Updated: Oct 19, 2018
Photography: the art or practice of taking photographs.
Well, that’s the dictionary definition. But photography is much more than that. It’s using light and imagery to capture anything and everything. It is to be able to capture an authentic unrepeatable moment in time or to even create a whole new concept to communicate an idea. Photos can express emotions, ideas, memories, essence, and so much more. And all of this can be done with just one tool.
Yes, this is the most important tool you will need in a camera bag! But as nice and motivational as that all sounded, a lot of the time it wasn’t just one tool that’s behind all those famous photographs you see today. A lot of photographers and videographers carry around large bags of equipment that help them get their work done. Depending on what exactly you want to do with your camera can change what you decide to buy or bring with you, but there are some things everyone should have!
Cameras usually come with a kit lens that is good for figuring out where you want to go with photography. After you have shot with the kit lens for a little bit, you will start to feel limited and you will want to buy new lenses that allow you to take your art to the next level. So for you portrait photographers that live for those blurry backgrounds, I would grab a 50mm lens. A lot of photographers also like to take portraits with 35mm or 80 mm lenses as well. And for those stunning landscapes, I would grab a nice wide-angle lens like a 16mm. For those of us who want to be able to put some distance between ourselves and the subject can grab a nice zoom lens like a 70-200. A safe bet for anyone can be to grab a good all around lens like a 24-70mm. That way you can take great pictures in a lot of different situations.
I would buy a bunch of these and throw them in a small pocket of my bag. Throw some in your car, office, and literally any other place you might find yourself without one. One day you will leave your house without an SD card in your camera, and you will be so thankful to yourself if you have extra in your bag. SD cards are just a nice thing to have a lot of. As Nike would say, just do it.
While they can be big, bulky, and annoying to lug around, tripods are incredibly useful. Want to take a self-portrait? Grab the tripod. Need to use a longer shutter speed to make this waterfall look beautiful? Grab the tripod. Is it low light or night time? Grab the tripod. Need to the camera to stay in the exact same place for a while? Grab the tripod. You get the idea!
Camera batteries are getting better and better, but it is always safe to have extra on hand, especially when traveling. We would hate to come across the perfect opportunity and not be able to capture it.
Lens Cleaning Cloth
This is a small thing that makes a big difference. It’s a small expense that protects your really expensive lenses and ensures quality content. And for all that is good in this world, don’t use your shirt unless you are truly out of all other options.
Neutral Density filters, extra lens caps, gorilla pod, and hand cleaning cloths. Thees are just some nice things to have around, and you never know when you might need one!
And those are some basic things I would definitely consider putting in your camera bag. It seems like a lot of stuff to have and it can be overwhelming to hear it all at one time, but they make a world of difference. Also, you will get used to having all the stuff you need around, and it will become second nature to you. As with most things, it just takes time and experience to get the hang of it all. Keep working at it and you will get it!
Fun fact, I wrote this about a month before posting it, and during that time I walked out of my house for the first time in a very long time without an SD card. I was in a hurry and decided to bring a different camera bag than usual. I really need to follow my own advice and throw some SD cards in my car. It happens to the best of us…