What you didn’t know you needed as a photographer…..
Over the years I have been in many of circumstances as photographer that had me fumbling, searching, and ultimately packing items I never knew I would need when I started this career as a photographer. I am saving you the time and providing the tips that will help with the “oh darn” moments while you are out in the field. The Photography life is not for the faint of heart to get “the shot.”
I have created and built my own kit full of gadgets over the years and odd and ends so that while I am out in the field if something happens I am prepared. There are so many stories I could share with you that would have you rolling with laughter. I have been chased by a skunk, chased by a Bull, I have fell so many times I am not embarrassed when I trip and stumble anymore.I have even been caught on fire from a drunken guest holding a sparkler at a wedding while I was photographing the exit. Yes it’s true, and if you guessed it , you are right I am not a fan of fireworks! However, I did have a little bit of medicine on hand with a first aid kit that came in handy because I was prepped for the what ifs. This photographer wasn’t down for the count and I am thrilled to prepare you so you aren’t either.
As my husband may be reading this he going to absolutely cringe that my extension cord is not properly curled up for transport… I am totally going to call myself out I would shoot long hours and shove everything in my car and would hope my hubby would organize it all for me… and he would.. shhh don’t tell I didn’t take advantage I just valued his organization skills.
- First Aid Kit– Save a wound from a sparkler… I found myself getting blisters from being on my feet for hours at weddings. It was fabulous to refresh and dress the blisters, and also help others that might have an unexpected booboo… you became a saint… you are now adored by the mother of the bride!
- Waterproof Bags– Put your SD Cards so they won’t get spilled on or rained on
- Purell wipes- Staying clean while touching others or while photographing a Bride’s white dress
- Listerine Strips– Having an unfriendly breath while up close and personal for a close up is not a way to win a returning client.
- Sunscreen & Insect Repellent not only comes in handy for you but for your guests that might find themselves in location they didn’t realize would be an option for imagery.
- Heavy duty elastic rubber bands are important to hold the ziploc bag or gear protection cover in places without allowing rain or debris to damage your camera.
I can already hear the short jokes coming but it’s not just because this 5’3 ( I think i’m 5’2 but for the fun of it let’s humor my ego and say I am 5’3.) that I need a step stool. When you are photographing a wedding, engagement, or you want to get that perfect angle even photographing a flat lay of products having a step stool is seriously the number one item I would leave in your car for use. Yes, I have left them, broke them , and fell from them but guess what….I GOT THE SHOT! While mentioning photographing flat lays this post is also inspired from my friend Cassie where I am often poked fun of as I leave my gadgets behind and I am resorting using her step stool and or an earring back to prevent a product to roll but yet small enough that can’t be seen. These small sticky adhesive pads are perfect to prevent product from rolling but yet translucent enough to avoid being a distraction in your imagery.
- Step stool– just bring it.. leave it in your trunk and thank me later
- Zip ties- in case you want to kidnap someone…just kidding!! If you are using a backdrop, have a faulty light stand, or want to organize your extension chords having these little jewels will come in handy.
- Wagon– I have pulled so much gear that help prevent so many trips back and forth to the car… Also have you ever photographed a kid that was just absolutely not into it…. Move your gear and give them a ride … along with the candy you have in your kit of surprises that make you the most loved photographer on the planet!
- Extension cords, lint roller, gorilla glue, electrical tape, it’s like all the things you wondered what your Dad & Grandpa needed all that for will be your best friend when you least expect it.
- Flat lay boards & ring box- my friend Michelle is like the most epic wedding photographer as I mentioned and she has the most beautiful accessories to add texture to flat lays of wedding invitations. Not only purchasing a beautiful ring box is great but getting plain white jewelry boxes to place invitations on to bring them off the ground create a beautiful layout that comes through your lens
Oh my gosh I am literally loving all this talk about gadgets way too much!! I mean everything I picked up to share with you it sparks so many stories of moments during photo shoots. Clamps are great beyond reason, stuff them in your camera bag. From holding an outfit that didn’t fit right or making a curtain stay just perfect or just using to clip your shot list somewhere it’s beyond handy . I would even clip my shot list and paperwork with them so I could quickly grab them during a wedding.
- Fanny Pack– This isn’t your Momma’s fanny pack. My close friend and amazing luxury wedding photographer Michelle Rice had the best idea as we wore aprons while we photographed large weddings. Where it made it easy to access SD Cards, Batteries, and our little gadgets swiftly tied upon our waists without having to fumble through multiple bags .
- Sewing kit– I mean be the hero at the wedding. Step aside Wedding Planner the photographer hs this. So many times thread, small scissors, and a quick button touch up has happened more times than we can count. A sewing kit is a must in the kit of gadgets.
- Having a changing room – especially for Influencers always comes in handy for quick changes on location. There are times if one is brave a blanket is always suffice because on several occasions a changing room has mutated into a parachute and taken on wind and us with it…. you just been mooned!
- Mini Fan – Sheaffer told me to showed up on a hot summer day ready for her photoshoot with her mini personal fan. I literally was so mad I never thought of it before and was so impressed.. You guys a few days later she had mailed me one ! Talk about the best and thoughtful gift from a fellow friend!
Let’s talk fishing line!! Okay this is the doozy of all tricks…. Fishing line is STRONG! of course depending on what strength you buy. This magic tool has the strength to hold and the weight of your gear, the weight of a balloon arch that went rogue and can dangle items in the air you want to photograph without it being fully seen yet withstand the weight of the product. Let’s face it a good strong tape can save a stressed out woman doing everything she can for the perfect shoot when a blouse that’s bulging in the wrong places is hindering her confidence…… Did I ever tell you that my blouse uknowlingly hooked on my camera bag and I practically flashed my clients for their entire session… I wondered why they were so eager to do what I asked… They were ready for the peep show to end. I hopped in the car taped the good ol darling blouse up and onward and upward i went..yes the blouse found a new home in the trash.
I am pretty simple and love to be comfortably professional. My amazing friends and clients often show me the love with some amazing gifts of clothes and always keep me on trend. I am loving this combo and if I can wear my favorite tennis shoes it’s the perfect look for me!
I hope that you not only laughed but found this as a resource! I love sharing the smallest to the biggest details to help you standout through marketing strategy and imagery! You may also find some of my previous blog posts helpful as well .
Is there something you need more insight on or help with ? Comment below with a topic and I just might surprise you with a blog full of information just for you !!