15 essential things to always have in your camera bag
Aside from gear, there’s a variety of things photographers keep in their camera bags. I suppose each of us has their favorite combination of knick-knacks we always have around. And to be honest, some of them are probably useless, while we often miss something we could actually use. In this short video, David Bergman gives you a list of 15 things to always have in your camera bag. Most of them are unrelated to gear, yet they can be more than useful in different situations.
1. Ear plugs
If you shoot concerts, you know this is a must. But even if you don’t, you can find yourself in a noisy place where you want to protect your hearing, like a construction site or a factory.
2. Tiny screwdriver
If you wear glasses, you probably already own one of these. They are the same size as the screws on most cameras’ lens mounts, so you may find them useful if there’s a quick tightening job to be done. In case you don’t wear glasses and don’t have this handy tool – you can buy it in almost any drugstore.
3. Sharpee (+some gaffer tape)
In my opinion, a Sharpee or any kind of pen is something to always have around. You never know when you’ll need to write something down, sketch an idea and so on. As a bonus, you can wrap some gaffer tape around it to always have it with you. As we all know, gaffer tape is omnipotent.
Dust is annoying and you can’t avoid it. If you need to do some quick cleaning on the shooting location, it’s good to have a blower around.
5. Cleaning cloth
Just like the blower, the cleaning cloth will help you get rid of the dust.
6. Small bungee cord
You can use it for various purposes, and it’s especially useful if you want to hang the camera bag when the ground is wet or dirty.
7. Small flashlight
We all have flashlights on our phones, but it’s better to have a separate one and not drain your phone battery. It can be useful for seeing in the dark (obviously), but also to help you focus the subject in the dark. It can even add some additional light to the subject if you need it.
8. Plastic bags in two sizes
Small sandwich bag and a large garbage bag are a lifesaver in case of rain. Use the small one to protect your camera, and the large one to create a “raincoat” for your camera bag and protect your precious gear. Aside from rain protection, plastic bags can also have other functions, you just need to be creative.
9. Business cards
You never know when an opportunity to make some new contacts will come up. Also, they work as a charm if you need a quick DIY flash bouncer.
10. Phone charger
Phone batteries drain fast, and you never know when you’ll need a phone while on the set. So it’s good to always keep the charger or a power bank around.
11. Extra batteries
This probably goes without saying, but it can easily happen that you forget them. Keep a spare camera battery and AA batteries for the flash.
12. Extra memory cards
This one also goes without saying. But, I recently went on vacation and forgot my spare cards at home, so I think those like me should keep this on the list as well. Just in case.
13. First aid supplies
This is something you should always have around, just in case. I’d add it’s especially useful for urban explorers.
14. Breath mints
Well, I suppose if your model is your crush, these may come in handy.
15. Some cash
Again, it goes without saying. It’s always clever to have some cash around, you’ll probably need it. At least for buying some of the items from the list you may have forgotten at home.
What I’d add to this list are paper tissues and wet wipes. If you’re shooting in the cold, you’ll need paper tissues for runny nose. Also, they’re good “first aid” if your camera gets wet. As for wet wipes, you should have them around to keep your hands clean. I like urban exploring and hang out in quite dirty places sometimes, so I can’t leave home without them.
Which items do you always keep in your camera bag? Tell us in the comments what you would add to this list.
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.