First off its great to be contributing to SIP again and I’d like to thank Shelly for making that happen. A huge thank you to the community for the warm reception I got to the “Why?” post I had contributed to couple of months back.

This time I’d like to share exactly what goes in my camera bag as well as my basic home studio setup.

For me choice is the hardest thing to cope with. It’s extremely difficult for me to choose what glass (lens) I’d like to carry around with me because I can never manage to say that I will only be shooting Macro or Landscape or Portrait on a given day. So I practically lug around my entire kit wherever I go.

To be honest, looking at other photographer’s bags sometimes brings out the most severe case of self-doubt and the question “Am I doing it wrong?” inevitably comes up. But as I’ve matured (at least I’d like to think so) as a photographer, I’ve come to realize that my way of thinking, and for that matter any photographer’s style and way of thinking, is very different from the next.

When I’m not practicing Toy Photography I’m an avid Landscape photographer and I absolutely love a picturesque shot of nature’s beauty.


The bag I use is a Lowepro Pro Runner 200 AW DSLR Backpack. The bag is an absolute dream and even comes with a water proof pull over sheet to keep rain water off. The camera I use is the Canon 600D (Rebel T3i) DSLR and has been my ‘go to’ camera for the past four years. While the camera is an APS-C sensor based model, I find that it has kept up extremely well against the test of time.

As for the glass, I have gathered up a fairly decent range to choose from. When it comes to Toy Photography I use a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 VC lens which is what 90% of my photographs have been taken with.

The rest of my kit it includes the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (Kit Lens) and the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM, which is my go to lens for landscape photography.


My bag always has four memory cards: 2 – 16GB cards and 1 – 8GB and a reserve 2 – GB card. I know I should probably just get one large memory card, but I’m paranoid about trusting one card with all of my images. The next most important thing to have for me personally is  an extra Battery and a lens cleaning kit in case I decide to get the camera out there in the elements. All my lens’ have a UV filter which is of paramount importance to keep the main lens elements safe and sound from any kind of scratches and from bumps and scrapes while outdoors. As for the figures I carry, I always have a mix of Lego and six inch figures. The Lego mini figures I always have are four Stormtroopers, C-3PO, R2-D2, Luke, Han, Chewie and Leia. I also make it a point to have at least one male and one female generic Lego mini figure with a bunch of faces with different expressions. As for the six inch figures I always have my Ashigaru Sandtrooper and/or the Ashigaru Stormtrooper and Ronin Boba Fett from the incredible Tamashii Nations Movie Realization Star Wars series.


In case you plan on shooting through the day you should definitely have a bunch of Gradient, Polaroid and ND Filters for at least one lens in your kit. For me it’s the 10-18 which has these extra lens elements to modify the amount of light I get across the sensor.

While at home I’d either shoot in my home studio or near and around the area of my residence. My home studio is made up of a light table, an Elinchrom D-Lite RX One setup with 2 flashes along with 2 Portalite soft boxes and one 5 way reflector. It’s the best toy photography set up that you could get and it isn’t even that pricey and super reliable.

That’s about it for What’s in My Bag and Studio, should you guys have any question feel free to ask!

Thank you once again Shelly for this opportunity and a big thank you to my parents who’ve helped me to assemble the epic kit that I spoke about above.

Shahzad Bhiwandiwala (@sbphotographs1)

We all have our personal must-have items in our photo bags. What are yours?