Every photographer does the cliche "What's In My Bag" gear post and yes I've been guilty of doing the same. Outside of the gear in my camera bag, I also use a lot of equipment; clothes, gadgets, software, music, etc. all of which helps me in one way or another in my travels as a photographer. I decided to make a list of this, lets call it stuff, here is that stuff.
Lets start with a bag because technically a bag isn't inside my bag or maybe it is, I don't know, but either way I thought this would be a fun start. I have a whole line-up of ThinkTank bags including shoulder slings, rollers, and backpacks. We use them all the time and they are built to last and well designed. I’ve had one bag for almost 10 years and still works perfectly.
Full disclosure, I’m a ThinkTank ambassador but I've used their bags for 10 years before I even started to work with them, you can see my pretty face on their website here.
I absolutely love their websites, this blog was built using Squarespace. Yes, they are template based but they make it so easy to design and update your website or blog by yourself and they have endless customizations options. I have 5 different sites with them, I can’t say enough good things about that company.
Here are some of my other websites, all built with Squarespace.
I’m trying to limit my social media consumption while I’m on shoots so that I focus on the task at hand, but I still need a phone just in case so I go with the bare bones Nokia 3310 used for texting and phone calls oh and telling the time.
Note: I still carry an iphone SE when I travel but I try to keep it in my camera bag and only use it sparingly.
Lululemon Travel Yoga Mat
What does this have to do with photography. I have a slipped disc in my back and it’s probably related to carrying gear around for years. I travel all the time for work and I look like an idiot doing yoga so I do it in my hotel room shielded from the eyes of the outside world, but it’s good for my back and good for all you youngsters out there so you don't end up like me.
I ditched Apple Music and never looked back, love their library and interface.
I use this app to schedule my social media posts for my different brands. I know I said I’m trying to spend less time on social media, but trust me, this app helps me get all my posts for the week done in one sitting and frees up time for me.
Their stuff is cool looking, that’s why I like it. I use their pouches to store cables and things like that.
For the stylish photographer, their handmade waxed canvas and leather camera bags and accessories are the coolest of cool.
I have the leather version with the soft color, it fits nicely in my back pocket without being too bulky. I use it to jot down notes and to write captions or take it out sometimes and hold it in my hand while ponder giving off the appearance that I might be intelligent.
Great for all occasions and they make me look like an outdoorsman of sorts.
Since I detoxed on the social media I've filled in the time gap by reading, I love my Kindle. I'm currently reading an insightful book about Richard Avedon called "Something Personal", I highly recommend it.
I still use Lightroom for my bulk editing, but when I want to do go into more detail with my personal work I've been migrating over to Capture One. The program is easy to use and it has awesome options for color, powerful piece of software.
When the Macbook Pro built in speaker doesn't cut it, I love this little portable Bluetooth speaker. I wish the Bluetooth wasn’t so buggy, but I find all Bluetooth is pretty inconsistent.
I edit and read on planes, noise cancelling headphones playing jazz or classical music allow me do those two things in peace and with great quality. The only downside to them is in hot climates they make you sweat in ears(which is weird) and I live in Vietnam so it's hot.
I've been following the Strobist for a long time and I recently met David in person. He's an extremely nice guy and an innovative and dedicated teacher of all things lighting. Beginners or pros, you will learn new things from subscribing to his website.
I wear these all the time on assignments, one less decision to make when I wake up in the morning. I buy them in packs of 3 and wear them until I can't anymore. They are comfortable and they hide the evidence that I’m sweating like a madman while I'm working. A nice bonus is black is slimming, and I’m a big dude.
Photography Book Collection
Every photographer should have a book collection, great for those slow days when you need inspiration. Here are a few in my collection.
Dan Winters | The Road To Seeing
Trent Parke | Minutes To Midnight
Robert Frank | The Americans
Richard Avedon and James Baldwin | Nothing Personal
Richard Avedon | In The American West
Richard Avedon | Photographs 1946-2004
Vivian Maier | A Photographer Found
Alex Webb | The Suffering of Light
Irving Penn | Centennial
It's not all love with my gear so I wanted to add some products that, lets say disappointed with not angry, because that hurts more. No, they aren't worthy of product links so I'm leaving them out.
Macbook Pro with Touchbar
I bought a maxed out version for ultimate speed because I edit thousands of high res photos so I wanted the best. It's not the best, it is barely faster then my old maxed out MacBook Air and the touchbar already doesn't work. It's slowing down already, less one year old, disappointed and annoyed that I'm stuck in the Apple eco-system.
Transcend Memory Card reader
I don’t have a better option, but card readers use to be good and they all seem awful these days. I find the wire is tempremental and disconnects way too easy.
If you have any gear you want to add to here, please do so in the comments section below.