There are some things you won’t read about in a photography book, they won’t teach you in photo school, and they don’t even sell at camera stores; yet I feel lost if I don’t have them at a shoot. Stash these goodies in your bag and you’ll be set for anything.
- Self-contained strips of scotch tape. These are especially handy for taping gels to a flash, but you will find dozens of other uses for them as well.
- Rubber bands. Wrap your short cables with these or use them to secure a PocketWizard to a speedlight. I almost always have a couple bands around my wrist during a shoot.
- AA battery cases. I’m willing to bet that when you need AA batteries you need four of them. Use these cases to keep ’em organized.
- Government property bulletin. This is especially handy for anyone based in D.C. It’s basically a permit that you flash whenever a bored security guard says you can’t take pictures of government buildings.
- Spare change and cash. Leave a generous tip for the valet guy, or feed the meter when the shoot is running late.
- 12″ Mini or Micro USB Cable. This handy cable will get more mileage if your camera, phone, or tablet has a mini/micro USB port.
- Extra pair contacts. If you wear contacts while you’re shooting it’s a good idea to have a backup.
- Square reader. For those times when the client realizes it’s easier to pay with a credit card instead.
- Lens cleaning cloth. This one shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I know more than a few photogs who don’t carry one.
- Mints. Use them yourself or make a friend.
- Self-portrait. If a security guard sees your bag tucked away in an odd place he might get curious. Including a note with your picture can help people find out who it belongs to.
Lists like this always fascinate me; they can say a lot about a person. I’d love to hear what you keep in your own gear bag! Hit up the comments and let me know what I’ve been missing all my life.