TIS’ THE SEASON! Holiday shopping can be daunting sometimes simply due to the fact that there are either an overwhelming selection of options to buy for someone OR it can be really difficult to figure out what to gift someone. I get it! And I understand.

I get DM’s on Instagram quite often asking a plethora of questions pertaining to gear, the editing process, and shoots. With the holidays HERE (yeah, when did that happen?!), I decided to put together a blog post showing you what I keep with me or on me at all times on a shoot day! I literally couldn’t survive without these options and feel so secure knowing that I have them within reach. Keeping followers and people buying for creatives in mind this season, here are some items I really think everyone should have!

Ashley Burns Photography Los Angeles Wedding and Branding Photographer

I am OBSESSED with my brown leather backpack I take with me on shoots and on the day of the wedding. At face value it’s a little misleading because it looks pretty tiny and doesn’t look like it can store a lot of gear. REST ASSURED I was pleasantly surprised that it can carry way more than any other camera bag/backpack I own. Kamrette backpacks and leather goods were truly made keeping a photographer’s needs in mind. The reason I went with this backpack is because its not only functional, but completely gorgeous! There aren’t many backpacks out there that are BOTH aesthetically pleasing AND store gear properly, so investing in this was a no brainer. The Lyra backpack is $189 and comes in three colors. And if I’m being honest, I really want to buy all three. Ha!

Ashley Burns Photography Photography Gear

A breakdown of what’s in my backpack right now:

Canon 5D Mark IV - I am obsessed with this camera, how it captures in low light, and the touch screen capability. GAME CHANGER and so much more advanced than the Mark III. I still use my Mark III as my secondary camera and love it, but the Mark IV is completely elevated.

Canon 50mm 1.2 Lens - This is my universal go-to lens every single day for literally ANY and ALL shooting. I cannot live without this lens and is hands down of the best investments I’ve ever made. There is a reason they call it the “nifty fifty.”

Canon 85mm 1.2 Lens - I am obsessed with the bokeh of this lens! ITS SO GOOD AND CLEAN. I bought this lens in place of the 70-200mm because it can get in pretty tight for ceremony and is great for portraits and movement, like the first dance. This lens also works great in low light situations!

Canon 100mm MACRO 2.8 Lens - This is my go-to lens for anything details or tight product shooting. I use this one at every wedding to shoot rings, jewelry, and sometimes also during the ceremony.

Sigma 35mm ART Lens - I really do prefer this guy over the Canon. It’s SO sharp, and again, works so wonderfully in low light. I use this lens for virtually anything requiring me to shoot more wide (like family shots or capturing more of an environment) or if I’m in a smaller space! It really is ideal to have in your bag.

Canon 24-105mm 2.8 Lens - This lens is the widest zoom lens I have in my bag and works well with large family photos during a wedding or to get an epic environment or scene shot. I actually prefer this over the beloved 24-70 just simply due to the fact that it provides more of what I need in both a wide shot and zoom - however, I rarely use the zoom.

Waterproof CF/SD Card Case - If you or the person you’re shopping for is like me, you like to prepare for any unexpected situations that may occur. I feel secure knowing all of my CF and SD cards in the case above don’t risk being misplaced or getting water or any other liquid on them. Having them together and not loose completely rids the risk of anything happening to them.

Extra Batteries and Chargers - Its essential to have extra batteries and chargers on hand, especially on the day of a wedding! I go through 3 batteries easily during the day of a wedding, but even more so just being prepared for when batteries get low and can easily replace it with another. It may seem like common sense, ok it is, but it’s just always a vital survival item in my bag.

Custom USB’s - A branding photographer gals dream! I love keeping custom USB’s in my backpack as well. I am obsessed with what USB Memory Direct made for me. How amazing is that wood? And it top USB cover is magnetic, so I never have to risk it separating from one another. More on these bad boys below and why I think they are so important to own in general!

Camera Handstrap - OH MY GOSH, BEST $11 AMAZON PURCHASE EVER! No, seriously. I get so many comments on how absolutely genius this hand strap is. It clasps together so I never risk losing grip or dropping my camera. THIS was one of my best purchases for sure. If you’re clumsy like me, go buy this and thank me later! It’s made by Movo.

Apple Watch - My boyfriend Brian bought me an Apple Watch for my birthday, but prior to I had always been curious about it. I always used a FitBit, but wasn't necessarily sure if the purchase of an Apple Watch was worth it or if I’d actually utilize all of its capabilities. Boy, was I wrong! YOU GUYS, I don’t know how I’ve lived without my Apple Watch. Its been such a game changer, especially on the day of a wedding. It also has a walkie-talkie app that is so fun to use, too! You can track all of the notifications that go to your phone, while also being able to track your physical activity. I even answer my phone calls on this bad boy, too! Ha! It’s so great.

Ashley Burns Photography Los Angeles Wedding and Branding Photographer

An incredible gift option are these custom USB’s I mentioned above that I keep in my backpack. Since the relaunch of my rebrand, I’ve really been mindful of making sure I’m adding personal touches to things that truly make my brand what it is. I love having these custom magnetic wood USB’s by USB Memory Direct for personal and client use. Taking pride in your brand is something I find so important! Something so small such as a USB and making it personal is what makes these custom USB’s greater to share with everyone. For me, I know I would love opening something with my logo and that’s why I’m obsessed with the ideas of these! Definitely check out their website to view all options that are on-brand for your business: These in particular were clean, pretty, and modern, and thats why I decided to go with them!

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and I hope this post gave you some ideas at all price points on what to give your creative loved ones!

Talk soon and Happy Holidays,


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