Whether you are a professional or a hobby photographer having a well organsied and set camera bag can really help put your mind at ease. Being able to quickly pick up your bag without wondering if you have everything not only helps take away the stress, it will actually encourage you to shoot more and save the disappointment of when you go somewhere and realise you don't have what you need.
Over the years I have learned there are some things that you should always have with you, even if they seem a little odd. Aside from your usual camera gear, here are some ideas to consider adding to your camera bag for peace of mind.
1. Extra Memory Cards
I always try to have a few extra memory cards in my camera bag. There's nothing worse than showing up somewhere and realising you forgot your memory card plugged into your computer. As well, unfortunately memory cards are fickle, and you never know when they will decide to stop working and become corrupt.
2. Extra Charged Camera Batteries
Along the same lines of the memory card, there's no more disappointing feeling when you have set up the perfect shot only to realise theres no more juice in the camera.
3. Phone Battery Charger Pack and Cable
No one likes to have their phone die on them when out and about. If you're a professional it's crucial you are able to get ahold of your clients, so ensure you always have a way to charge your phone.
4. Lens Cleaner
How annoying is it when you get home only to realise there are spots all over your images? Keep a lens cloth and cleaner with you.
5. Snacks and Water
No one wants to feel grouchy when out on a shoot. Having granola bars tucked in your bag with a bottle of water will make sure you can keep the hangry at bay.
6. Breath Mints
First impressions are everything and lets just leave it at that.
7. Plastic Bags or Camera Rain Jacket
You never know, especially in Britain, when it will suddenly start to rain. Keeping some plastic bags to cover your camera with or investing in one of our camera rain jackets can be a huge help. I also like to have plastic bags in case grass or other surfaces may be damp. I would hate to ask someone to sit down on something wet!
8. Towels or Cloth
With the same idea in mind, you may need to dry some things off so have a small towel handy as well.
9. Pen and Paper
You may receive a call and need to write something down, draw something out for someone etc.
10. A Step Stool
Especially if you're fairly short like me, having a step stool can help with achieving higher perspectives as well as when you are taking a portrait of someone much taller than you.
11. Gaffers Tape
You never know when you may need to hold something together with some gaffers tape, whether it's flashes, broken equipment or even marking a spot for someone to stand.
12. Safety Pins
You or your clients don't want to have a wardrobe malfunction during a shoot.
13. A Lint Roller
Who really wants to spend hours in photoshop cleaning up clothing from pet hair, fuzz etc? Cleaning things up with a lint roller beforehand will save you a lot of time.
Your clients may want a last minute check that they are looking their best, or have to restyle their hair half way through etc.
15. A Change of Clothes
I don't expect you to have a full wardrobe packed away, but how embarrassing would it be to show up to a shoot with a big coffee stain you poured over yourself on the way there? Having a clean pair of socks is a great idea as well, I can't count how many times I have stepped into a wet spot to try and get the right shot and have been left with soaked feet.
16. Spare Change
Having spare change for parking meters, a pick me up coffee etc can save a lot of time searching for coins.
17. Business Cards
If you are a professional, you always, always want to have business cards at the ready.
18. First Aid Kit
Unfortunately accidents do happen and you or your clients may need some first aid one day. It's always best to be prepared, so I try to keep at least some advil, disinfectant wipes and band aids with me.
19. Wet Wipes
From cleaning your hands before handling your gear or wiping a sticky toddlers face before a portrait, wet wipes will always be useful.
20. A Multi Tool
Like every good scout, a multi tool is always handy to have around just in case!
There you have it, our 20 of the Best Things to Keep in your Camera Bag. Do you have anything to add? We would love to hear from you on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest!
If you are looking for a new camera bag to fill with all of our suggestions, why not take a browse in our shop?