10 Things Every Photographer Must Have

Happy Thursday everyone. Hope you all are doing well today. Today I am going to give you the list of ten things that every photographer must have. This list will range from the inexpensive to the expensive. Please keep in mind that this list is just one person's opinion, but if you want to be a full time successful photographer you need to really consider these items. Also, please note that no one on this list has provided any financial backing or sponsorship to me or my business. 

Not only am I going to give you a list today, I am going to give you a brief description of why you should own these things. There is always a very specific reason for the thoughts that I put down here and those reasons are to help and guide other content providers along the way. 

So let's get to it...

1. FroKnowsPhoto AKA Jared Polin's video guides.  His guides are the best video guides on the market today. They are geared towards the real world and very understandable for anyone from a seasoned professional to someone just picking up a camera for the first time.  Cost $261.00 for all three of his current guides. FroKnowsPhoto Guides

2. ThinkTank StreetWalker HardDrive bag. This bag has all the room a professional needs. It's built tough. There are plenty of pockets for all your accessories and the amount of gear that you can put in the bag is extraordinary. On top of all your camera gear, this beast of a bag can also carry up to a 17" laptop. This bag will meet all your demands whether you are a portrait shooter or shooting the Superbowl. The added tripod pocket on the bottom make carrying even the largest of tripod an absolute breeze. Cost $229.75. ThinkTank StreetWalker HardDrive.  

3. BorrowLenses account. Let me tell you, this is an absolute life saver and it is the best place to rent gear! Have you ever dreamed about shooting with a 70-200 2.8 and just can't afford to buy one yet? Well BorrowLenses is the answer to that. They have pretty much anything you could ever need in the way of Photography and Videography gear. I have used them exclusively over the years for my rentals. It is also a great way to determine what lens you want to buy. I rented the Nikon 24-70 2.8 long before I ever bought it. Their shipping is fast and I have never had a single issue with any piece of gear that I rented from them. If you are serious about growing as a photographer, you have to have an account. Best of all....IT'S FREE!! Visit BORROWLENSES.COM

4. One of the most important items in my bag, and one that we use every time we are out shooting is this. It is the BlackRapid Wrist Strap. This small thing can make all the difference in the world. Our typical day of shooting may consist of being on our feet for 12 hours with verry few places to set a camera down. The BlackRapid Wrist Strap allows us to carry the camera with us at all times, without ever having the fear of dropping it. And for you guys with big hands out there, no worries, it will fit. I am 6'1 300+ and have big hands. It fits like a gem. You may ask if it will hold big stuff, well I will tell you, when I am using it on sight it is typically with a Nikon D3 attached to a 70-200 2.8 with a Nikon SB-700 lens attached and I can hang it from my wrist no problem. If you don't own one of these, you should order one TODAY!! My girlfriend has pretty much taken mine over, so I actually have to order a second one. She won't shoot without it now. Cost $29.95 With Fastener. BlackRapid Wrist Strap.

5. The next item is not something that a lot of you think about but what I found to be an amazing product and that is the Powerex MH-C800S 8-Cell Smart Charger for AA / AAA NiMH / NiCD. This thing is amazing. For the longest time I was charging my batteries four at a time and it would take all night. Now with this, I can get eight done in less than hours. If you are someone who shoots with a lot of speedlites then you need to get this. It will save you a ton of headaches and missed shots. Cost $47.51 Amazon. PowerEx MH-C800S

6. Do you print your photos? If not, why are you not printing them? Is cost the issue? Well this next product will really help you out. This is where I go and where I send everyone to go for their prints. You next MUST HAVE is an Adoramapix.com account. For 4x6 to 24x36, paper or metal, it doesn't matter they know how to get it done. Their prices are amazing and the work is second to none. I have never had to return a print to them for anything. A basic account (same I have) is absolutely free to sign up for. Stop using the big box retailers for printing your art and start using people who live and breath photography on paper!! Cost FREE Check out ADORAMAPIX.COM

7. Now we start getting into the heavy lifting. One thing that every photographer must have is a quality flash. I know some of you will say you don't shoot with flash, and half that say that are just afraid of shooting with flash. If you want your photos to look their absolute best, you need to get yourself at least one flash. Don't settle for the $99 crap either that you see at big box stores. If you are shooting a Canon, step up and get a really nice Canon flash like the 430EX-III or the 600EX-RT. If you are shooting with a Nikon get yourself either a SB-700 or a SB-910 and learn to use it all the time. It will really make a difference in your content. Cost $300-$550 Canon Flashes & Nikon Flashes 

8. GLASS!! This is the one thing that frightens people more than anything, and the reason is the cost. There is a reason that lenses cost when they do, and that's because they are worth it. If you are going to be serious about your content creating you'd better be serious about the type of gear that you need to create that content. Great glass that is taken care of should last you at least 10 years in my opinion. Doesn't mean it will, but the better glass that you buy the better the chance of it lasting is, along with the better your content will look. I get asked all the time which lenses to buy and people are saddened by my answer. If you are a Nikon shooter you should own the following glass...Nikon 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8, & 70-200 2.8 along with the 50mm 1.8 or better. Now that you have picked yourself up off the floor realizing that is over $6000 worth of lenses, call BorrowLenses.com and at least rent a couple for a weekend and you will completely understand why these are must have lenses. If you are a Canon shooter you should be looking at the exact same focal length range in the f/2.8 range as well. It's call the Trinity of Lens for most professionals. Cost $6000+

9. Storage. While this seems like a given, I think some people forget how important storage is and how much space your photos take up. Now this will depend if you a shooting a RAW format or just Jpeg but either way you need storage. I always bring a 1TB portable hard drive with to shoots that we are staying the night. I do not like to leave images on the cards longer than I have to. With that said, cards is another very important thing to look at. We have been using Sandisk cards for the last 6 years and have recently been considering a move to the new Lexar cards. While I am not advocating for one or the other, I am just telling you what we use and what we are doing. Either way I suggest replacing cards every few years or so depending on how many times  you have to format the card. We format every time that we dump cards. Do not buy the biggest cards possible either, you never want all your eggs in one basket. Switch out cards during a shoot if you need to, and this avoids any possibility of losing the entire shoot. Card Cost $10+ Hard Drive Cost $60+

10. Finally what is the one thing that trumps almost everything else? The one thing that some photographers and videographers ignore? The one thing that you absolutely must have no matter what? The answer is...A BACKUP CAMERA BODY BATTERY!!! I can't tell you how many photographers make the mistake of not owning a second camera body battery. Are you really going to go to a shoot with one camera body and just the single battery in hopes that the battery doesn't fail? You have redundant systems for your flash batteries, your memory cards, lens caps, any everything else, but you don't have that second battery for your camera body. Yes there are some camera's that a replacement battery costs $100, but chances are that if you own those bodies, you are doing large jobs and getting paid for your service. After you have ordered your BlackRapid strap, you must order a second battery for your camera!!

Now that you have read through the list you may ask yourself what about a camera body. The reason that I did not touch on camera bodies if because all of the above items will work for any DSLR camera body on the market. The camera body is a tool to capture great photos, and the above listed are some of the ad on's that you need to make the rest of the process a reality. 

Whenever you are thinking about new gear and what is the must have list I hope this is the first list that you think of and come back too. Thank you for spending the time checking this out, and if you own a camera, don't forget to order that BlackRapid strap either.