When you set out to take photos, you never really know what you're going to get until you're ready to take a photo, isn't that exciting?
Except, you weren't prepared to capture the moment. We're talking about experiencing a total camera bag fail. And we don't ever want you to face that kind of thing. You're probably already in the habit of packing a spare lens or two. Terrific... but all the lenses in the world won't help if your battery is dead or you've run out of space on your memory card.
So here's a list of essentials that can transform your camera bag into a well stocked kit.
Memory cards: Avoid the horror of having to delete photos and format your disk to make room for more. Equip your bag with (formatted) memory cards.
External flash: Flashes tend to create unwanted shadows. Here's where an external flash can be your best friend.
Charged camera batteries plus charger: Don't miss a shot because you weren't prepared with backup power.
Mini tripod: So, what if your hand isn't as steady as you'd like? A mini tripod makes it easy to reduce camera movement. Also, if you use a timer you can appear in your own shot without having to try and take a selfie!
Gorilla Pod: While technically this is a tripod, it's not the ungainly, hard to carry around sort of tripod. If you bring your camera bag with you wherever you go, or if you have a large purse or other sort of bag that you carry around with you all the time, it's worth investing in one of these cool little gadgets. A Gorilla Pod is a flexible tripod that you can wrap securely around many different surfaces. Tree branches, fencing, there are a ton of different possibilities. Having a Gorilla Pod on hand may save you in situations where you can't brace your camera in other ways.
Rain cover: Keep yourself and your camera dry and protected. Bonus points: the rain cover can serve as a mat for your gear if the ground is wet or muddy.
Lens cleaner kit: This typically include items such as an air blower, cleaning liquid, and lens tissues. Regularly cleaning the lens can reduce scratches, as well as provide you with a clear field of view and keep little black flecks from showing up on your photos.
Other suggested items:
First-aid kit: Accidents happen... keep a small kit handy and don't forget to include sunscreen, lip balm with SPF, extra tissues, and hand sanitizer.
Snacks: Seriously, have you ever been around someone who is hungry?... always bring snacks and water!
Small notebook: Put down your smartphone and get ready to go old school. Record the location of where you took that amazing shot, jot down the colours that you saw when you took the shot. This way you will know why you took the photo and if needed you can edit the shot at a later date. Jot down new ideas, favorite locations and times of day. Since you're going old school don't forget to take a pen or (sharpened) pencil! You can also keep your wallet (or a smaller version) and keys in your camera bag... no need to add bulk to your jacket or pants.
Now get ready to take some amazing photos knowing that no matter what, your pack always has your back!