Gear and supplies to take to a birth

I invited a few of my favorite birth photographers to join me in sharing what we take with us to births. I find the variations interesting!
Here’s what I bring, as of right now:

Andrea Lythgoe

Maternal Focus Sandy, Utah

Camera Gear:
My main camera (Nikon D810)
My backup camera (Nikon D700)

  • Nikon 24-70mm 2.8
  • Nikon 50mm 1.4
  • Nikon 85mm 1.8
  • Sigma 35 1.4 (on my backup camera)
  • Nikon SB-900 flash
    R-Strap – an absolute necessity for me!
    2 32G Compact flash cards
    2 32G SD cards
    Full battery in each camera, plus 2 fully charged spares
    Battery charger
    Spare AA batteries for the flash
    All in a Think Tank Rolling suitcase
    WhiBal card
    Lens wipes

    Stuff for me:
    Granola bars, dried fruit, instant oatmeal
    Empty water bottle (fill with ice + water at the place of birth)
    All the toiletries I would take for an overnight stay (because often, it IS an overnight stay…)
    iPad + charger
    Cell phone + charger
    My thyroid meds, motrin, etc.
    Sweater (It gets COLD in hospitals, even in August!)
    Cash (about $20 in small bills and change. Once I only had a $20 bill and the vending machines wouldn’t take it…)

    Stuff I keep in my car:
    Spare change of clothes
    Pillow + blanket

    Carolyn Spranger

    Carolyn Spranger Photography in Cheyenne Wyoming

    Carolyn shares her “must takes” for shooting births:
    For camera gear: I can fit everything I need into a ThinkTank Streetwalker Harddrive. I have 2 camera bodies, 3 lenses, my flash, batteries, extra camera batteries, the chargers, extra memory cards, diffuser, super small reflector/white balance card, and extra business cards and materials.

    In my other bag I have a change of clothes, toiletry items, essential oils (I carry my doTerra oils everywhere, never know when you may need them!), a brush, gum, snacks, coconut water (also for mom if she needs it), my iPad and Kindle for if i get bored, phone charger, and a travel pillow (which is also nice to sit on if you find a corner in the room to hide out at). I usually keep a small step stool in the car just in case I would need it. It’s easier to run out to my car than to run home!

    Laura Steele Eckert

    New Creation Photography Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    Laura shares what she brings:

    The first one is the equipment I absolutely make sure I have before I walk out the door to a birth:
    5Dmiii with 50mm 1.2
    100mm macro
    5dmii (backup)
    580ex (which I never use, but have with fresh batteries just in case)
    2 extra camera batteries
    3 – 8gb+ CF cards
    My iPod for killing time and communicating with the outside word when needed.:)

    The other one is all of that stuff, plus some extras, packed into my ThinkTank Airport TakeOff rolling bag which I love. The bag is also stocked with business cards, and usually gum, granola bars, and some Tylenol, just in case.

    What gear and supplies do YOU bring? Please share in the comments!

    by Andrea Lythgoe