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 CardsI 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 BatteriesAlong the same lines of the memory card, there's no more disappointing feeling when you have set up the perfect shot only to realise there's no more juice in the camera.
3. Phone Battery Charger Pack and CableNo 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 CleanerHow 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 WaterNo 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 being hangry at bay.
6. Breath MintsFirst impressions are everything and lets just leave it at that.
7. Plastic Bags or Camera Rain JacketYou 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. TowelsWith the same idea in mind, you may need to dry some things off so have a small towel handy as well.
9. Pen and PaperYou may receive a call and need to write something down, draw something out for someone etc.
10. A Step StoolEspecially 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 TapeYou 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 PinsYou or your clients don't want to have a wardrobe malfunction during a shoot.
13. A Lint RollerWho 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.
14. A MirrorYour 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 ClothesI 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 ChangeHaving spare change for parking meters, a pick me up coffee etc can save a lot of time searching for coins.
17. Business CardsIf you are a professional, you always, always want to have business cards at the ready.
18. First Aid KitUnfortunately, 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 WipesFrom 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-ToolLike 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?