Your camera is a pretty amazing tool. It is essentially a time machine freezing anything that you point it at. As powerful as it is, it can’t do everything. Luckily there are plenty of accessories out there to help us get the most out of what out cameras have to offer and can also make getting out and photographing life a much more enjoyable experience! Here are my 5 Must have accessories for any camera owner. (This blog contains affiliate links where I may receive a small commission as a thank you for your purchase)
1: A Good Bag.
On the surface, you may wonder why camera bags are so much more expensive than just about every other bag you’ve owned. Don’t get a good camera bag confused for the same catch-all bag you had in grade school. About the only similarity is that they are both technically bags. A good camera bag will be the difference between bringing your camera with you on your next adventure and leaving it at home because it’s just too cumbersome to carry all day. A good camera bag should have 1 main focus. To Protect Your Camera. From both bumps and scrapes, and theft. From there, there are different types of bags depending on your goals and shooting styles. There are camera bags for simple day trips, camera bags made for month-long excursions, and everything in between. Even protective inserts that will turn your favorite bag you already own into a protected camera bag! My personal favorite camera bags are Tenba bags. Specifically the DNA series messenger bags. They are extremely well made and just well thought out when designed. They even have SILENT VELCRO!!
2. A Good Memory Card Reader
If you are plugging your camera into your computer to transfer files over, stop right now! I know it HAS a USB port but that does not mean you have to/ should use it. Using the usb port on your camera for anything more than tethering for studio use is like loading up the trunk of a Ferrari with groceries. Sure you can, but you shouldn’t. A Good card reader will be extremely fast and accept multiple card types. The faster you can transfer your photos the faster you can start editing them! And the best part is, card readers are extremely affordable.
3. Microfiber lens cloths.
No matter how well you take care of your gear and try to keep it in pristine condition your lens is going to get smudged and dirty. One day you will look at it and wonder how the hell it got so dirty. Keeping your lens clean is important if you want your photos to be sharp and crisp. Anyone with glasses will tell you how much of a difference it is when they put back on their glasses after cleaning them. The same goes for your camera. A single fingerprint on the lens can ruin how impactful a photo is. Before a wedding day starts I use a cleaning solution and lens tissue to ensure its crystal clean then I just use a simple microfiber cloth to clean off my camera lens for the rest of the day and it has never failed me.
4. An External Flash
The flash on your camera sucks. There is no sugar coating it. Simply pointing your flash directly at your subject produces a washed out and flat look that is not flattering to anyone you're taking a photo of. Yet light is so important. A Photo is simply capturing light. Being able to control the light you capture will allow you to create some amazing work. The external flashes are nowhere near as complicated as they use to be. Today they are more powerful than ever before, easier to use than ever before, and more affordable than ever before. And if you’re photographing people for money, it is your responsibility to know to capture great work in any lighting condition. I use recommend and use the Youngnuo 560IV flash for a few reasons. I like how powerful the flash is, I can overpower the sun if I need to, the directional head lets me control how the light hits my subjects and best of all it has wireless connectivity built in, letting me trigger the flash from my camera while the flash is up to about 200ft away. This helps me create some incredibly uniquely lit images at weddings. Also be sure to get rechargeable batteries for longer shooting and faster flash recharge times!
5. A Solid Tripod
Like a good camera bag, this is another area where your purchase is more of an investment but if you choose the right tripod you can buy it once if you buy it right. As a wedding photographer I don’t need a tripod as much as a landscape photographer or astro-photographer would, but when I do need a tripod it is worth its weight in gold! And for someone starting out in photography I honestly think a solid tripod is a big of a decision as choosing the camera itself. Sure the camera captures the photos but chances are, you will be purchasing a new camera body in a handful of years whereas I’m still using the same tripod I got in 2005. You want a tripod that is lightweight so you can pack it with you without it becoming a burden. I love the Vanguard as it offers some features of a higher end tripod for a much more affordable price. You will never regret owning a great tripod.
As you can see, the world of photography is full of fun goodies! Just remember the accessories you buy should simply enhance the photos you take and not be the reason you can take a great photograph. Nothing on this list will make you a great photographer as much as knowledge and practice will. If you want to learn more about photography techniques and theory to become a better photographer, then sign up for our free course! Photography Basics for Beginners: 14 Days to Better Photos. You will receive a new video tutorial in your inbox every day! How much better of a photographer can you be in 14 days?