What's in my Gear Bag


What's in my Gear Bag

This is my first time doing this. I've always carried a gear bag, and over the years the gear inside has changed quite a bit. This is what is in there as of the moment. The bag itself is a US-GEAR bag, that I got at Central Camera Company. It's one of my favorites to use and I carry this bag, because it's just enough space to carry what I need without overloading on weight. If you're ever in Chicago, look this place up, it's phenomenal, and just a wonderful resource to have.


The List

1. Guess Wallet: Made of genuine leather. It's slightly packed, but trust me it's not full of bunch of money. It's actually full of business contact cards. Which (if you read below) is a good thing to have on your person.

2. Gel Ink Pen: It's nothing fancy. I actually got used to just simple pens, back in my more photojournalism days. Just enough to quickly jot down names, details and whatever else I need for captions, or photo releases.

3. Notebook: Made with genuine leather(I'm sure you're noticing a pattern,) and with Mohawk Superfine paper, it fit's right in one of the corners of my bag. It's filled with client's names, caption ideas, general notes, and details. It's just about filled as of the moment. I was taught in school that you should always carry one. Professor Tim Broekema drilled this into my head.

4. Facoln Tactical Flashlight: For when it gets dark, or I just want to paint with light. It's actually pretty bright. I don't usually advertise things, but man it really does work. It's so bright, and to be honest it's just nice to have on to make me feel safer on Chicago streets.

5. Canon Camera Batteries: You never know when the camera is going to die, especially when you're shooting a wedding. I carry plenty of backups. As a professional note, whether you are doing a wedding, or just a simple portrait job, keep backups.


6. Yashica 44: This is a wonderful TRL camera. I don't carry it around a lot as the film for it is a little more rare, but I love using it when it comes to street photography. When it comes to street photography I tend to use film. This get's switched out with my Pentax MX, Olympus XA or Yashica Electro. Just something either quiet,  and/or light on your person as a backup. Equipment will break, so always plan for it.

7. Daniel Wellington Watch: Made with brown genuine leather band, and a simple white face. I like simple watches what can I say. It's just a simple battery powered. I understand having smart watches, but just the fact of having to charge them all the time has turned me off from wearing one most of the time.

8. Sigma 50mm 1.4 Macro with Lens Hood: I use this when I do portraits. The color, and detail on this is just wonderful. Sigma is a great company, and I love it more than my Canon Lenses. If I have a session with a client this is usually attached. Really recommend. Sigma never gets a great rap, when it comes to things, but to be honest they are a wonderful brand, and usually a better cost effective option.

9. Canon 50mm 1.2 Lens: If i'm doing street photography I have this on at all times. It's quick, quiet, and while i'm focusing, and setting up the scene it does all the heavy lifting. It's a wonderful starter lens, and for street photography a nice prime lens. Though personally a 24mm sounds lovely.

10. LensPen: I'm maybe a bit overzealous, but I like to keep my lenses clean. I always keep this, as well a microfiber towel. The lenspen is a lightweight addition to the bag. If you really need it, it can fit right into your front pocket with ease.

11. Samsung Galaxy s7 Active: I am out and about a lot. So while i'm not doing headshots, I'm out shooting. It can take a tumble, so I needed something that could as well. Plus I'm just a fan of android. It also has a lot of options such as a compass, barometer, and other nifty options, for the photo adventure in you.

12. Canon Speedlite: When shooting weddings, or even with a headshot, this handy little guy is with me. I carry it along with a lightbox, and a flash sync cord. You can call yourself a natural light photographer, but either way having a nice way to do fill light is a must if you do portraits. 


Moo Business Cards: These are always on me. Whether you are a student, or just a hobbyist, I can tell you carry one on you. You never know when you are going to need them. There is no reason not to have one, even if you aren't planning a business. Moo.com has wonderful cards I fully recommend them.

The Camera

Canon 60D Camera: I don't always use film cameras. Actually the opposite. I am an avid digital fan. I grew up using film, and in darkrooms, but when it came to the changing of the age, I acclimated, and joined in. It's a wonderful mid-level camera. This crop, instead of full frame, but I plan on moving up to a 6D Mark ii. 


How I Became a Photographer


How I became a Photographer

The journey of how I became a photographer started even before I was born. Now when most people say this, it's a hyperbole, but in my case, it just seems fitting. My real father was photographer, and was a bit of a deal when it came to metadata. His name was David Riecks. For more information on him, you can check the Library of Congress. Now my mother and him, never worked out, but being a photographer became something that was put into my blood. I never grew up knowing him. Instead I was raised by a wonderful supporting mother and step-father who in essence I look as my actual father. Thank you to both of you for that.

As I grew up though, I was entranced by photography, and different photographers. The names Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Robert Capa influenced me, and when I got my first camera I tried my best to imitate them. Their work in photojournalism, and street photography influenced me enough to go to college for it. I eventually did go to college, at Western Kentucky University to learn under the likes of Tim Broekema, and Jeanie Adams-Smith. Both who concidentally worked in Chicago where I currently now reside. Go figure. During those years I attended the Mountain Workshop, and interned at the Chronicle picking up more story, and journalism skills.

After college I padded around as a freelancer learning on hand street photography, and learned, and interned under a few local wedding photographers. It's been a long journey, but how I became a photographer is from love. I encourage anyone, for whatever field you you're interested in, just go for it. It's a tough ride; it's tiring, and it's definitely not an instant gratification, but if you really love it, just hold on. For if it's love, it's worth every inch you go.

Now you know how, but why did I become a photographer. Really the reason is more of an idea list reason more than anything. I wanted to help change the world for the better. I learned from the likes of Nick Ut, Kevin Carter, and Jeff Widener that just one photograph can have a profound effect on a nation, or even history. Nick Ut for example changed the landscape of discussion on the Vietnam War. I wanted to do that. I wanted help make a better world. I thought to myself, if there was a way if I could leave a fingerprint on history, that's how I would do it.

More than that, there are a moment in time forever caught, Frozen in time. Beyond my hard times, I still people, or at humanity as a whole, despite the horrible things we have done. That is why.

It's simple, but in all reality, it's in my blood, and I. The end I really didn't need a reason. It's just who I am.