses but now I need the D3s! And of course, an awesome camera bag! Haha! HEre goes nothing! Thanks for sharing!

  119. Annie, You are so generous ! … I would love to be entered in your giveaway! I wasn’t able to enter on the Facebook giveaway tab ! Hope this counts!

  120. Something I needed to confirm my choices 😀 I hope to upgrade soon to D700 body with two lenses I see on Your fav list 😀 Great to know I’m heading in good direction 😀
    Thank You for this post 😀

  121. Annie this post was so amazing and inspiring!! thank you soo much for taking the time to share all of the great information with all of your fans! would love to be a part of your genorus giveaway i currently have a lowerpro black bag now but want to upgrade carring something with more flare!!

  122. Love this giveaway!! please enter me 🙂

  123. Thanks Annie!! This is the post I’ve been really looking forward to. I’m so glad you could share all this with us. 🙂 You are the best!

  124. Jessica Van Der Meer says:

    I love your blog!!! Thank you-for the giveaway! Good luck to everyone!

  125. Hi Annie!Thank you for all your wonderful tips. I am so inspired. I linked to this post on my site as well. Thanks for sharing!

  126. Please enter me – I couldn’t enter on facebook. Thank you so much.

  127. This is amazing. I use a canon but am drooling over your Nikon!I entered on FB, but am not sure if I did it right. Would you please check and if not enter me? Thank you.

  128. I love reading your texts, it is so easy for me to understand all this new world which is photography and in a language that is not my mother one. Not to forget to say about the inspiration you give to me. All your wonderful photos and actions shows the marvelous person you are.

  129. Annie!!! YoU ThE RoCk StAr of GiVeAwAyS!!!
    fingers crossed for this one!!
    amy boland

  130. Awesome post! :). Please enter me for the giveaway!

  131. Enter me please! I love your actions, and your gear page was incredibly informative! 🙂

  132. Jordan Carroll says:

    Annie, thank you so much for your generosity! I am learning so much from what you’re willing to share. You are a true gem! 🙂 And now I have total bag envy. lol.

  133. I have to add that I love love LOVE your weathered cabinet with the louvered front!!!

  134. julie mains henderson says:

    Thank You Annie… are the sweetest!

  135. hi annie, the ‘like’ tick didnt work, and i am not sure if just entering my email means i am entered? please enter me!!! thank you so much!!

  136. Please enter me! 🙂 I also look forward to your opinions on Canon Cameras & lenses!!

  137. I wish to give thank you to you personally for this excellent study!! I most definitely loved every little little bit of it. I’ve you bookmarked your site to investigate the new products you article.

  138. Marissa Kokhanovsky says:

    You ROCK! I always look forward to seeing your amazing pictures pop up on my FB newsfeed! I love all of the inspiration and insight you so freely give!!! Keep up the great work! PS. Enter me too!

  139. Hello Annie. I am Azimah from Malaysia. I am interested to buy your action. Can you explain how can I buy it? Thank you. Your photos are so amazing.

  140. Hi Annie! Thank you for a great post! I’d like to enter your giveaway but am having troubles with entering via Facebook. Thank you!

  141. hello friend! I LOVED this post, SO completely helpful with the lens knowledge. quick question…. you said 90% of your sessions were on location, is that true with your newborn shoots? and can you use a drop outdoors or does that seem weird? I don’t have a studio, but have used a bedroom which gets good lighting, but prefer outdoors when it’s warm enough.

  142. Thanks for such a great giveaway! Please enter me. 🙂

  143. Great information! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
    Angela Michels
    lilsweeper76 at yahoo dot com

  144. Thanks for the give away, Please enter me =)

  145. Thought you might enjoy this:

    A little photography nerd humor.

  146. krista resnick says:

    Hi Annie!!! just wanted to say a big thank you for this last post. I’m certain it was very time consuming but it was so appreciated. It was very helpful to me-now when are you coming out with a workshop:)?????

  147. Thanks so much Annie for such a great giveaway. Love you photos and your actions!

  148. Even though I’m a Canon user, this post has been EXTREMELY helpful. My camera came with a kit lens (that I really need to sell), and my first purchase was the 50mm f/1.4 and I LOVE it!!! It’s the ONLY lens I use right now and I actually love the prime lenses over the zoom as well. A lot of these lenses can be transferred to the Canon lenses, but I’m definitely excited and looking forward to your part 2 since I’m both on a budget and a Canon user. 🙂

  149. I have been looking around for a camera bag that I would be excited about using! Haven’t yet coughed up the cash for one yet, so this sweet give-away would be awesome!! This is so nice of you to offer this to one of your eager followers! Thank You!

