Besides the camera, there are a lot of accessories, tools and gadgets that photographers choose to carry with them to help them get the job done.
Over the years as a professional photographer, there is a lot of stuff I have added to my camera bag that are really useful in those “what if” situations I get along the way, so I decided to put them all together inside a small tin box, and use it as an everyday carry.
This is not meant to be a survival kit to use in an end of the world scenario, but rather a go-to tools, that helps me out when I face some problems along the way in my photography work. Here is what’s inside:
Tucked inside the lid of the box I carry a silver/white card that I use as a reflector for macro photography, or as a bounce card for the flash, a soft cloth that I use to clean the camera lens, and a gray card that I use as reference for color correcting.
The other things fit inside the box like a puzzle. It’s a snug fit, so there is no rattling, or damage on anything due to bouncing around.
- The Eneloop pro AA batteries are probably the best choice available for photography equipment, because they are high energy, and are advertised as being able to retain 90% of their charge after 6 months, and 70% after 5 years, when stored at 20 degrees Celsius (68F).
- It might look strange that I carry six batteries, when most pieces of equipment use 4 batteries. But, I use these as a backup for my Canon 600EX-RT flash and the ST-R3-EX transmitter, or I might need them for the battery grip I use on my Canon 5DIII, which holds 6 AAs, instead of the LP-E6 batteries.
- The Sandisk SD card works along with the batteries as a last resort, because even though I carry backup batteries and cards in my camera bag, it is good to have a backup of the backup inside my tin box, in case something goes wrong.
- The Kingston pen drive is a handy device to have around, as it doesn’t take up much space in the box, and can help out with backing up, or transferring files.
- The Ibuprofen pill is something I carry with me all the time, because there is nothing worse thing than having to photograph with a headache, or some kind of pain.
- The 12-in-1 multi-tool pen was given to me by a friend many years ago, and I carry it everywhere ever since. It looks like a regular pen, but when you open it there are blades, saws, files, tweezers, and screwdrivers that are really useful in many situations.
- The paracord is another very useful thing to have around. I use it often along with the 1/4” thread screw to make a string tripod. It works as a stabilizer when you put tension on the string, wrapped around your foot on one end, and the other end tied to the 1/4” thread screw on the bottom of the camera (see below)
- The clipper lighter is useful for special effects I might want to create with fire, and works great as a wrap-around base, for the gorilla tape I always bring along.
- Gorilla tape has saved me more times than I would like to admit, and besides that, I’m an 80s kid, so I grew up watching MacGyver fixing everything with duct tape.
- Blu-tack is a reusable, putty-like, pressure-sensitive adhesive, that I use a lot when I photograph food and need to keep things in place.
- The elastic bands are useful to keep the box closed, and I also use them to hold accessories on my flash like bounce cards or color gels.
- Finally, the carabiners, that I use mostly to attach things to my camera bag, or to hold a sand bag on the tripod.
- I also use my trusty Leatherman Wave Multi-Tool a lot when I have to deal with nuts and bolts, but the fact is that it’s big, heavy, and is not something I can carry all the time.
So, this might seem like just a tin box with useless stuff inside, but the fact is that it helps me a lot to know I have this stuff with me, in case I need it.
What about you, what non-photographic things do you carry with you when you go out to photograph?