Inside the camera bag of photographer Courtney Keim

My photography gear with Courtney Keim

what does Canon photographer Courtney Keim have in her Epiphanie camera bag

I hate to say I have a camera bag addiction. Right now, my bag of choice is my Epiphanie Lyric but I have carried faithfully in the past my Ketti Handbag, Kelly Moore Bag + a Crumpler bag.

1. Canon 5d MK II – I think I take my camera everywhere. Seriously. It’s in my Lyric + I use my Lyric everyday as a camera bag/purse.

2. Canon 35 1.4L – Sara Seeton convinced me to get this lens when I needed an indoor lens for the wintertime here in New Jersey. With such cold winters, we never venture outside for photos so this lens has not left my camera since it’s perfect for tight spaces and grabbing snapshots of my kids.

3. Canon 85 1.2LΒ – My absolute favorite summer lens for the dreamy bokeh + amazingly vibrant images. I use this exclusively since purchasing it this past summer for smaller family portraits on the beach.

4. Canon 100 Macro – This lens seldom is brought to sessions except for newborns + weddings. I use it exclusively for macro shots but I feel like it’s a must have alternative lens … I debated getting the L-version but since it’s seldom used, I could not justify the price.

5. Canon 24-70 2.8L – This was my faithful lens since I upgraded to the MKII + went to L-lenses. But once I discovered the color + clarity of prime lenses and the versatility of my 70-200, it all but was forgotten.

6. Canon 70-200 2.8L IS USM – For months, I hated the bulk + weight of this lens but I was forced to use it at a wedding and fell in love. Since then, I use it for large families + weddings and cannot believe I didn’t give it more of a chance. I still get tack sharp images + the color rivals my primes.

7. Canon 5d + 50 1.4 – This is my backup camera + everyday beach lens. I use this as my backup camera for weddings + when I forget to charge my MKII’s battery and need an immediate camera. The lens is just something I rarely use but cannot bring myself to sell it. I think the 50 1.2L might be next on my list.

8. Battery Charger

9. Canon Speedlite 580EX II – When I began to take on weddings, I upgraded my Canon 430EX II to this + gained so much. It has even helped me in situations on location when I needed it. I have kept both but only pack the 430 in my backup-backup bag for weddings.

10. SanDisk 16GB Extreme Compact Flash Memory Card – I go back + forth between these and the 8GB cards. I know you stand to lose more with the 16GB should it fail but the convenience of less cards, makes my life easier.

11. Batteries – A must have for my flashes since you never know if + when they wil die.
12. Squeaky Noisy Toy – I usually grab the most obnoxious noisy toy that my kids have as I run out the door to a session.

13. Lotion – Don’t ask my why but I always carry a container of this in my bag. I use it for everything from a lip gloss to a lotion for dry skin.

14. Hand Sanatizer – A must have when working with babies or in locations where I’m grabbing railings, etc. Ever since the birth of my twins, I’ve become a sort of germaphobe.

15. Boogie Wipes – Easy to keep + perfect for sensitive skin, boogies are my #1 pet peeve so I always carry these + will give some to a mom to help her kiddo blow his nose!

16. Tic Tacs (or other mints) – I never want stinky breath while talking to a client + since I do not chew gum often, these never leave my bag!

17. Fruit Snacks – The perfect bribe tool. What kid doesn’t love fruit snacks? I stay away from anything that can leave a stain on clothes or their teeth!

18. Business Cards – You never know when you will need to hand one out. I have two sets of super simple cards – one has portraits + the other has weddings.

19. Mini Moo Cards – Love passing these every chance I get. Whether it be a mommy group meeting, a person I meet at the bank or a photography convention or tradeshow. It’s easy to carry + the cost is minimal to print!

office area of photographer Courtney Keim

This is my little niche in my super old house (think 1920). It’s always a work in progress as we try to mesh my husbands love of antiques with my love of all things modern. We purchased a house where the woman left the majority of her antique furniture behind + we’ve been slowly updating many of the rooms.

I love:

  1. my (work in progress) canvas wall
  2. my huge TV my husband got me
  3. my large windows that always get light
  4. my super comfy west elm couch we got on sale at the philly store for about $200
  5. my black + white checkered old school floor

I hate:

  1. my office hand-me-down chair (I’ve been eyeing up a furry PBteen one)
  2. my antique desk that is too high to comfortably type
  3. the radiator so close to my workspace – I turned it all but down so the heat won’t affect my computer area + freeze as a result
  4. the proximity to my daughter’s room who has been known to shout at me through the wall when she should be in bed + knows I’m in there working

5 things you may not know about photographer Courtney Keim

About the Author:

Courtney captures her every day with a Canon 5d mark II and varying lenses in a classic yet modern style. Residing in Atlantic City with her surfer husband, princess-clad daughter, and firetruck chasing twin boys, Courtney is a β€œself-proclaimed science geek” spending her days as a Chemistry and Physics teacher and her off time as a photographer.


