Whether you’re a National Geographic photographer or an entry-level camera assistant, there are certain items you would never dream leaving for a shoot without. Meanwhile, there could quite possibly be an apparatus or two that you didn’t even know you were missing. To cover all bases, we’ve compiled a few lists of camera bag essentials that often go forgotten. Pick and choose items as you see fit!

The Toolkit

One of humankind’s earliest inventions was the hand tool, and even though we’ve made some improvements to our Stone Age ancestors, there are certain classics that should have a permanent place in your camera bag in case you need to get handy, such as:

  • Phillips and flathead screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Wrench
  • Scissors
  • Hex keys
  • Flashlight
  • Prong adapters
  • Tape measure
  • Carabiners
  • Batteries (assorted)

The “Wish I Had That” List

If you’ve ever had to gather woodchips to steady your tripod or find some other nifty fix on the fly, you might have found yourself wishing you had one or more of these items:

  • Camera wedges
  • Velcro
  • Zip ties
  • Work gloves
  • Compressed air
  • Camera tape
  • Lens cleaning fluid
  • Lens tissue/microfiber cloth
  • Grease pencil/dry erase marker/pen/pencil/sharpie
  • Tag board
  • WD-40
  • Rope
  • Lighter
  • Superglue
  • Rain cover
  • Extra memory cards

The Bag Itself

It’s one thing to have everything you could ever need in your camera bag, but the extra weight could quickly become frustrating if you weren’t able to find exactly what you needed in a split second. These camera bags and backpacks are some of the highest rated by photographers:

As with any masterpiece, your camera bag will be a work in progress. There will always be room for improvement; for instance, you may want to eventually upgrade your basic metal tipped tape measure to a fancy laser one. Or, you may be on the lookout for ways to save, like making your own tag board. Regardless of what you decide to carry in your camera bag, Your Art Gallery wishes you a smooth shoot on your next project!