Over the years we have all accumulated a secret stash of photography gear and photography accessories we’ve sourced from a number of inexpensive internet suppliers.
However, finding legitimate suppliers online can be a bit of a gamble, so this week, I though that I would share 5 of my go to sources for photography gear that are inexpensive and super useful.
I hope you will share some of yours in the comments too!
1. Cables, Cords & Adapters
With the vast array of photography accessories: electronics, computers, mobile devices, power sources, chargers…(and it just goes on like this) that we use everyday, finding the right cable for the job can be a major challenge.
Nobody wants to pay MSRP for name brand cables, cords and adapters – and eBay & Amazon can be a little sketchy when it comes to this kind of thing, so over the years I have found two suppliers that I order from on a regular basis:
2. Golf Umbrellas
I have a whole array of golf umbrellas that I use all the time. I have a black set and a white set for weddings. I have used them for creative props. I use them for daylight scrims. I have cut the handles off them and used them with strobes. Once in a while I even use them in the rain.
I get mine from RainGames USA (don’t let the kiddie gifs and confusing website put you off) – they’re cheap, decent quality and come in pretty much any color you could possibly want.
The 60″ sixteen panel solid white umbrellas are my personal favorite for multi-use, and the 68″ solid white umbrellas make great daylight scrims.
3. Rechargeable AA Batteries
I use a ton of AA batteries.
I prefer to use name brand Sanyo 2500 mAh Eneloop XX AA batteries, but charging 30 or 40 batteries for a shoot used to be a major pain in the a$$. After some searching, I bought two 16 bay AA/AAA smart battery chargers from Amazon. Now I can charge all my AA batteries at one time – and the chargers have built in USB ports for charging electronics accessories too (like my phone and GoPro).
Brands and availability change on Amazon – and 16 bay AA/AAA smart battery charges are not as readily available as smaller chargers, but this model looks relatively similar to the chargers I use.
4. Gaffers Tape
I also use a ton of gaffers tape. I used to buy my gaffers tape from photography stores – until a friend who owns a rock climbing gym (they use gaff tape to mark the routes) showed me where they buy the same thing in bulk for less than half the price.
I am sure there are a number of suppliers, but I get my gaffer tape from a shipping and industrial packaging supplier called Uline.
5. Wordpress Themes
When I switched my website over to Wordpress, I
spent wasted a lot of time searching for the right themes. The most stressful part was trying to figure out if the themes I was finding were produced by reputable vendors.
My website is critical to my business, so the last thing I wanted to do was trust the whole thing to some buggy, half assed code purchased from who knows where online (or even worse, installing a theme that has built in spyware).
Eventually, I came across Themeforest which is part of the Envato Market. I have purchased a number of themes from Themeforest, and for me the relatively low price is worth the piece of mind knowing that the Wordpress theme I am using was coded by a professional and there is a support system in place.
Bonus. Costume Jewelry & Accessories
OK, costume jewelry and accessories aren’t really photography gear – but if you are doing lifestyle or fashion work, a few nice pieces of costume jewelery and the right accessories can really add a professional touch to your photography.
I order mine from a company called Blue Bell Wholesale. The quality is about what you would expect for the price – but totally good enough to look good on camera.
I especially like their website – there is tons of selection and its really easy to mix and match the right items for your shoot.
I had a few boudoir fashion gigs a while ago so I thought I would try sourcing some interesting lingerie and props online.
I ended up purchasing a number of outfits from various vendors on AliExpress.com
I knew that it was a bit of a gamble buying cheap Chinese knockoffs, but I only needed these items to look good once on camera, so I though I’d give it a shot.
What is impressive is that I received the shipment direct from China in less than a week.
However, the items were nowhere near an acceptable quality level (and I wasn’t expecting much). Nothing really fit properly and most were way too small.
I used a few things for the shoot, but in hindsight, it would have been much better to just pay full price from a reputable retailer.
Your Cheap Photography Gear Recommendations?
Have you found any great online sources for photography gear or accessories that you would like to share?
Leave a comment below!
*Please – no comment spam. If you genuinely like a product or supplier that you have personal experience with – tell us about it. If you’re promoting something – bugger off.