What’s in my Bag?


This is a big question I get asked a lot in my DM’s “What camera do you shoot with?” I have finally found the equipment that works best for me in the situations that I shoot in and the style I like to edit. Having gear that is versatile, durable – because it will need to withstand ALL elements outdoors, is so important.

However, I believe that even if you were to have the same gear as me, or you have the latest and greatest gear, or your gear is a bit older doesn’t mean you’ll get the same results or images or that you can’t still capture amazing images. Photography is art and its all about your perspectives. I may see something different than you and you may see something different than me. But by developing our eye and learning our current cameras, its weaknesses and its strengths, as well as learning about settings, we can work towards capturing stunning images that are all so unique. This will help you so much more than buying the most expensive camera on the market or every preset known to man.

Both of these images below were shot on my Nikon D500 when I was just learning about shooting in manual mode. Learning to master your camera settings will get you so much further ahead than new gear.

Both these images below were shot on my Sony Alpha 7IV.

In this blog post, I am going to go over what I keep in my bag on the road with me while I shoot all summer long.

Camera Bodies

  1. Sony Alpha 7 IV – I love this camera so much, I bought two. It provides me the capabilities to offer both photo and video while maintaining quality. They are known for their remarkable image quality, fast autofocus, and impressive low-light performance, these full-frame mirrorless cameras provide me with the versatility needed to capture stunning images in various settings. This camera also offers dual card slots which is so important to me. This ensures that a backup is being made while I am shooting.


  1. Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM – The 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is a workhorse for equine photography. Its versatile zoom range allows me to capture both intimate details and striking action shots from a distance. So whether it be on the road at a rodeo, or at the farm with your horse and rider session this is usually my go-to. The wide aperture of f/2.8 ensures excellent low-light performance, making it ideal for shooting in challenging lighting conditions.
  2. Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 (ART) – For more flexibility in composition and capturing wider scenes, the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens is a valuable addition to the equine photographer’s kit. This lens is perfect for photographing riders with their horses, as well as for capturing the overall atmosphere of equestrian events.
  3. Sony FE 50mm F1.8 GM – This is one I don’t often gravitate towards. I purchased this one more so for when I was doing some weddings before the 24-70. However, I do love this one for Headshots, and playing around with off-camera flash and studio work when I get the chance.

One that I am looking at adding to my bag this year is the Sony FE 85mm F1.8 GM or the Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM. It would be a great alternative for horse and rider sessions to allow me to shoot with a smaller lens while not sacrificing any lens distortion.


  1. RODE Wireless Go II Microphones – You all loved the mic’d up rider videos and this is the perfect tool for that job. It is small and compact, ensuring that it stays out of the way of the rider’s performance. The RODE Wireless Go II microphones provide the ability to capture clear, high-quality audio, so whether it be a mic’d up rider, or capturing audio content for a brand, these compact wireless mics are perfect for on-the-go shooting, allowing me to move freely while still ensuring excellent audio capture.
  2. Extra Batteries & Memory Cards – This one is somewhat self-explanatory. I am often spending extended periods on farms, in the field, covering rodeos or patiently waiting for the perfect moment with a Private Client. Having extra batteries and memory cards ensures that I never miss a shot due to technical limitations. My favourite memory cards are the SanDisk Extreme Pro.
  3. Lens Cleaning Kit – The outdoors can be unpredictable, dusty or rainy its important to be prepared for anything Mother Nature may throw at you. A lens cleaning kit is a must-have accessory to keep the lenses pristine, ensuring that image quality is not compromised.
  4. Camera Bag – This one is so different for each photographer. Finding one that fits your style, protects your gear and is the size you need will differ between photographers. I currently use the Lowepro Tahoe BP 150 for smaller shoots where I only need to bring minimum gear (no flashes or light gear).
  5. Flashes & External Lights – Playing with flash can offer something so different to your session and is something I love to play with from time to time. I currently have the Godox V860III for the Sony camera with the Godox X-pro Trigger. I have different bounce cards, and diffusers for the flash depending on the different situations.

Other Necessities

Now these aren’t gear related but things I think are important to have to ensure your session goes smoothly.

  1. Bug Spray & Fly Spray (for the horse) – This can be used for you or your clients. Some of those late summer night sessions can be filled with those pesky mosquitos and that does not lead for a fun time for anyone. (I am also one of those people they just can’t seem to get enough of either!)
  2. Sunscreen – So important, especially horse show days. We are out for long periods in the sun. I always ensure I am taking extra care in any skin that is exposed to the sun.
  3. Snacks & Water – This is so important to stay fuelled and hydrated. If I know I am going to have a longer session, I make sure to eat well before but I like to pack a snack for after the session. Staying hydrated is also important. A lot of our job is outside in the elements and heat. I always make sure to have lots of water on hand and encourage my clients during our session to take a break as well.
  4. Baby Wipes – You just never know when you’re going to get covered in horse slobber. These are great for small touch-ups, makeup smudges, you name it.
  5. Powerbank – Some sessions are in remote areas where having access to a plug isn’t available. The powerbank lets me charge batteries, my cellphone and small other electronics if I need it.

For my photographers reading this, leave a comment of the very first camera you picked up that got you hooked on photography!

February 19, 2024



Chelsea Findlater

Chelsea Findlater is a Western industry Photography & Videographer based in Cambridge, Ontario. From Rodeos, to Horse & Rider Portraits, or content creation, she specializes capturing those candid moments.


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