The pho­to bag is the pho­tog­ra­pher’s world, all the things that are most dear to him, gath­ered togeth­er. As a rule, every­one has a list of basic items that are always at hand. This list is dif­fer­ent for every­one, and often we meet pho­tog­ra­phers with huge, almost tourist-sized back­packs, packed full of equip­ment. On the con­trary, there are those pho­tog­ra­phers who pre­fer to get by with the main cam­era and a cou­ple of inter­change­able lens­es. In oth­er words, they trav­el light. As opti­mistic as it may sound, such a minia­ture kit is not able to pro­vide the pho­tog­ra­ph­er with every­thing that can be use­ful. And con­di­tions change incred­i­bly quick­ly and adapt­ing to them is one of the main qual­i­ties of a good pho­tog­ra­ph­er.

So that the sit­u­a­tion nev­er takes you by sur­prise, we picked up 10 items that should always be in your pho­to bag.

  • mini tri­pod
  • Even if you go out to shoot in nature, you don’t always want and need to take a full-size tri­pod with you. It’s not that it’s too heavy (mod­ern mod­els strive to achieve a bal­ance between sta­bil­i­ty and light weight), but it’s def­i­nite­ly not always nec­es­sary to spend time installing it. How­ev­er, shoot­ing hand­held is also not always cor­rect. This is where mini tripods come to the res­cue. Obvi­ous­ly, their main dis­tin­guish­ing fea­ture is their size, plus­es are sta­bil­i­ty and ease of use. While not as fea­ture-packed as their full-sized coun­ter­parts, they do offer plen­ty of ver­sa­til­i­ty, espe­cial­ly if you’re plan­ning on shoot­ing in low-light con­di­tions. It is also con­ve­nient to place such a tri­pod — any flat sur­face will suit you!

  • Cam­era Remote
  • Almost every cam­era (even smart­phones) has a timer for a long time. But the timer always lim­its the pos­si­bil­i­ties, so it’s best to have the remote with you. It allows you to press the but­ton from a dis­tance and not direct­ly touch the but­ton itself. This is good for both those who like to shoot self-por­traits (so when trav­el­ing there will be no need to both­er passers-by ask­ing you to click on a land­mark in the back­ground), and for pro­fes­sion­als who want to reduce vibra­tions, for exam­ple, at slow shut­ter speeds. You will have to choose between cable and wire­less remotes, and the advan­tage, of course, is on the side of the lat­ter. Most of them use infrared receivers, so it does­n’t mat­ter if you are behind or in front of the lens. How­ev­er, it is always worth remem­ber­ing that the reli­a­bil­i­ty of IR remotes is reduced in bright light.

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Per­haps one of the most use­ful acces­sories that we com­plete­ly unfair­ly and often for­get. In gen­er­al, it is bet­ter to always have every­thing relat­ed to clean­ing at hand, but if we fail to clean the matrix in the field (and we should not do this), then every­thing else is quite pos­si­ble. And this is where microfiber cloths come in handy. In addi­tion to clean­ing, wipes can be used to wrap lens­es, lens­es, or fil­ters to pro­tect them from scratch­es and excess dust. This applies even if all of the above seems to be safe — due to the fact that any opti­cal ele­ments are frag­ile by def­i­n­i­tion, they can be dam­aged even by scratch­ing each oth­er. To avoid this, a microfiber cloth will help us.

  • Pear
  • Not box­ing, and not edi­ble, but airy. We have just not­ed how impor­tant it is to have clean­ing acces­sories with you, and a blow­er is one of the most impor­tant items that you should always have with you. When it comes to clean­ing, we all know that the less face-to-face con­tact, the bet­ter. The rub­ber bulb allows you to clean the lens with­out touch­ing it. Due to the rather strong air flow, it is enough to blow dust off the glass. If, besides dust, some­thing else both­ers you, the nap­kin from the pre­vi­ous para­graph will come to the res­cue again.

  • Smart­phone or tablet
  • The truth is that we car­ry a smart­phone with us in the vast major­i­ty of sit­u­a­tions. It is espe­cial­ly impor­tant not to for­get it when you go to shoot out­doors alone. But, if you omit the func­tion of a smart­phone or tablet as a means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, it turns out that mobile devices are also incred­i­bly use­ful when shoot­ing. Count­less ways already exist to help with every aspect of film­ing, from the basics of com­po­si­tion to cal­cu­lat­ing depth of field. There are apps for track­ing the sun that will tell you where, what time it ris­es and sets, and in what direc­tion it is mov­ing. This data can help you under­stand the light and, accord­ing­ly, under­stand how it is bet­ter to build a frame.

    A smart­phone is a very con­ve­nient device for shoot­ing land­scapes and archi­tec­ture, and besides, if you have a man­u­al for the tech­nique in PDF for­mat (and it’s not at all dif­fi­cult to find it), you can always have it at hand with­out hav­ing to car­ry extra papers with you.

