10 Essentials Nitty Gritties Every Pro Photographer Should Have On A Photoshoot

Feb 23, 2015

Yechiel Orgel

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10 Essentials Nitty Gritties Every Pro Photographer Should Have On A Photoshoot

Feb 23, 2015

Yechiel Orgel

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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As a pro photographer there are all sorts of little tips & tricks that you learn on the job.

Aside from the basics – camera, lenses, lighting etc.  there are those little secrets of the craft that help you go from amateur to pro.  These are little tricks of the trade that I have picked up from my years as a photographer.  One of the things we photographers are great at is “improvising”  I have seen some of my fellow photographer friends come up with the funniest tools for getting the job done.

10 things never to be without when heading out on a photoshoot.  All of these things can be picked up at your local grocery/hardware store.

1. Fishing String

So you have this beautiful handbag in your studio to shoot, hmmm how are you going to hold up those handles?  Very simple – grab a line of fishing string – feed it through the handles & tie it to an arm or something else above the product.  Great use of an item meant for catching fish :)

2. Tack /Wax /Hot Glue Gun

Y’know those little rings or bracelets that you need to shoot.  You want to shoot it standing upward.  Once again, a small inexpensive item to the rescue.  Use a bit of wax, tack or a hot glue gun to hold it down in place.  Extremely easy to remove in PS.

3. Matt Board

An essential when shooting jewelry, specifically necklaces for catalog or e-commerce.  Thank you to Tony Roslund for this little tip.  It helped me tremendously on many jewelry shoots.

4. Microfiber cloth / Cotton Gloves

Boy!  Every tiny little fingerprint shows up on a product, magnified!.  Make sure to wear cotton gloves & have a microfiber cloth on you to keep your products clean & avoid unnecessary time in PS cleaning those nasty little fingerprints.

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5. Canned Air

Those annoying air particles that just seem to get onto everything!.  A good spritz of canned air will remove most if not all of the dust – greatly minimizing your Post Production work.

6. Goof Off / Glass Cleaner

I can’t even count the amount of times we’ve arrived at a photoshoot only to find price tag stickers on the front of the products being photographed.  Not one to bad-mouth my clients but if you’re paying me by the hr…. it is way more expensive for you to have me clean the stickers off of the merchandise than to have someone at your place do it…. but so be it.  Goof off is a must in these situations.  It gets the stickers off pretty quickly.  A razor blade will be a major help in these situations.  And of course, the glass cleaner to clean the product after the goof off job.

7. Dulling Spray

Shooting beverages is FUN! One of the first tips I picked up for beverage shooting was the dulling spray/glycerin effect .  Dulling spray will matte a glass or bottle to give it that freezing look while the glycerin…… Read on…..

8. Glycerin

One of the many tricks of the trade that I have learnt is to wet a bottle with glycerin  mixed into water.  The water won’t roll of the glass.

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9. Pushpins

An essential, pin clothing, sheets, etc…. just about anything.

10. clothing essentials

CorkBoard – When shooting clothing – corkboard comes into great use.  Thanks to Peter House Photography for this little tip.  Lint Remover  – Those pesky little bits of lint that manage to catch onto everything.  And of course a Steamer, though this particular item is not always “inexpensive”  the amount of PS work it can save you in Post Production is invaluable.  These 3 items are essential in an Apparel Photographers bag.

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Hey, I’ve given you way more than 10 items here – though a couple of these fall under the same category. 

Enjoy your shoot!  Left something home? Don’t sweat it.  Improvise….. Take a look around you & see what little items you can find to help you accomplish your task.

Your turn!

What do you use other than your camera, lens and tripod? Let us know in the comments below

About The Author

Yechiel Orgel is a New York City based commercial photographer who specializes in product, still-life and beverage photography. He is passionate about working with creative entrepreneurs to increase conversions of their products and services through unmatched image quality. His grasp of radiant lighting and dynamic composition bring a high level of distinction to his e-commerce advertising, web and catalog assignments. Yechiel is a true visionary who casts both extraordinary and everyday items in an ethereal light that illustrates their true appeal.

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19 responses to “10 Essentials Nitty Gritties Every Pro Photographer Should Have On A Photoshoot”

  1. Bart Van Eynde Avatar
    Bart Van Eynde

    clothes-pegs / clamps

  2. Gvido Mūrnieks Avatar
    Gvido Mūrnieks

    11. Gaffer tape!

  3. Bill Hornbostel Avatar
    Bill Hornbostel

    11. For landscape photographers, kneepads are essential.

    1. Liron Samuels Avatar
      Liron Samuels

      Definitely one of my top 10 when shooting outdoors

  4. innovatology Avatar
    innovatology

    I’ve often needed canned air when out on a landscape photo shoot… ;-)

  5. Yechiel Orgel Avatar
    Yechiel Orgel

    thanks for adding more ideas, Kneepads would be great even in the studio when shooting on the floor.

  6. Benjamin Hayon Avatar
    Benjamin Hayon

    i find using thin wire over fishing line a much more stable and stronger hold, the edit is the same, the wire is just as thin, but does not have that give that fishing line has, and also does not break as easy

  7. Godsotherson Avatar
    Godsotherson

    A-clamps & binder clips of all sizes

  8. Peter Starostecki Avatar
    Peter Starostecki

    Shouldn’t this be titled “On a Product Photoshoot”? I haven’t ever carried any of this gear for portraits.

    1. Sam Dickinson Avatar
      Sam Dickinson

      I was about to post exactly the same thing. The majority of these are useless on a model shoot.

      1. Griffith Avatar
        Griffith

        But you could use dusting spray on older models. Creases in the skin could collect a serious amount of dust ;)

        1. Sam Dickinson Avatar
          Sam Dickinson

          aka. powdered makeup :-P

          1. Frank Nazario Avatar
            Frank Nazario

            aka … air brush makeup the ultimate reality healing brush..

  9. r.i.s.k. Avatar
    r.i.s.k.

    Mini wedges for leveling restaurant tables are invaluable in most every situation. Also,
    be careful with goof off/goo gone on plastics, those removers can “eat” into plastics of all kind.

  10. Doug Sundseth Avatar
    Doug Sundseth

    Rods of some sort (chopsticks are cheap and ubiquitous). They can straighten out fabric, act as supports for card, separate out hanging product….
    Paper clips (with pliers, these can become hooks, supports, or fastening devices of all sorts).
    Stands for floppy subjects (like booklets). These can be made from mat board or scrap cardboard.
    Small blocks (or similar) that can be used to give a display of flat pieces some dimensionality.

  11. David Graham Avatar
    David Graham

    Lint Roller.

  12. CraigI Avatar
    CraigI

    Knee pads are a must. Plus hat, sunscreen, and “emergency” silver blanket

  13. Tre Jackson Avatar
    Tre Jackson

    The 1 essential tool every good designer should have when editing graphics for a blog post:

    1. Spell checker

  14. Chris Avatar
    Chris

    I always take a multi-tool (Gerber with pliers, knife, can opener, screwdrivers, etc) and some business cards!