It doesn’t matter if you are brand new to photography or a professional, there are 10 things every photographer needs. I’m asked all the time what items are in my camera bag or what photography accessories I use in my studio to create my award-winning images. Here is a list of some of the top photography accessories that I would recommend for photographers to have in their studio or camera bag for when they are shooting on set or on location.
Top 10 Best Photography Accessories
- Camera Bag
- Travel Tripod
- Portable Hard Drive
- Gaffers Tape
- Color Checker
- Hot Shoe Cell Phone Holder
- Sand Bags
- Lens Cleaning Kit
- Spider Holster
- Spring Clamps
You’ll need something to keep all of your photography accessories organized and secure. The Jo Totes line of camera bags are stylish and great quality. I have the mint blue-green version and I absolutely love it! It is big enough to hold my DSLR camera and two lenses, plus a laptop or tablet. The exterior pockets are great for holding business cards and spare batteries.
The Manfrotto BeFree Tripod is made of lightweight aluminum but is strong enough to hold your camera steady. It comes with a ball head that allows you to position your camera quickly and precisely, and all legs adjust independently for full creative freedom. It even fits inside my large sized suitcase or can be strapped onto a backpack when travelling.
LeCei makes a 2TB rugged hard drive that is super reliable and keeps image files safe whether in studio or on location. It is drop, crush and water resistant. I think these are the best external hard drives for photographers so I recommend you have at least a couple of these around the studio and in your camera bag.
This is the duct tape of the photography world. Secure wiring and backdrops, tape down power cords and join foam core boards together to make your own v-flats. Gaffers tape can be torn by hand but is super durable and water resistant. The adhesive is strong and sticks to just about any surface, yet does not leave a terrible mess behind when it is removed. Be sure to have both white and black on hand.
It is essential to achieve accurate color, white balance and exposure. The X-Rite Color Checker Passport is the industry standard and has color patch targets, white balance checker and 18% grey sections to ensure color and white balance accuracy in every image.
Video is becoming an essential requirement in marketing and social media. Capture video footage easily from your cell phone by mounting it with this adaptor right onto the hot shoe of your DSLR, even when you don’t have a dedicated assistant or videographer. It also has an additional cold shoe and tripod mount to attach other accessories like microphones and other equipment. This cell phone holder is an essential photography accessory if you want to capture video using your cell phone while on set.
Safety first! Saddle style sand bags are a staple in any studio for stabilizing light stands, boom arms, tripods and backgrounds. These come empty so don’t cost a bunch for shipping. Just fill with sand, magic beans or gravel. Okay, maybe not magic beans but I was just seeing if you were paying attention!
Your t-shirt may work in a pinch but I’d recommend keeping a decent lens cleaning kit in your studio and camera bag instead. This kit by Giottos includes the amazing Rocket Blaster to blast away particulates and a microfiber cloth.
The SpiderPro camera system is a professional waist strap that will hold your heavy duty DSLR safe and sound while keeping your hands free. The quick-draw fastening system secures your camera to the belt and allows you to quickly release it to get that shot. You’ll feel and look like a superhero while on set.
These spring clamps are strong and have PVC coated tips to prevent marking and tears to fabric or paper. Keep a set of clamps in the studio and throw some in your camera bag because there are so many uses for these clamps, they will quickly become one of your favorite photography accessories.
You can read about more of my favorite photography gear, software and accessories in my blog post Alana’s Favorite Things.