  • Spare bat­ter­ies and mem­o­ry cards
  • It would be ridicu­lous to talk about pho­tog­ra­phy with­out men­tion­ing the most obvi­ous and impor­tant items for a pho­to bag. Even know­ing well the char­ac­ter­is­tics of your own cam­era, it is not always pos­si­ble to cal­cu­late the exact bat­tery life. And if she sud­den­ly sits down dur­ing film­ing, you have to pack your bags and return home, the whole day will be wast­ed, and the light and con­di­tions will be lost for­ev­er. To pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing, you should absolute­ly always have a ful­ly charged spare cam­era bat­tery with you. This is in addi­tion to the fact that the main bat­tery is rec­om­mend­ed to be charged imme­di­ate­ly upon return­ing from film­ing. Just make it a habit.

    As for the mem­o­ry card, if it sud­den­ly becomes full, of course, you can take a break and delete all unnec­es­sary or unsuc­cess­ful frames. How­ev­er, if you’re work­ing with a mod­el, at an event, or catch­ing cer­tain light­ing, you won’t be wast­ing valu­able time clean­ing up the map. That is why it is best to have a spare card with you. So you will always be on the alert and not miss a sin­gle spec­tac­u­lar moment of film­ing.

  • Rain cov­er for cam­era and rain cov­er
  • For any­one who shoots out­doors, high-qual­i­ty weath­er pro­tec­tion is fun­da­men­tal­ly impor­tant. Despite the fact that many mod­ern cam­eras have pro­tec­tive coat­ings, this is not enough. Water can some­how find a way to get inside the equip­ment and dis­able some impor­tant ele­ment or cre­ate con­den­sa­tion on the inter­nal parts of the struc­ture.

    There­fore, you should always have a plas­tic case with you. Plas­tic, of course, will reli­ably pro­tect equip­ment from water and excess dust.

    It is worth tak­ing care of your­self, so it is best to always have a rain­coat in your pho­to bag — it can pro­tect both the cam­era and the pho­tog­ra­ph­er.

    You can look for spe­cial cov­ers, or you can use impro­vised means — there is no fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ence, but you def­i­nite­ly can­not for­get about such an impor­tant point.

    Since we are talk­ing about the weath­er, it is worth men­tion­ing the cold. In order not to take off / put on gloves sev­er­al times, you should either have gloves for touch­screens with you to eas­i­ly nav­i­gate the cam­era set­tings, or gloves with cut off pha­langes.

  • busi­ness cards
  • It may seem strange, but in fact, it is always a good idea to have busi­ness cards with you. Not for sim­ple self-pro­mo­tion, but rather for net­work­ing. For exam­ple, if you trav­el and pho­to­graph peo­ple, it is decent and even cor­rect to ask per­mis­sion to shoot. A sep­a­rate ele­ment of cour­tesy will be to leave your con­tacts with your mod­el and, when ready, send the result­ing pho­to. In addi­tion, a qual­i­ty busi­ness card will always con­firm the fact that you are a pho­tog­ra­ph­er, and not just a sus­pi­cious per­son with a cam­era. Exact­ly the same thing works when com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the pro­tec­tion of pub­lic build­ings, at events and in gen­er­al under var­i­ous cir­cum­stances.

    So do not hes­i­tate to pay atten­tion to the cre­ation of busi­ness cards.

  • Small exter­nal flash
  • Of course, every cam­era has a built-in flash, how­ev­er, it does not always have enough pow­er. An exter­nal flash is quite inex­pen­sive, but it will def­i­nite­ly pro­vide you with high pow­er and many con­ve­niences. In the dark, for exam­ple, or when you need to cre­ate reflec­tions, it is sim­ply irre­place­able. In addi­tion, unlike the built-in flash, the exter­nal one moves, there­fore, it is able to cre­ate not just direct light “on the fore­head”, but also shad­ows and much more.

    Even if you’re shoot­ing in good light, flash can be very use­ful, for exam­ple, in flat light, it allows you to cre­ate shape and vol­ume, soft­en shad­ows, and so on. In a word, soon­er or lat­er, any pho­tog­ra­ph­er comes to work with an exter­nal flash, so you must have it with you.

  • Polar­iz­ing lens fil­ter
  • Some peo­ple think that dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy does not need fil­ters and that all that needs to be cor­rect­ed can be done with light strokes of graph­ic pro­grams. How­ev­er, this is not true. If tem­per­a­ture fil­ters are prob­a­bly out­dat­ed and it is not nec­es­sary to have them in the arse­nal, then as for the polar­iz­ing fil­ter, it is too ear­ly to refuse it. They are espe­cial­ly rel­e­vant for those who shoot land­scapes. A polar­iz­ing fil­ter sharp­ens ele­ments such as the sky and foliage, enhances the con­trast of clouds, and reduces reflec­tions in water and glass. No post-pro­cess­ing will help to achieve such a result.

    A high-qual­i­ty polar­iz­ing fil­ter is not cheap and, depend­ing on the specifics of the shoot­ing, you may not use it as often. Nev­er­the­less, it is unde­ni­ably worth hav­ing such a fil­ter in stock.

    We hope you find this text use­ful. What’s in your work bag?