As a photographer your bag is probably rammed full of essential equipment . Lenses, camera bodies, adapters, wires, cable releases and loads of other bits of tech are all in there ready and waiting. However, there are a few things that you may not have considered packing but could infact be of great use. Here are some of those items you might want to add…
A torch/ headlamp
Often as a photographer you are going to be out shooting in the golden and blue hours. It is therefore highly likely that you may find yourself suddenly without enough light to see where you are going or what you are doing. A small lightweight torch or headlamp is a must-have in your camera bag for this reason.
A torch can also be a great source of light for macro photography especially when used in conjunction with a reflector/ diffuser.
Headtorches are particularly useful as these keep your hands free to operate your equipment. One that is USB chargeable is a great idea as you can always attach this to a portable power bank if needed.
Multi tool and knife
It is likely that you will be carrying a lot of equipment with you that may at some point suffer from a technical issue. Having a multi tool is likely to help in any situation where a bolt or screw needs tightening or something similar. A knife can also be a great help for cutting tape and zip ties.
If you have a bag that is big enough to comfortably fit a reflector, then you should definitely carry one with you. Having a reflector will allow you to bounce light onto your subjects so that the shadowed regions are illuminated slightly. This can really help when shooting in bright sunlight or similar conditions (more info on that here: Photographing in the mid day sun).
Having enough power is always a concern. Batteries can need recharging at the most inconveinient times and without the ability to do so you may found yourself unable to carry on taking photos. With so many devices requiring batteries it would be almost foolish not to have something in your bag to help if something runs out of juice.
Lens cleaning kit
Nothing is more frustrating than getting home after a shoot and realising all of your images have ugly splotches in them from dust and dirt on your lens. Save yourself the heartache and make sure you carry something to clean your equipment with. A small lens cleaning kit is ideal. These have the right clothes and brushes that won’t damage your lenses and often include a blower to safely remove grit. Keeping your kit clean will ensure your equipment lasts longer.
Avoid the temptation to clean your lenses with your t-shirt. This can badly scratch the front elements of your lens and grease is often also an issue.
Even if you don’t plan to be out in wet conditions having a camera jacket can offer you some peace of mind. A lot of professional cameras are water resistance to some level. However, it is still a very good idea to keep your equipment as dry as possible to prevent any long lasting damage being done. Condensation inside lenses or around the sensor of your camera can be detrimental. Try your best to not shoot in conidtions that might cause this, but in the case that you have to, make sure you are protecting your camera with a jacket.
Having some good quality tape to hand can sometimes really save the day. If a leg of your tripod breaks, your bag strap snaps or you just need to secure something then having a roll of this will be ideal. Gaffer tape is a great choice as this is usually water resistant and very durable. In addition to this a small roll of electrical tape can come in handy in some situations.
Tape is great for many things but occasionally you might find yourself needing a stronger method of securing stuff. Zip ties are perfect for strapping GoPros to things or attaching something to your tripod. There are loads of reasons to carry a few of these. Afterall they are extremely lightweight and won’t take up any room in your bag.
Reduce plastic waste by picking up some reusable cable ties. These are often much more durable and will save you money in the long run too.
It has to be said, snacks are essential really. The last thing you want is to find yourself in the middle of a shoot with your stomach rumbling away. Being super hungry is going to lower your mood and in turn reduce your creativity. Chuck a few energy bars into your bag and make sure to restock when you use them. You’ll be thanking yourself when the hunger strikes!