As a Freelance Photographer in London for the past 3 years, I have been through my fair share of equipment and tested out quite a bit of kit from rentals. I have put together below, a post of all my current and favourite equipment that I have been using and recommend!

Let’s start off with the Cameras!

Canon 5D mk IV – my prime camera that I use pretty much every day. I’ve actually had this camera for almost 3 years now and absolutely swear by it. I will be investing in an upgrade but it’s going to be hard to find a camera that I’m happier with than this one.

Leica D-Lux – An amazing compact camera that I use for flatlays and holiday vacations if I don’t want to take my Canon 5D.

Fujifilm Instax 300 Wide Camera – I use this camera for my ‘memory’ camera. I take this to any travel trips I go on for shoots or with friends as it’s the perfect way to take a ‘one-hit’ documentation of the day/trip. I then put these up on my wall for the year and take them down at the end of every year to place in a scrapbook. You can buy the film off amazon in bulk for a discounted rate or sometimes they have good deals for film at the airport!

Hasselblad 500cm – My absolute baby. I was so lucky to be given this as a gift on my 21st birthday. It’s a medium format film camera and it’s my absolute pride and joy. Hasselblad don’t make these cameras anymore so you can only purchase them second hand. They have digital versions which are recently made but, in my opinion, you can’t beat the older film versions. I use this for passion projects and creative vision shoots.

Nikkormat Film Camera – Another amazing film camera that I use. This one is a 35mm and the quality is unreal. It’s actually my dad’s old camera – it was passed onto me when I was 17 and I will pass it onto my future children.

My GoPro Hero 6 is my adventure and travel camera. I take this on any travel trips I do. It’s the perfect camera to capture anything water related or those fast moving fun shots outside a campervan window!

This is the drone I currently use and have had (somehow I haven’t lost it yet!) for the past 2 years. It’s the DJI Mavic Pro. I haven’t owned or used another drone so I can’t really compare it to others on the market, but I am always so impressed with its quality, performance and durability.

(I crashed it into a cliff in the Philippines last year and it survived!)

Now for the Lenses

Canon 24-70mm 2.8 – this lens I use for most of my shoots, it’s versatile and really allows me to be super creative with angles and model positioning.

Canon 50mm 1.2 – an amazing portrait lens. I use this for shoots where I require detail of products, close up branded shoots and portrait shoots.

And for flash…

Profoto A1 – The best flash I’ve used. I’ve been through a fair amount of flashes. Many that lag, many where the batteries don’t last a full shoot and many that are just not reliable. I’m super impressed with the Profoto A1 and will continue using it on all my shoots where a flash is required.

For the accessories and items I use for storage…

SD Card holder

I use this to store all of my SD cards, it’s waterproof and drop proof, I use this everyday and it has never let me down! It’s also great when it comes to travelling as you know they’ll be kept safe and it’s not a heavy weighted item to add to your bag.

The SD Cards that I use

These are the SD cards I use, super reliable, fast and great in terms of storage size. An item that many Photographers, including myself, hate to buy but would love to receive!

Canpis Leather Camera Strap

I use to always use the camera strap that my Canon Camera came with until my brother bought me a beautiful Faux Leather one, then I was welcomed to the world of comfort! Seriously, the straps that usually come with your camera are tough, hard and with zero padding! I couldn’t find the one my brother purchased but this is pretty similar at a fraction of the price! The main thing to look for material – what is it made of? Comfort – is it padded around the neck? Length – is it the length you or the person you’re buying for desires? Attachment – are the attachments going to scratch your camera? The one thing about the strap my brother bought me is that it attached to the camera using metal rings, which over time did actually really mark my camera – not good if you/ the person you’re buying for is looking to sell their camera after a while!

Another option for a Camera strap here…

Zeiss Cleaning Wipes

An absolute essential. I use these everyday before and after any shoot – super useful and small to pop in any bag and travel with. They are also really great for cleaning laptop screens and other pieces of technology!

Reflector – Small and Large

Small option:

Reflectors are another great purchase for Photographers, or for yourself if you are looking for one! I have both a smaller one for travelling and for when I shoot portraits and a larger one for branded and full body length shots. This smaller option is great as a little purchase and the below is a great larger option!

Larger option:

Hard Drive – WD 1TB & 2TB


External Hard drives are what every Photographer uses to store, edit and manage their content so if you’re looking to purchase something a little more expensive as a pressie, these ones are great! This is the 1TB sized one and below is the 2TB. Both of which I use and never have any problems with! They also fit perfectly in the Hard Drive cases linked above.


My Hard Drive Travel Cases I use

One Hard Drive case:

This is a great hard drive case if you/ the person you’re buying for carries around a Hard Drive. You should always have some sort of protection around your Hard Drive as they are so easily knocked whilst moving around and taking them in and out of your bag. I use this one for when I am carrying one hard drive.

Double Hard Drive case (fits Two)

This is a new item I recently found when prepping for my Australia trip for 3 months. I would usually take 2 hard drives when travelling for more than 1 month as I know I’ll be needing the storage! It’s also a great way to distribute your content so that not all work is on one Hard Drive. This case is a great option as it also have little storage compartments for other wires etc.

Travel Cable and Electronic Organiser Case

Another recent purchase I made was this organiser case – I love good storage for all my electronics, plugs and chargers when travelling. I always keep my batteries, cameras, lenses, drone and flash in my hand luggage but for items such as travel adapters, cables, chargers etc this is a great option for neatly storing your items in your main luggage. It’s also a great case for storing at home so you know where everything is!

Laptop Case – WOUF

This is the laptop case I have but the 15-inch version. It’s super padded and great for travelling, it’s also Photogenic which is a bonus when it comes to getting those flat lay shots 😉 

Cable Velcro Ties

Another super useful item are thee velcro ties – I use this to neatly store my cables both travelling and whilst at home. 

Lens Travel Case

A great present for any Photographer are these travel lens cases! You can get so many different varieties but the most important aspect is that they are padded and will protect your lens from any knocks. Another thing to check before purchasing is the size of the lens you’re buying for as there are also so many options. 

Camera Travel Case

A super great gift for any Photographers that travel a fair amount and want to protect their camera from knocks and bumps! One main thing to check before purchasing is the size! These again, come in so many shapes and sizes so make sure you know the make and size of the camera you’re purchasing for and whether the size shown is including a lens attached or just the camera.

Dymo Labeller – perfect for labelling all harddrives

This is a recent purchase and I am OBSESSED. It’s so easy to use and it’s a perfect piece of equipment for labelling Hard Drives and anything for that matter! I recently went through and labelled every single one of my hard drives – it took me almost two days but I actually managed to get 3 Hard Drives cleared and now have those free for my next shoots!

Lydia Collins

Author Lydia Collins

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