  1. Desiree Mar 15 2012 at 7:31 am - Reply

    Hi Courtney! So great to learn about you- we have a lot of similarities πŸ™‚ I'm thrilled to be taking your wordpress clinic class in late April. Looking forward to it!

  2. Leah Cook Mar 15 2012 at 7:46 am - Reply

    well….I just thought I knew you =) LOVE it!! so fun to see your office and family shots. such a fun post, real-friend-Courtney!!

  3. Julia Mar 15 2012 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Courtney is such a fantastic photographer – so happy to see her featured here!

  4. Melissa Koehler Mar 15 2012 at 7:50 am - Reply

    As if I couldn't love you anymore πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing more of you and what you love to do.

    I love Disney but haven't been nearly as many time as you have πŸ™‚

    I would love to travel more and really like that you go on 2 vacations a year πŸ™‚


  5. Jeannette Mar 15 2012 at 7:53 am - Reply

    SO cool! I want to be you when I grow up!

  6. Amii Mar 15 2012 at 8:41 am - Reply

    Oh my gosh, LOVED getting to know you better, Courtney! Love the pictures when you were a kid too!!!

  7. Sarah Wilkerson Mar 15 2012 at 9:55 am - Reply

    I looooove this! It's so good getting to know you better, Courtney! You are amazing!

  8. anne Mar 15 2012 at 10:33 am - Reply

    So cool , getting to know you ! Love your couch…

  9. Jodi Mar 15 2012 at 10:35 am - Reply

    Oh how fun! Courtney, I loved looking into your space and learning more about you! And you made me insanely jealous that you've always lived close to the beach!!!

  10. Lisa Mar 15 2012 at 10:35 am - Reply

    Loved reading more about you Courtney. Although, a lot of this I knew about you from out time in the Newark Airport. LOL. xo

  11. Dona Mar 15 2012 at 11:26 am - Reply

    Totally awesome! THANKS for sharing…luv to see what others have in there bags and all there fun camera gear.. Im a CANNON girl as well:))

  12. Michelle C. Mar 15 2012 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Great insight into your life Courtney! I am sooo jealous of your travels… Hopefully, my family can do that too. Who doesn't love Disney?! You rock, Court!

  13. Lindsay Mar 15 2012 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    You totally rock! πŸ˜‰

  14. Mara Vaughan Mar 15 2012 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    I love this post – esp the lens recommendations, and the pictures at the end! Thanks for sharing YOU with us!

  15. Vikki Mar 16 2012 at 7:25 am - Reply

    Courtney, I had so much fun reading about you. What a nice peek into your life! Can't wait to take the WordPress workshop next month. I bought a Bamboo tablet thinking it would help with editing images, but I hated it and put it away an hour after I got it. I have to figure out how to use it properly.

  16. megan moore Mar 16 2012 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing all of this Courtney, it was fun reading more about you! I may have to hit you up for Disney advice, we're going next month. πŸ™‚ And now I'm wondering if I "need" a Lyric bag, haha. Great post!

  17. Kendra Mar 18 2012 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness! I can't believe how much of this I didn't know! You are amazing, Courtney! Thank you so much for sharing. xoxo

  18. jessica Mar 19 2012 at 9:01 am - Reply

    Fun peek into your world πŸ™‚

  19. Ruthanne Mar 19 2012 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    Loved everything about this post…from the layout to the info! Can I ask for Disney tips when we finally bring our family? πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  20. kayla Mar 19 2012 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    So jealous of your travels; That is awesome!

  21. Krista Campbell Mar 19 2012 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your talents and your insight! Love your work!

  22. Shawna Mar 20 2012 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I LOVE this post! sooo cool!

  23. Lisa Benemelis Mar 20 2012 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    I LOVED this Courtney. I'm a huge fan of your work so it was wonderful getting to know you better. I have twin boys too. πŸ™‚

  24. Kristen Russo Mar 20 2012 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Loved learning a little more about you!

  25. Amy Mar 21 2012 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    AH I love these "peeks" inside the Pro's bags!!! Love all the prime lenses, I'm thinking more and more that I should go this way, as I LOVE my 50 and it rarely leaves my camera

  26. heidi Apr 01 2012 at 9:38 am - Reply

    I loved this…aw….my kids go to Catholic school too! πŸ™‚ I have enjoyed following your work-I especially loved your preemie posts…I was pregnant at the time I read it, had no idea I myself would have a preemie too, so your insights really stuck with me and touched me! πŸ™‚

  27. Claribel Logiudice Oct 15 2012 at 11:51 pm - Reply

    I needed to thank you for this good read!! I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff you post…

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