10 Essentials To Always Bring on a Shoot
...That aren't already a part of your camera kit.
Are you hesitant to venture out into the woods or desert for a shoot, out of fear that you’ll get hopelessly lost? Do you ever wonder what nature photographers bring with them when they go out for days at a time through dark and rainy conditions? As photographers, we tend to dwell on whether we've brought all the necessary lenses and gear, and completely forget about all the little non-camera items that could be handy in a pinch. From our years of experience shooting outdoors, we've compiled a list of simple gadgets and commodities that you probably never thought of that could save your skin - or your gear - on a shoot!
Hand warmers - Keep your mittens toasty warm, and you can strap them to your lens to prevent fogging during long nighttime shoots!
Shower caps - A “fashion don’t” for your camera, but necessary for keeping your camera dry when it rains on a shoot. Get the clear kind so you can compose your shot with it on, and then remove it before clicking the shutter.
Handheld GPS - If you’re afraid you won’t find your way back to the camp or the car at night, get one of these. A dedicated GPS unit has much better battery life than a smartphone with location enabled, uses regular AA batteries you can swap on the go, and handles the elements much better.
Pocket Can Opener/Swiss Army Knife - Chef Boyardee anyone? Added bonus if you have one as a multitool attachment.
Headlamp instead of a flashlight - Or else you’ll wish you had a third hand. Until you’ve memorized where all your buttons are, a headlamp is essential for manipulating your camera controls in the dark.
Extra AA Batteries - It’s nice if all your peripheral devices, from speedlights to flashlights to GPS units, run on AA’s, so you only need to carry one type of battery.
Car power Inverter - to charge camera batteries and your cell phone in the car - Photographers on the go don’t get to return to a hotel room every night.
Outlet Splitter cube - Turn the one power outlet on your inverter into four outlets so you can charge your phone, GPS, and camera batteries all at once!
Allen Wrench set - Like a piece of Ikea furniture, your tripod and ball head are held together with Allen screws. Don’t let a loose screw ruin your shoot.
Hand Towel - Dry off your camera before putting it back in your bag after a rainstorm. Storing wet equipment is a recipe for disaster.