You probably don’t need someone to tell you to pack your camera, lenses, and a few spare batteries (if you do, we need to talk). But there are some little accessories and non-photography items that can make your shooting life vastly easier and often save you a lot of time. Here are 15 such items to keep in your bag.
1. Hair Spray
Retouching hair is my eternal nemesis, and because I normally work outside without solid backgrounds, I hate it twice as much. I keep a travel size canister of hair spray in the side pocket of my bag, and it has drastically cut down on my time spent retouching flyaways and the like.
2. Zeiss Lens Wipes
They cost less than a dime a piece, they don’t streak, and they’re effective. I always keep a few of these in all my bags, particularly when I’m flying my drone, as it always seems to come back with a smidgen of gunk on the lens. They’re also great if you need to quickly clean a lens (wedding photographers) and get back to work.
3. Blower and Lens Brush
You don’t want things to get on your lens. Therefore, per Murphy’s Law, things will get on your lens. Be sure to keep a small blower and brush handy, and use them before you use lens wipes, so you don’t rub any grit into the glass. An additional tip: I keep my blower and brush in a Ziploc bag so they don’t accumulate any dust that could then be sucked in and transferred onto my lenses.
4. Shine Control Powder
A lot of people have naturally oil skin that can create shiny hot spots in photos, which can be a bit tricky to retouch. A bit of shine control powder can give the skin more of a matte finish that’s generally more flattering in photos. Use it for women or men.
5. Travel Mirror
If you’re doing portraiture work, your subject is going to be naturally hyperaware of their appearance. Having a small mirror ready to hand to them not only ensures they look the way they want, it puts their mind at ease during the shoot, which makes your job easier.
6. Bug Spray