Inside My Camera Bag | Jenny Burrows

Hi, I’m Jenny. I’m a photographer, mum of twins and outdoor adventurer in West London.

In my relaxed photography sessions, I create vibrant lifestyle family photos for lively families who love the outdoors.

I started my family photography business in 2012 after turning my camera on my new twin babies and realising what a great subject children were and just how many pictures I could take of children!

In my spare time, I photograph everything: bugs, cycling, underground caves, underwater dives, reflections, flowers and skies, and again, the twins!

So I have a range of camera kits for different locations—compact cameras, GoPros, underwater cases, Micro Four Thirds cameras, and iPhones all have their place!

When out on a professional family shoot, I take the essentials; I need a good balance between the best kit for artistic photography and the ability to be agile and quickly capture real moments with lively families.

Here is what usually makes it into my family photography camera kit bag.

I got a Nikon Camera when my dad treated me to my first SLR and a 300mm lens for my birthday towards the end of the last century! We went to the second-hand camera shop and chose the Nikon F60.

After a selection of compact cameras, this was a huge step up, and I shot lots of rolls of film on my first exotic safari holiday.

I’ve been a Nikon user ever since, with at least seven different Nikon SLRs. I went back to basics with a Nikon EM while studying darkroom printing and joined the digital revolution with the Nikon D100, the first affordable Nikon DSLR.

I now shoot with a mirrorless Nikon ZS, and I can still use the same lenses I used on the Nikon EM. I have an extensive range of old lenses and gadgets from over the years.

So, the current and backup cameras are the Nikon Z6 Mark II and the Nikon Z6.

They are similar enough that I don’t have to think when I switch between them, as I tend to shoot on both with different lenses. These usually hang on black rapid cross-body straps, so I can have one on each hip when I don’t mind looking like a paparazzi!

I love using the adjustable angle screen to shoot, so the change to mirrorless means I no longer need to lie on the floor or climb on the furniture to get creative viewpoints for my shots or for being eye height to a toddler.

I love a fast prime lens for creamy backgrounds and a good dose of low depth of field mystery, but for the practicality of working with fast-moving children, I usually have a zoom lens on one of my camera bodies.

Having invested in two mirrorless bodies, I’m in no hurry to replace all my lenses, and I use mainly F-mount lenses with the Nikon FTZ Lens Adapter.

I bought my first Z mount lens to update my standard zoom, which is very useful. The Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S is a superb workhorse lens for indoor family photoshoots, going from a full room view at 24mm to a portrait lens setting at 70mm.

This will usually stay on one camera in an indoor photoshoot, with a faster prime on the other camera for quieter moments.

The Nikon 70-200mm f/4 is a long zoom, great for chasing children in the outdoors. I chose the smaller and lighter f/4 version to carry this round on an active family photoshoot easily. At 200mm, even f/4 gives a great bokeh and creamy background, and the zoom means I don’t have to run as fast as a three-year-old to keep one in the frame!

The ‘nifty fifty’ Nikon 50mm f/1.4 is an old favourite. It’s fantastic for working with low depth of field. It’s great for portraits of children inside a small dark room and equally at home in the woods.

The Sigma 20mm f/1.4 is a dramatically wide lens, great for capturing all the atmosphere in a room or when I run out of space!

Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Macro makes it into my bag for newborn shoots for their tiny little details, closeups of little eyelashes and fingernails.

This bubble camera is very popular for a relaxing break and some beautiful bubble moments in outdoor photo shoots. The best thing about it is that it is totally spill-proof—not one child has yet managed to pour all the bubble mixture away or stain their clothes with it!

I’ve even used it inside nursery schools without any mess. Depending on the children’s age, I often carry stickers and squeaky toys.

I use natural light on family shoots and only own a flash kit for occasional mobile studio setups such as nursery school photos. However, some days have been so dark this winter that I’ve been shooting in homes at midday, and it’s been like dusk, so I’ve started packing a speed light or two!

I use the Nikon SB-600 and use it off-camera with my Pocket Wizard Trigger. I bounce it off the ceiling or walls to allow plenty of wiggle room for the small and wiggly family members. I didn’t want to miss the magic moment because I had to stop to adjust the lighting angle.

My camera bag for active outdoor shoots is a Vanguard VEO Select 49 Rucksack, which is great for carrying a camera kit on the go and has lots of pockets for spares.

I can chase kids and take action shots with it firmly strapped on my back, walk long distances without backache, and easily access my kit via loads of different access zips.

All the pockets of my camera bag are stuffed with spares, such as batteries, spare storage cards, lens cleaning pens, sticky tape, tissues, face masks, notebooks, stickers, business cards, and a rain cover; anything I might ever want is there!

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