Posted November 7, 2013 by Gavin Hoey in Articles

3 Non-Photographic Items In My Bag

Like many photographers my camera bag is stuffed full of gear. Some things like Camera bodies and lenses are obviously essential and get used all the time, whilst other things like lens cloths and random batteries are always handy to have around.

Space in my camera bag is always at a premium and I hate carrying around things that I won’t use. None the less there are a few things I always have with me which, on the face of it, have nothing to do with cameras but have proved their worth time and again.

So here are my top three most useful non photographic things I keep in my camera bag.

Balloon-DogNo.3 – Modelling Balloons
These first found their way into my camera bag back in the days when I was a wedding photographer. As the only professional at the wedding for the whole day, the photographer is also a bouquet fixer, guest liaison officer and occasional shoulder to cry on. The modelling balloons came in handy in my role as Photographer / children’s entertainer. If you can get the kids on your side photographing them (and the adults) becomes much easier!

So why are they still in my bag? Knot one up and you have an elastic band, adjustable strap or a quick way to mark your gear out from the crowd (hard to miss pink rubber band wrapped around your lens) Of course it’s also handy to surprise clients with kids by making an impromptu balloon animal!

Multi-Tool-CardNo.2 – Multi-Tool card
From the traditional Swiss Army Knife to top of the range Leatherman, multi tools come in all shapes and sizes but my personal favourite is the small card type like this. It has everything I need from a small knife, handy for getting into cellophane wrappers and the all important selection of screwdrivers.

It’s probably the screwdrivers that I’ve used the most. From the tiny screws that work loose in modern electrical items right up to the full size screwdriver need for running repairs on bigger items, this tools can handle them all.

Whether it’s repairing my gear, or more often someone else’s, these things were cheap, durable and endlessly useful. They also take up next to no room in my bag.

 Beer-TowelNo.1 – Beer Towel
A towel, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have… It’s also top of my non photographic gear must have list. These small, rectangular towels are priceless to me.

Need to protect something in your bag? No problem, just wrap it in a beer towel. Need to wipe a bit of light rain, mud or snow off you or your gear? Reach for the beer towel. Need to kneel on the ground without getting muddy? Use the beer towel… I could go on.

You can buy a pack of 10 beer towels for about £1.50 per towel and they’ll last for years. Small, cheap and endlessly useful they are my number one must have non photographic accessory.

Do you have a non photographic accessory that lives in your camera bag (and you actually use) if so I’d love to know what it is so please leave a comment below.

Gavin Hoey