You have the camera, your lens, and a few vital pieces you’ve added to your camera bag. In this post, I’m going to give you five essential tools to add to your photography kit.
#1: 5-in-1 reflector – This is the most versatile item in your kit, which can be used indoor or outdoor. Gold and silver are great for portraits, depends on if you want a golden or punchy look. The white side provides a subtle, soft light when light is bounced from it. The black side serves as a flag to block unwanted light from your subject. The inner part is a diffuser, which tones down light that passes through it. So, if you’re outside shooting at high noon, place the diffuser above your subject to reduce harsh shadows. If you wanted to use your diffuser in the studio, you can place it in front of your strobe to soften your light as needed. It’s one of the first pieces of lighting equipment any photographer should invest in.
#2: Neutral Density filter – Filters aren’t just for Instagram photos. Neutral density filters and circular polarizers are useful on environmental sets using natural light or mixed with strobes. These pieces of glass can protect your more expensive pieces of glass. Though they can be pricey, they’re a worthy investment you should make for the sake of your kit.
#3: Extra memory cards and batteries – Nothing is more embarrassing than showing up to a shoot unprepared. Like no batteries or memory cards unprepared (happened to me once, no lie). Purchasing a few more batteries and storing them in various pockets of your camera bag can go a long way. In other words, don’t be like me. In the words of Scar from The Lion King, be prepared.
#4: Sensor dust blower – I wasn’t completely sold on the sensor dust blower until I didn’t have enough time to have my camera professionally cleaned before a shoot. It comes in handy between shoots and it keeps dust from my sensor, which saves me a lot of time when I’m editing. I would suggest using this in a dust free environment to ensure it’s getting the job done.
#5: Microfiber cloth – If you’re like me, I sometimes pick up my lens without the caps and my smudgy fingers glide across the lens, causing a streak to run across the lens. I just pull out the microfiber cloth, clean it off, and get back to shooting. Just like the sensor dust blower, it comes in handy in a pinch. You can find them in the optical section of any big box store.
Until then, keep shooting!
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