Photography Tutorials

10 things to carry in your camera bag (apart from your camera)

pack your bags

A hair tie
Obviously this is only really applicable if you have longer hair; even if you do manage to hold your hair out of every shot, it’s still very annoying!

A spare memory card
I keep an old 2Gb card in my purse (I’m English, I mean my wallet) ‘just in case’. It’s been used more than once!

An energy bar
If you’re in the middle of a shoot and everything is going perfectly, the last thing you want is to have to stop and eat (or start getting snippy with people because you skipped breakfast).

A bottle of water
See above but for drinking. The water is also useful if you need to add some droplets of water to something to give it an extra dimesnsion.

waterdrops on leaves

A macro lens
Even if you’re out with the intention to shoot a landscape or a wedding; a macro lens is great for an alternative view (and can be a great way of overcoming difficult lighting conditions such as harsh midday sun).

Business cards
You never know who you might meet when you’re out shooting with your camera – even when it’s just snapshots with the family. You don’t even have to go to the expense of professional printing – I’ve seen amazing ones done using a home printer (and a dozen cards at a time is plenty).

I’m often screeching to a halt in the car because I’ve spotted something I have to photograph and and as such need to use arcane parking meters – having some coinage to feed them is very helpful! (And you can always use it to buy sweeties if you don’t end up parking anywhere).

Chances are you’ll either a) need to know how to get to somewhere or b) want to know where it was you were when you took that amazing photo, so a mobile device with GPS enabled, or even a paper map will be very handy.

graffiti - brick lane

There’s all sorts of scenarios where you’ll wish you had a way of writing something down – the email address of that photogenic stranger who you promised to send a JPG to, the name of the street with the cool graffitti that would make such a great backdrop for your next portrait session, George Clooney’s phone number… you just never know!

Another camera
Just. In. Case.

Can you think of more? Is there something you just can’t be without when you’re out with your camera?

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  • Reply
    8 May 2012 at 23:58

    Different cameras I know but I always have too much film and any possible batteries you might need (instax mini especially with tim batteries) great list, I always forget a hair tye and get annoyed lol

    • Reply
      9 May 2012 at 13:03

      I’m hearing you with the batteries thing! (and you can never have too much film with you)!

  • Reply
    Life with Kaishon
    9 May 2012 at 03:26

    Brilliant! : )
    I always have some candy in case I am photographing a kidget and they get fidgety : )

    • Reply
      9 May 2012 at 13:04

      Good thinking! I’m sure that would work just as well for fidgety adults, too 😉

  • Reply
    9 May 2012 at 06:45

    I totally get the hair tie thing. And the water, I’ve never thought of using it to create droplets on leaves and such, I usually just wait til it rains … great idea.

    • Reply
      9 May 2012 at 13:04

      There’s nothing worse than a face full of hair when you’re trying to take a photo, is there!!

  • Reply
    9 May 2012 at 06:53

    I always carry a gorilla pod. I don’t carry a tripod, but sometimes I want to take a long exposure or a self portrait.

    • Reply
      9 May 2012 at 13:06

      I must try a gorilla pod – i’m not one for tripods either but sometimes you really need that rock steadiness

  • Reply
    9 May 2012 at 09:12

    A proper thing for cleaning your lens. Otherwise you WILL get a finger print on there and you WILL use your t-shirt to wipe it and you WILL regret it when you see that huge scratch.

    I speak from bitter experience.

    • Reply
      9 May 2012 at 13:08

      That’s a good one! I am naughty and use the excuse of having UV filters on my lenses to clean them with my sleeve…

  • Reply
    9 May 2012 at 09:44

    Hah, I love the hair tie recommendation – probably because it would be entirely useless for my big bald head… Every other week I go out taking photographs for a full day in somewhere wonderfully desolate in Essex or Kent. So I always take waterproof trousers and coat and make sure I’m wearing my waterproof walking boots. Ah English weather how I love it. I take my 20mm prime for landscape and a 50mm prime for the light it captures. Spare battery. Full lunch – cream cheese bagel, Kalamata olives, crisps and bottle of water – I know, I know, too much detail! And a book to read on the train. All in a nice little backpack packed the previous evening so I can leave the house before 7am.

    • Reply
      9 May 2012 at 13:10

      Waterproofs is definitely a good idea – especially lately! That food sounds too delicious, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the photography if I knew a feast like that was in my bag!! :)

  • Reply
    litte pink cakes
    9 May 2012 at 10:17

    Very inspiring post! As already mentioned: the hair tie recommendation: great!

    I apparently have to reconsider my camera bag organisation. And I definitely need a bigger one… 😉

    Thanks for this great post!

    • Reply
      9 May 2012 at 13:12

      Thank you :) Anf if you’re anything like me you’ll enjoy an excuse to go bag shopping!

  • Reply
    9 May 2012 at 12:23

    Great post Angie; I never thought of using the water as a prop – great idea.

    I normally have, memory cards, film, batteries, notepad + pen, pocket mac, iPad + SD card adapter, lens cloth, migraine tablets (never know when I might have an attack), gum and a gorilla pod

    – Martin

    • Reply
      9 May 2012 at 13:13

      Thanks Martin :) You sound very organised!

  • Reply
    9 May 2012 at 13:00

    great tips! i’m not really a photographer, i just have a little camera that i keep in my handbag – when i do know i’ll be wanting take photos though i make sure i take the little ‘getting started’ manual for my camera as I’ll often forget which setting to use!

    • Reply
      9 May 2012 at 13:15

      You are really a photographer if you have a camera!
      That’s a brilliant tip about taking the manual with you… the number of times I’ve forgotten how to do something!

  • Reply
    9 May 2012 at 19:38

    Love this! Yes, you nailed it all here…hair ties for sure. Actually I only shoot with my hair pulled back. Love the water bottle idea! Great blog…nice to find you today!

    • Reply
      19 May 2012 at 20:54

      Hi Caroline, it’s lovely to find you, too :)

  • Reply
    Al Girard
    9 May 2012 at 20:50

    I also carry a penlight for those situations at night where it seems to be necessary.

    • Reply
      19 May 2012 at 20:55

      Good idea!

  • Reply
    the HALL of EINAR
    11 May 2012 at 00:48

    I always carry a penknife with me in my camera bag yet I’ve never used it!

    • Reply
      19 May 2012 at 20:56

      I quite like the idea of getting a swiss army knife with a corkscrew etc

      • Reply
        30 May 2012 at 11:15

        This is truly a great suggestion, only I wouldn’t be allowed into any mall or hotel with it sadly.

  • Reply
    leonie wise
    14 May 2012 at 06:39

    I would add spare battery to spare memory card. I can’t tell ya how many times this has saved me because I forgot to check the battery in my camera before I left the house.

    I also take a book/magazine to read on the train/bus, and usually my headphones.

    Love all the comments and your list :)

    • Reply
      19 May 2012 at 20:57

      You’re right – not much is going to happen without a battery!
      (I love all the comments I’ve had too – everyone is awesome)!

  • Reply
    30 May 2012 at 11:16

    Great post Angie! I carry most of these things, but the hair tie is an addition I’m making after reading this. Also need to get a hold of a new memory card, cos the original died & I’m using the spare.

  • Reply
    29 January 2013 at 08:23

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    Muldowney” actually got me addicted on your page!

    I actuallydefinitely will wind up being back again considerably more frequently.
    Thanks ,Frank

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