Even with the best camera on the market a shaky shot can cost you the most perfect sunset shot. Shaking hands, dying batteries, direct lighting and limited storage can spoil what should have been a great photo shoot. I put together a list of the most essential accessories, and have linked to some products that I am in no way affiliated with, but they may serve you well if you are in the market for new equipment. You can often find second hand equipment on Kijiji as well.
Yes this is a simple thing to put on a list, but it is possibly the most important item to keep with you. For photography with phantom power lighting or stable lighting, a couple extra batteries should be enough, but shoots that require constant use of connected flash or filming a good half dozen is the minimum you should have with you. There is nothing worse than having battery die without back ups. There is no recovery or time to charge during events. Be sure to use batteries produced by the manufacturer of your camera to ensure warranty is not exceeded.
Monopods / Tripods
It’s not often you see event photographers carrying around monopods, but the use of one can help ensure your shots remain crisp and clear while on the move. For photoshoots, indoor shoots and filming a tripod is always a good investment. Though if you are filming in a situation where you have to quickly change angles, subjects or position, a monopod can be easier than a tripod. You can easily make your own monopod for a couple dollars if you want to try it out, but bringing DIY accessories to paid shoots can give a negative impression of your professionalism.
Bounce Boards ( Reflective Boards)
Direct lighting during shoots can often create very hard lines on the face and diminish detail on the darker side. Though stylized portrait photography may play into this as a style, most individuals who are looking to pay for a photoshoot will want clarity and brightness. Using bounce boards to redirect and augment lighting in a studio will give softer lighting and overall broader light in the room. When shooting outdoors, redirecting sunlight to brighten the subject can also bring a cleaner look to the subject.
Vivider 24 Inch Collapsable Multi-Disk – $16.99
We’ve talked a fair amount about brighten in a shot, and flash is certainly a way we produce that. Flash diffusers allow for a more natural looking lighting in your photograph and will help your subject avoid having a nasty eye reaction to the flash. These come in a variety of styles for different models, make sure to find one that attached well to your model.
Cameras often come with a neck piece to allow the camera to ride on your chest, which can be quite uncomfortable when rushing through the area for shots. A shoulder strap can make it a lot more comfortable when carrying a heavier lense and body configuration as it won’t be pulling of the back of your neck all day.
Let me know in the comments what your favourite equipment and accessories are and help others in their search for great gear!