  150. This giveaway is an amazing thing your doing Annie! I can’t wait to see who the winner is going to be!! Being a college photography student, I would love to have a camera bag that protects my investments & that also doubles as a purse so that I don’t have to carry several bags around campus! I’m guessing that tons of your fans entered the giveaway so my chances are going to be slim, but I guess I’ll just have to wait and see!! Thanks again for your generosity!!

  151. Love this post! I’m always wondering what lens to use with what shot. And the wristlets are adorable!!! I may have to buy one. 🙂 Thanks so much for your generosity on having a thank you giveaway. We all appreciate all you do. 😉

  152. Jane Sullivan says:

    I can’t wait for part 2 – people with canon gear! thank you so much for sharing – its a huge benefit to beginners like me – as soon as I’ve done my elements course (totally new to PSE) I will be buying your beautiful actions!

  153. I would love to win!!!

  154. What an awesome giveaway! Thank you so much for sharing your photography knowledge. Your images are so inspiring and your children are GORGE! I really enjoyed reading this post. Helps me with a few purchases I’ve been debating for myself. Go NIKON! 😉

  155. This is awesome information! Thank you!

  156. Wow you are so awesome! This entry has been super useful and to top it off with a free giveaway! I love your style as well!!

  157. Haley St Romain says:

    I loved to be the lucky one to win this bag! I’m not a professional but I photography for the love of it and the love of having all my sons special moments captured! I read your Facebook and blog/tutorials all the time for extra tips and to learn more about photography! 🙂

  158. Haley St Romain says:

    Oops I entered the wrong email! lol

  159. I don’t know if my entry is working on FB so I’m entering here as well! Thanks

  160. Kimberly Crawford says:

    I would love to be entered to win the camera bag! I love your photos and your cite as well. Reading your blogs truly help me grow as a new photographer. I really enjoyed your post about what was in your camera bag! I hope to someday have a collection like yours!

  161. I absolutely love your work! you inspire me tremendously and what I love most about the fact you share all your goodies is that My God given gift he has given you is like passing your love to the viewers! I Love the insight on that! Keep up the amazing work and thanks for sharing your love (and all that is inside your bag, too) 😉 ~ much love~~

  162. Thank you for sharing!! Very helpful 🙂 I still have a lot to learn because I am just getting started…

  163. Annie, have you managed to do the second part of what’s in your bag for people on a tight budget and people using canon? Please, would love your input on canon. Thanks

  164. I would love to be entered in the camera bag contest as my bag is big black and boring…. “just a back breaker” Your work inspires me!

  165. Beautiful photos :)))

  166. I would Love to have the opportunity to win!! I have just started out my career path to Photography as i am only 22yo. I have two little children that inspire me to take photos and create them into my own! It would be fantastic to put my camera in to something that will proect it aswell as look amazing in!!

  167. are you selling your 24-70?? 😉

  168. I have been claiming myself as a photographer for only a short time (about 2 years). Before that, I was and am doing design for products, billboards and websites. I was drawn here for the Facebook Timeline cover temps but I had to drop this line. The EYES… The most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. And judging by the natural stance(s), it is apparent that this child is loved, proud and happy. You are truly blessed. No wonder you’re a photographer.

    • Thank you so much, David … that is one of the loveliest complements I could receive. She is indeed adored, proud and full of happiness and was a huge inspiration in my journey as a photographer. 🙂

  169. you. are. fabulous.
    thank you so much for posting all this terrific information (and for giving me the little cry of “yes! i DO have the right lenses!”)
    your work is crazy above and beyond glorious and i’m going to purchase all your actions.
    thank you for existing.
    never stop shooting or sharing.
    thank you!

  170. Thank you for this fabulously informative post Annie! Just wondering if you’ve gotten around to writing part 2? I’m especially interested in lens recommendations for a cropped frame camera. Thanks!

  171. This is a fantastic blog. I’m going to make sure to read some of your other posts. It is always great to see the name of the lens and brief settings to see how the magic was created. Amazing work!

