What’s In Your Camera Bag?: Photojournalist Ed Kashi

Ed Kashi

Ed Kashi

Walter Arsenio Rivera, 29, a sugarcane worker that suffers from fatal Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown origin (CKDu), poses in the cane fields of Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. Kashi is currently raising funds for his project The Island of Widows to generate education and support about this heartbreaking epidemic that affects one-in-three men in this small city.

What’s in your camera bag? Two Canon 5D Mark III camera bodies, two Canon lenses—the 16-35mm and 24-105mm, 4 CF cards ranging from 8 to 64 gb, a Canon flash and extension cord, some pens, a Moleskine book for captions and notes, a waist belt with a couple of pouches, a headlamp for nighttime work, two extra Canon camera batteries and a small Dombke bag.

What’s the most unusual item in your bag? The headlamp. There are two things I’ve learned working in the field for more than 30 years—always have backups of your important gear and always be prepared for contingencies. So one contingency is being out at night—working or not—in the field and needing to find my way in the dark. Most recently I needed the head lamp in Jordan after a day of filming young Syrian refugees in the desert into the night. I had to find my way back to our vehicle in the pitch black.

What is your “workhorse” item? The 24-105mm lens.

What’s in your bag that is specific to the type of work you shoot? The Moleskine to make basic notes for captions—who, what, where, why, etc.,  and of course to keep track of details or nuanced info to add to my captions when I download at the end of the day.

What is the one thing you would advise a photographer to carry with them at all times? Their wits, so they keep aware of their surroundings and find great images. In terms of gear, bring a camera you are comfortable using.


    Someone who doesn’t take their entire photographic equipment collection out with them on EVERY shoot!
    Ed Kashi, I salute you.

  • Carlee Keppler-Carson

    I would love to see this from a woman’s perspective, not because we carry more but because of how we carry.

  • Wes Putt

    Help me understand this. How does a woman carry her photography equipment differently than a man? I would think it’d be the same.

  • Carlee Keppler-Carson

    I realize it’s an odd question on my part, but over the years I’ve yet to see women in the field or on the street carry the same equipment as men, not necessarily what’s in the bag but the bags themselves. Static or travel bags are one thing, however we are built a little differently so items like a sling bag don’t work overly well. I’ve carried a backpack for over 20 years which works for me, but it’s not always practical and improvising makes me curious about what others like.

  • AC

    I’m a woman, and I carry a cross body gear bag with gear in it.

  • Carlee Keppler-Carson

    (I have yet to find anything better than my old Billingham or Tech packs)

  • This is what I call bathos, below the photograph of Walter Arsenio Rivera is the byline that tells us of his and others fatal condition. And running on from this – ‘what’s in your camera bag.’ Rather reminds me of club type photography magazines.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get some visual inspiration into your day!