What's In Your Film Camera Bag, Davy Whitener?

Curious about what professional film photographers keep in their camera bags? In our new blog series, we're asking the pros to unpack all the gear that makes their film photography "click".

Check out what's inside Davy Whitener's bag, from his five go-to cameras to his camera strap that pulls double duty to his body-saving essentials!


MY CAMERAS

I carry two Mamiya 645s, a Canon EOS 1N (35mm), a Yashica MAT 124G, and a Canon 5D Mark III. For the Mamiyas, I load one with color and one with black & white film.

I shoot Mamiyas because the man that taught and trained me when I was 12 years old always shot a Mamiya RB67. So, I knew it was a good camera company with good glass. I mostly use the auto-focus, which is 99% reliable and tack sharp. At receptions, I set up two LED lights and shoot 3200 (120) black & white film out of the Mamiya. These photographs are always some of my favorites for first dances, cake cutting, etc.

I like my Yashica for square-format black & white photographs. This gives a nice old, nostalgic feel that I love.

I use the Canon EOS strictly for black & white reception photographs. I really love the black & white reception photographs that the Canon produces. I use a Vivtar 285 flash on it because it's really consistent. I do carry the Canon 5D Mark III in dark spaces, as well, to mix in some ambient color with my black & white film. I feel like that's a good balance for my clients.

FILM

My color film is primarily Kodak Portra 400 (and 800 in lower light). I love the warm skin tones from Portra film. The black & white film stocks I use are Ilford Delta 3200, Kodak 400TX, and Ilford HP Plus 400 (35mm). I know those are all different brands, but it’s what I’ve shot, gotten used to, and like.

MY OTHER GEAR

I meter with a Sekonic L358 light meter. This is a great meter and keeps my work super consistent. I carry a graphite Manfrotto tripod for dragging exposures in low light.

With camera straps, I have a HoldFast Money Maker camera strap. I use it when shooting in quick circumstances or receptions, because I’ll wear two cameras at one time. These straps are perfect for that!

Speaking of my assistant, we carry a wonderful leather bag made by Buffalo Jackson. It’s a perfect size to hold film, a light meter, Sharpies, batteries, etc... I really love that bag. In addition, I have a Lowepro suitcase and Lowepro backpack to get the bulk of our equipment around when we aren't shooting.

I do keep a few other items on hand at a wedding. I bring extra contacts with contact solution and my glasses (just in case). I always recommend that photographers also invest in nice shoes or custom insoles as part of their "gear". I feel like when we are old, our knees and backs will thank us! I also pack pain medicine, bandaids, a red Sharpie to number my film, a battery-operated handheld fan (for brides or whomever on hot wedding days), and extra batteries for every piece of equipment I have.

WIN A HOLDFAST MONEY MAKER CAMERA STRAP

Enter the giveaway on Richard's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/richardphotolab/