Yep, there I am. Thinking I'm cool, taking a birth selfie. In this image, I am actually standing in a Denver hospital room, of one of my longest births (I didn't know that nifty little fact when I took this image) It was so exhausting, but sooo worth it. It was an incredible birth of first time parents to a sweet little girl. She was born via cesarean after many days of labor, and 4 hours of pushing, but you can read all about that amazing birth here.
A little while ago, I posted an article asking how I may be able to help you all get started in the birth world. I thought that I would open it up today by answering a popular questions people ask me of what I use and take with me to a birth.
I am holding in my hands, a Nikon D800 with a Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art attached. On top of this beast of a camera is a Nikon SB 700 speedlight. I am also holding a glass prism, because well....I was trying to get a cool prism shot, but I didn't because I am still trying to figure it out. But as you can see, I am just a body with a camera where my head should be. This set up is big, and it's heavy. It may not look that way, but after hours of reps bringing this thing up to your face, squatting, standing, tippy toe-ing...it gets pretty heavy.
I like it that way. I love the build quality of this set up. Everything is solid, and made to last, which is why I made the investment into it (*cough* it was not cheap). These are my main tools, this is how I capture and create the images and videos that you see on my website here. I do have lots of other little things that I have invested in, things that I bring to births, and things that I use along side of this. These things I have built up over the past 2 years, and didn't just go out and buy. I started with cheaper used gear; a Nikon D300, and a kit lens and an older 50mm.
I never go to a birth without a back up camera. You just never know if your main camera is going to poop out on you, you drop it, someone knock it out of your hand, or a million other horrific scenarios that could happen to your baby...I mean..gear. If something does happen, and I didn't have a back up camera, what would I do? Someone has paid me to be there and to capture this once in a lifetime memory for them, I cannot miss it if I can absolutely help it. So for those reasons I carry one of my older cameras as a back up. A little insurance policy, if you will. A nikon D7000 and an older Sigma 85mm 1.4 stay in my bag for that just in case moment. Sometimes however, I will pull them out for a few up close shots, if I am not wanting to get to close or I simply can't. The 85mm offers a new angle and crop that I don't normally get.
Main Gear: (links embedded for you to check into these each individually on your own)
Nikon D800, Sigma Art 1.4 35mm as my main set up for images and video.
Nikon D7000, & Sigma 1.4 85mm as back up.
Nikon SB 700, Amazon brand rechargeable batteries for it.
Macbook Pro, 13" with retina display for editing. Equipped with Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and Premiere Pro.
Other useful things in my bag:
Rode Mic of better audio quality.
A glass prism, for maybe getting some artistic shots with, but have failed to do so yet.
A collapsable step stool. I love this one, it's super light and easy to carry and it's taller than what I could find in stores.
This awesome Sirui monopod.
Headphones, extra camera batteries, business cards, cash for parking or food, deodorant, gum, a phone charger, laptop charger, external hard drive and a wireless mouse for editing on the go.
Also I think I neglected to mention my bag itself, which is from ONA. I love it, it's my favorite thing I own besides my camera. It holds all of the above and then some. It's a backpack, and really it's worthy of a whole post/review itself. You can check it out here.
So there is it, pretty much everything I bring to a birth for the most part, aside from food, water, and feminine products. I'd love to hear your thoughts or answer questions from you in the comments below!