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10 must carry items for every photographer

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  • 6 min read

So you have a big shoot coming up. You’re all set, packed up, you reach the shoot location and oh damn, that one little nasty thing you don’t have.

More often than not, these nasty little things end up ruining whole shoots. It can be something as apparent as an SD card or a UV filter to something you didn’t even imagine you might need on the location of the shoot.

In this post, we bring you the top ten items every photographer must have in their camera bags.

Also read: Photography 101: Switching to Manual Mode

Extra batteries

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it?

You’ll be surprised by the amount of headache one simple little battery will save you should you decide to throw one in your bag. It never hurts to have extra batteries in your bag, and there can be several reasons you might just need them.

Let’s say you forgot to charge your main battery and tada, your camera is dead midway during the shoot. You’ll be thanking yourself for that one extra battery you had tucked away in your backpack.

ND Filters

ND filters, or Neutral Density filters, are these small filters that go on top of your lens and control the amount of light that enters them. Consider them sunglasses for your camera.

Why might you need them? Well, a perfect example will be If you’re out shooting and the sun is right above your head. Now if you’re shooting video, your shutter speed is locked according to your framerate and your ISO is also at the lowest, but the frame is still overexposed. The only option you have is to turn down your aperture.

But what if you want that shallow depth of field too? Well, in that case, an ND filter is your only option. Much like ISO, they come in variable densities for use according to the situation. Just throw some in your bag, you’ll thank us later.

Gaffers tape ( Gaff tape)

Gaffers tape is in most ways similar to duct tape, except that it’s way stronger and doesn’t leave any of that sticky residue.

Why would you want to carry it around? Well, you might often find yourself in a situation where you’ll have to mount something to something else, and you won’t have the clamps or mounts needed. In such circumstances, the gaff tape becomes the holy grail.

Since it doesn’t leave any sticky residue, you can use it on your equipment without any worries.

Memory Card Reader

Photography 101: 10 must carry items for every photographer

You’ll be surprised how often photographers run into the problem of not carrying around a card reader and boom; they don’t know how to transfer their photos.

Even if your camera has WiFi, Bluetooth or NFC or any other file transfer capabilities for that matter, nothing matches the convenience of just popping out your memory card and putting it in whatever device you want to transfer your photos.

They’re cheap, readily available and so small you might not even notice them in your bag. You can never go wrong with one of these in your backpack.

Extra SD Cards

Or whatever card type your camera uses (most use SD though I guess?)

There are a million reasons why you should carry an extra SD card, or better yet, a memory card wallet in your camera bag. The most common one being, you forgetting to empty your card and three photos into the shoot, your card is full.

You’re going to be thankful that day for carrying extra cards. They’re a lifesaver.

Camera Instruction Manual

From personal experience, always carry your camera’s instruction manual that came with it.

Why? Well, at some point in your career as a photographer you’ll encounter a situation where you’ll have to do something with your camera, which you wouldn’t know how. The instruction manual will save you on that day.

Also, it contains a bunch of other information that can come in handy at times. Besides, it’s just a small book.


Unless you’re a hardcore street photographer, which means always being on the move, you’re going to need a tripod at one point or another.

Even a smaller, more portable tripod will be a good investment. There are some times where you’re going to need it, so carry one along.

LED Light Board

Carrying a simple light board can be your one stop solution for all your lighting needs. These boards usually have a lot of LEDs on them arranged on a grid format. You can use them in several ways, from lighting yourself up to using it to light backdrops.

They charge on USB and usually have decent brightness and battery life. If you buy a high quality one, it might even come with gels to change the tone of the light. Overall, a pretty handy gadget.

Microfiber cloth

Photography 101: 10 must carry items for every photographerAs you move around with your camera gear, it’s bound to get dirty and dusty. Keeping a microfiber cloth in your bag will not only help you keep your equipment clean on the fly but the on-site protection it will offer will save you a lot of headache in case you miss out something, and it becomes a problem later on.


A blower is a piece of great equipment for cleaning any unwanted dust particles that might get stuck in or around your lenses.

Blowers can also help clean out the inside of your camera. In case you’ve got a spec of dust on your sensor, a blower is a perfect thing to get rid of it without harming the camera.

Also read: Crop sensor DSLR vs Full Frame DSLR

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: