8 Must Have Photo Accessories | Tina Case Photography, Saratoga, California
I admit it, I am a photo gear junkie. I have a room filled with photo-related gear, props, tools - and I continue to collect more. But out of all of the 'stuff' I have, what's my favorite and most used photo gear? Here's a list of my top 8 photo accessories that I've been thinking other photographers might be interested in as well as add their favorite stuff to this list:
#1 First up, I love my BG-C9 Battery Grip for Canon 5D Mark III. You don't need to spend more money and purchase the Canon version. I have had great luck with this unit for less than $100. I can use it with one or two Canon LP-E6 batteries. 99% of the time I have two Canon LP-E6 batteries installed which basically doubles my shooting time. I've never once had to recharge during a shoot, and that includes one that lasted 10 hours. But what's really great is this also takes 6 AA size batteries OR can use just one of the Canon LP-E6 batteries while the other one is charging. It also allows you to shoot in portrait mode with the built-in shutter button. You shouldn't be bothered by changing batteries in the middle of a shoot. Remember, never leave home without a full charge!
#2 Joby UltraFit Sling Strap For Men (Charcoal, M to XL). On more than one occasion this strap has literally saved my back. You can read about that here. But more importantly this strap is amazing in that it distributes the weight of my gear so perfectly that I never have a back ache at the end of a long day. I typically carry two cameras on most shoots, my Canon 5D Mark iii with a 24-70mm lens, and my Canon 5D Mark ii with a 70-200mm lens. Especially for events, I have both of those cameras wrapped around across my body so that I don't have to switch lenses in the middle of a shoot. I can swap between cameras depending on the shot I want. Of course I have this strap for both cameras. I LOVE THESE STRAPS. PERIOD.
#3 thinkTANKphoto Airport Navigator Bag. OK, to be honest I used to go for the ultra pretty bags, you know like Epiphanie LOLA in RED. But my more practical side won out especially since I realized that having a larger bag that has 99% of what I need on most shoots can be carried consistently (and I emphasize CONSISTENTLY). Most of my sessions are on location so I always want to have EVERYTHING I need in one place. I can easily carry two camera bodies with lenses attached, extra batteries, my Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT, a Gary Fong Speedlite diffuser plus pockets to carry gum, cleaning cloths, hand sanitizer and cables.
#4 Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader (UDMA 7). Before I had this card reader I used to plug my camera directly into my laptop to download images. But that meant more camera battery power was being drained as well. Now with this card reader I simply insert my CF or SD cards and with the USB 3.0 can quickly download my images. It's super portable and easily fits in my bag.
#5 Carson SM-44 5x SensorMag Magnifier. Before I had this tool I would dish out $50-60 at a time to have my camera sensor professionally cleaned. When I started asking questions at the local camera shop one of the nice fellows there showed me how to do it myself. It isn't hard to do plus this allows me to clean them regularly and especially before a major session. I also purchase Sensor Swab Type 3 (12-Pack) to clean.
#6 Westcott 20" 5-in-1 Sunlight Reflector Kit. Whether I'm photographing food or people, this lightweight, easy-to-carry reflector is a must. I use this for portraits, food, and products to reflect more natural light to the image. Compact, easy to fold and carry.
#7 ExpoDisc 2.0 77mm White Balance Filter. I used to have inconsistencies in my white balance that I would have to correct in Lightroom. Now that I have the ExpoDisc my white balance is accurate. Much easier than a grey card, I simple carry this around my neck with the cord that comes with it, set my custom white balance quickly and easily whenever the lighting conditions change. So Simple! Plus it saves lots of time in post editing.
#8 Photoshop Lightroom 5 Software for Mac and Windows (Boxed Version). I haven't managed to move over to the Adobe Creative Cloud. I'm a box person I guess. Before I started using Lightroom I would do my editing in Adobe Photoshop. But Lightroom 5.0 has greatly increased my workflow, cutting my editing time by more than 50%. It might even be more like 80%. I can speed through my editing process by reviewing all of my images in a grid view, quickly flag and tag image for deletion, editing and even set them to print and blog. I LOVE LIGHTROOM.
So these are my top 8 photography related items that I couldn't do without. What are YOUR favorite photo accessories?
Disclosure - I am a B&H Affiliate. I personally purchase my gear at B&H Photo and all opinions are my own. I love their customer service. I have had 2 instances where I had defective gear and each time B&H provided free shipping and repair. I love their service, the products and the simplicity of ordering from one of the top photography companies in the world. Plus I like their rewards program!
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