15 Non-Photography Essentials You Should Have in Your Bag

I went shopping the other day to restock my gear bags with supplies. Funny thing was that everything I was buying wasn’t camera related at all. Instead these were everyday items that I found convenient and handy to have on set. Most of these non-photography essentials you can find at a Home Depot, Target, or click on the picture to go to my Amazon Affiliates 😉

1. Clamps

Clamps like the ones pictured are good for holding things together. Yes, that sounds a little redundant. I use these mostly to hold up my backdrop and keeping it from slipping or for holding up reflectors.

2. Tarte Smooth Operator Micronized Clay Finishing Powder

Shiny photo subject? Matte them down with makeup! This works on the fellas too. I recently learned that the clay in this brand does a better job with oil absorption (thanks FrmHeadtoToe!)


3. Mirror

A lot of times your photo subject will want to check to see how their face/makeup looks before shooting. In the event that you’re nowhere near a restroom or somewhere where a traditional wall mirror would be a pocket mirror will be handy. Not only would it allow your subject to apply, check, or fix their makeup, it would also put them at ease. I’d rather keep my photo subject feeling awesome and focused on taking a picture rather than subconsciously stressing about their face.


4. Trash Bag

Don’t litter, that’s mean. And in California it’s a $1000.00 fine. –Also white trash bags in particular can be improvised as a rain cover for your camera or a cheap diffusion screen if you have an off-camera flash.


5. First Aid Kit (or at least Band-aids)

Better safe than sorry! Accidents can happen at anytime …like that one time I fell into quicksand during a shoot
Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 11.43.29 PM


6. A Really Bright Mini Flash Light

In general it’s good to have something reliable and portable in any dark situation. And in a worst case terrible lighting scenario you could use it as light for your subject.


7. Tape

There’s a limitless number of situations where you’d have to tape something together: taping wires down, taping backdrops down, taping marks on the ground, etc. My personal favorite is Gaffer’s tape! It’s very strong and doesn’t leave a sticky residue when you remove it.


8. Paper Clips


These are useful for making clothes fit.



9. External Battery Pack

Any power pack that let’s you plug in a USB device for charging is gold! I have a Anker.


10. Different Colored Markers

Whenever you need to write something and have a way to easily distinguish it from something else, these will be handy.


11. Towels

Any generic towel will do. Just having something to wipe off dirt, dust something off, shield you from the sun, act as another ghetto form of diffusion or bounce, etc.


12. Hand Sanitizer

Because sometimes bathrooms and sinks don’t exists.


13. Leatherman Multi-Tool


It’s good to have an all-around tool with you. There’s been countless times that I’ve need a random screwdriver or knife.


14. Rope


You never know where you’ll need rope to hang an object, create a pulley system to life something, create a safety cord for your camera, or create a ring of fire.



15. Lint Roller


Because spending a few seconds rolling away lint, dust, pet hair, or other specks off clothing on set will save you time in post.


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