  172. I stumbled upon your gear page. I have to agree on your bodies and lenses – love my D700 and new D4, want the 85 f/1.4, love my macro 105, really never use my 24-70 . . . oh wait, boo hooo – I fell with it! Not sure what it is with that darn lens, but I’ve had two accidents with it. I’m afraid this last time it might just be done in:( I have a dance recital to cover in a few weeks and need that lens – are selling your 24-70? I’d buy a used one from a reputable photographer (that’s you!) – I am in desperate need. Let me know – thank you! Don’t worry – after the last accident I am fully covered to the hilt – therefore I’ll never have an accident again, right?!

  173. Just ordered a 35mm 1.4 to go along with my 85 1.4, I agree, these two lenses will probably be my most used lenses…

  174. Hi! I was wondering if u are still considering selling your 24-70mm? I love ur work and am continuously inspired by it! Thanks so much for all that u share!

  175. Thank you for all the DETAILS! I just now am starting to play around with taking pictures. I mean I always have loved taking pictures, but I just now upgraded past a point and shoot! (wink) Although I ended up with a Canon and not a Nikon, The explanation and differences in the lenses are so helpful. Thank you for taking the time.

  176. Annie, thank you so much for this information! This is the most helpful article about lenses for portraits I have ever read. Your gorgeous photos are a bonus. You just helped me find my next birthday gift. I can’t be without 85mm any more! 😉

  177. Such GREAT info on your equipment, thank you for taking the time to write all this out and include your BEAUTIFUL images! You are so gifted and I SO appreciate you sharing your knowledge with us! Blessings and keep doing what you do so well!
    Sue Fowler

  178. Judy Bishop says:

    Have you written the Part Two of this, the one for a budget? I’d love to see what you recommend!

  179. Rian Handoyo says:

    you’re amazing, cool gears on great hand
    love your captures very much


  180. have a lot of camera stuffs. I am jelous. I want them

  181. Annie, do you use UV filters to protect your lenses?

  182. what would you recommend for shooting large groups? extended family portrait?
    do you ever use canon too?

  183. I’m researching for a camera bag and saw your post on the Epiphanie bags. I narrowed mined down to three bags but I would like your inputs on which of the bags you have you like the most and their pros and cons. Thanks!

  184. I love all your info about your photo gear. I have been getting into photography here lately, taking vo tech classes, with getting to know your camera and photoshop. So, now I’m hooked have purchased photoshop cs-5, D700 nikon, nikon 24-70. I have found out I have a real passion for it. Just love taking pic’s of family and friends for free and learning new stuff as I go along. I have puchased lots of actions such as florabella most all of hers, but found yours by accident, and just love your actions and textures. …. My question is do you offer that with your products (post recipes and tutorials)? My next purchase will be the 85 1.4 lens thanks to all your info about it, do you have any suggestions on finding a good used one? I also have other nikon equipment that I would also like to sell (D5000) and some lenses. Do you use e bay or camera company to sell your things? Like I said I’m pretty new to this. I might add that your Pic’s are very artfully done. Thank You!

    • Thank you so much. I do have a huge resource library of tutorials and recipes. I usually post my recipe with Facebook posts as well as blog posts, and you can find all my video tutorials (there are over 50 in the library currently, with another dozen on the way this week) both under Support > Videos here and on my YouTube channel here: My newest sets in the Luminosity Collection also include a 50 page recipe and guide book with many before and after images, plus tips and tricks to use the actions. 🙂 As for finding a good used lens, I would say eBay may be your best bet – Adorama also has used gear for sale. 🙂 Thanks!

  185. Luis A Sanchez says:

    I spent about an hour looking at your website….I love it… I learned quite a few things…Thank you

  186. I really love your way of photographing, keep it up! Greetings from Poland

  187. how to buy te action photoshop? i from indonesia

    • Hello,

      You can purchase any of the sets directly from the product pages. If you want to email me (, I’d be happy to help you find the perfect collection. =)

  188. I just stumbled on your page after hours of researching reviews on different nikon lenses and I must say yours is the best- so much helpful information and beautiful pictures!! I definitely will be purchasing some of your actions very soon. I am wanting to get into photography professionally and have my eyes set on the nikon d750 but I do have a question… with all these AMAZING lenses, which ones do I choose first?! I’m wanting to spend around $1800 on lenses to get me started and plan on shooting newborns, children, and families. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again for this wonderful post!

  189. Wow! Amazing post, so helpful and clear. Your pictures are great! Congrats on your work!!

  190. Hi Annie,
    Do you typically shoot in aperture priority or manual? Thanks so much! ????

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