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21 Things Wedding Photographers Should keep in their Backpacks

When I started photography I had to do all the research on my own, which I'm sure you are doing too! Finding the essentials for photography can be tricky on your own. That's why I compiled a list of all the essentials I bought when I first started my photography business.

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I've broken it down into a couple different categories for you! But we're going to start at #1!

1.The Camera backpack

You can't pack a backpack without a backpack, so this is where we are going to start. But stay with me because I promise there are tons of helpful tips in this blogpost.

I love this backpack that I use. I have used two different ones over the space of my photography life and I love both. They are super stylish and also so useful! Check them out and others that I think are so cute & functional!

2. A camera & lens

Now this one is OBVIOUS. You're probably sitting here thinking, okay I know that I already have a camera. But you have to make sure that your camera has a couple different qualities in order to take amazing photos, and be able to edit them in lightroom.

You have to make sure it can shoot in RAW. Put simply, RAW files have more quality and they capture more details. So when you are editing them they can help you be able to fix any mistakes made later. They also produce a higher quality jpeg to send to clients later.

The only other thing I would say your camera needs is a the ability to shoot in manual. Most camera can do these things, I would just make sure you invest a little.

I always say that the camera doesn't make the photo, the photographer does. But having a nicer camera can help. Businesses take money to invest in the beginning but they are also so rewarding.

3. SD cards

These are crucial for also obvious reasons. They are what you store your images on. Here's some that I've linked below that I love and trust. I've used these the entire time I've done photography.

SD cards need to be changed out at least every year. I usually get 64 gb sized SD cards but you can get any size you prefer. I also get 128 gb for weddings. Here are links to 32 gbs, 64 gbs, and 128 gbs. I prefer SanDisk! -- these ones are currently on sale!!

Best Buy is also currently having a sale on their website, follow this link to see some amazing deals!

4. SD card organizer

This helps to simply keep all your SD cards organized, so you can easily rotate through the ones you have and need to edit and the ones that are good to use!

Here's the one I have:

5. Hard drives

This one is so important! You need, need, NEED to back up your photos. Things happen, laptops get stolen or broken. People are imperfect & so photos can get lost! Please please back up your photos!

Here are a couple different options that I use. There are many different options of all prices but this is one I wouldn't skip over!

over $50

** make sure that if you have a MAC you get one that works for your laptop. Sometimes being a hard drive doesn't mean that they work on all types. I learned this lesson the hard way. So here is one for non-apple users

...and here's one for Macbooks.

6. Camera Harness

These things are amazing! I started out using a neck strap and I got a cute one at that, but over time my neck started to hurt all the time and I would get constant headaches. Just avoid that mess all together and get the weight distributed somewhere else.

There are also these other less expensive options that would work great!

7. Water bottle

I love my water bottle and on hot days they save me. I have saved brides this way too. Water is always forgotten. Finding water can be difficult up in the mountains or even on a wedding day last second.

Here's the water bottle I love, it also has a clip so you can clip it to your backpack!

SIC water bottle

8. Pack a snack!

Same reason as a water bottle, be prepared! Even if it's just a granola bar. I have had a couple shoots where this helps. Especially if your bride gets too hot.

This will for sure earn you brownie points!

9. Camera battery charger

These are so crucial. Having an extra one of these is so helpful, especially when you are on your way and you realize your battery isn't totally charged.

Depending on the batteries you use and the camera you have the charger will be unique. But I recommend getting the charger that isn't a knock off brand. Charged batteries is so important, it's not something I will budge on.

10. A car charging adapter

To go along with the above one, being able to charge your batteries on the go is life changing. It got rid of a lot of stress I would have.

11. Extra batteries

Having a couple extra ones won't ever hurt. This one isn't crucial, but just like in the above two, it helped significantly reduce my stress on the way to a shoot.

Here's the batteries I get for my canon camera

12. Flash

Having a flash is amazing for receptions. Flash is a little trickier to use, but flash also gives you the ability to create great reception shots. It takes time to learn, but it's worth it.

Here's the flash I use, & also a more expensive options. I like this amazon option, it works wonders for me. But other people also swear by this Best Buy find as well!

Make sure it is adaptable to your camera before you buy it!

Here is the best buy find that I use.

13. Lightbox

This goes along with the flash. It helps to mute the crazy brightness of flash. I highly recommend this one for the flash I have above!

14. Ring box

This one is for those moments that make your brides love you! Sometimes brides will have ring boxes they specifically want photos of their rings taken in. But a lot of times those small details are overlooked.

You can get ring boxes for super inexpensive and they are such a cute detail to help get that layout picture. -- here are the ring boxes I use & I have loved them.

15. Lighter

Just like the above item having a lighter in your backpack can save the day. Not often, but once in a while the couple forgot about bringing lighters for the sparkler send off.

Not everyone has sparkler send offs, but on the off chance that you can save the day, you could truly make your life a whole lot easier!

Here are the little ones I keep in my backpack.

16. Pepper spray

This one is for your personal safety. I don't go anywhere without pepper spray. You never know when you'll have to use it.

Especially being a photographer based in LA I have pepper spray with me always. Being a photographer you meet people in a lot of random places and just having something that can protect you is important.

Here's the keychain one I use!

17. Small Speaker

I always have a small speaker with me. Not only can you play music during your shoots but this can also help the couple to relax a little more. Awkward silences are gone when you have some music playing softly in the background.

I use this small JBL speaker. I have it linked from best buy below!

But you can also find less expensive options here!

18. Ibuprofen (or any kind of NSAID medication)

I always have a small container of ibuprofen on hand. I am prone to headaches, especially after hours and hours of staring at my screen for editing. You never know when one will happen.

It is always better to be prepared than to be wishing you had it later. It is MISERABLE to shoot a wedding while you are fighting a headache. Just trust me, and be prepared.

19. Hand sanitizer

Having hand sanitizer or a small bag of disinfectant wipes is important. Again, you never know. Especially in 2020 where we are trying to decrease spread, getting hand sanitizer on your hands after going out is important.

Since I'm sure you're getting hand sanitizers at Bath & Bodyworks like me, I attached some hand sanitizer holders for your bag that are so cute!

20. Bobby pins

Photographer to the rescue for hair! It's important. Get that money & also be the best photographer ever having the things your bride needs!

21. Eyelash glue

Here we are again. This is it, be the photographer of your brides dreams. Give them a reason to talk to their friends about you!

Do you want all this compiled for you?! WELL, I created a list of all these things in a free download if you follow this link here!

When it comes to being a photographer the name of the game is being prepared! These are all things that I could've used at one time or another & I want you to be ahead of the game!

I think the best thing to do for brides is to relieve stress and there are tons of ways to do that through simply being prepared.

If you can think of any others or if there are any things you keep in your bag I didn't think of, let me know in the comments below!


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