8 Things You Should Always Keep in Your Camera Bag

There are a few things every photographer should keep in his or her camera bag. Check our list to make sure you’re not forgetting something important!

1. Spare memory card

There’s nothing worse than having the perfect shot, going to take your picture, and your camera telling you your memory card is full. To avoid going through all your pictures on the spot and deleting the bad ones—which is incredibly frustrating and time-consuming—keep a few spare memory cards in your bag at all times; they take up zero space, so there’s no excuses!

2. Microfiber cloth

A microfiber cloth is one of the most useful and cheapest accessories a photographer can have in their bag. It’s primarily used for cleaning dirt and dust off of camera lenses, but it’s also extremely useful for wrapping up other accessories in your camera bag (memory cards, lenses, flashes), to keep them from being scratched or damaged.

3. Plastic bag

It happens to all of us photographers: we get stuck in the rain. Make sure you have a grocery bag tucked away in your camera bag for those unexpected downpours. All you need is a hole in the bag for the lens, and you have an inexpensive way to keep your camera dry and still get your perfect shot.

4. Mini tripod

Carrying a full size tripod isn’t always practical. Keep a mini tripod in your camera bag so you are never caught without a camera support again. Travel models can be folded very small for storage, and although they are obviously not as sturdy as full size tripods, they are still versatile. They can be set up in places a full size tripod would struggle with (in trees, on walls, very uneven surfaces) and are perfect for low-light photography.

5. Flash

A flash is excellent for adding additional light to your shot. If you haven’t tried before, you’ll quickly see that it will add a whole new depth and dimension to your photography. A flash is a must for every serious photographer.

6. Battery

A full day of shooting will eat away at your battery life, especially if you overuse the LCD screen, which drains the battery quickly. I always like to keep a spare battery in my bag. I also find that turning your camera off and on repeatedly uses a lot of battery power. Hopefully, keeping a spare battery is obvious; if your battery runs flat, there’s nothing else to do but pack up and go home!

7. Lens

If you’re using a camera with a changeable lens, it is vital to have at least one extra lens. This is to give you greater choice with your focal length and will also be a backup lens if anything happens to your primary lens.

8. Manual- optional

Keeping your manual in your bag, might just save you one day. It can be used to sort out a camera problem or a setting you are struggling with. It can be difficult to remember the variety of settings on your camera, so always keep it handy!