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The one thing a studio photographer could never live without: gaffer's tape. This tape is the photographer and cinematographer's equivalent of duck tape. It can be used for everything. Whether you need to tape something to hold it together or simply mark something, this is the perfect tool. It's easy to tear, sticks when you want it to, comes off when you want it to, and doesn't leave a sticky residue behind.
This is your backup waterproof gear. It may be low-tech, but it can be a lifesaver when you find yourself suddenly caught in a downpour. The best thing about it is that it's so compact. No one can complain about not being able to fit a trash bag in their backpack. When it starts to rain, simply pull it out, cover your bag, and your gear will stay safe and dry.
Every photographer needs a way to carry his or her gear around. Specially designed backpacks for photographers include more padding for protecting your glass and often have some kind of built-in rain gear. These backpacks also give you quick access to your camera and usually include a waist strap to keep the weight off your shoulders.
GPS or Smartphone
When traveling, a GPS can be one of the handiest gadgets to have. Even if you do have to make five legal U-turns to find your destination, the fact that you can look up so many different and interesting landmarks at any time is invaluable. Smartphones can also act as a GPS or they may have apps that show you the locations of very specific places that most GPS devices may not include.
Notepad and Pen
You never know when you might need to record some valuable information when shooting. It could be something as simple as someone's name or the name of a location, but you'll be hitting yourself later if you think you can simply remember the details and then forget.
This isn't really a piece of gear, but it's something you never want to leave the house without. Whether you're going to shoot a concert, just walking down the street with your camera, or even if you don't have your camera with you, always have a few business cards in your pocket. Great opportunities don't often come around, but when they do, you'll want to be prepared. Make sure your business card has all your updated contact information on it.
It may seem kind of silly, but a bike really can be a photographer's best friend. When driving, you past things too fast to notice them or you don't bother to stop and take a photo. When walking, you often don't get very far from you house or wherever you start from. A bike bridges the gap between the two, letting you cover a good amount of distance, but still allowing you to take in your surroundings and stop whenever you spot a great photo opportunity.
Written by Spencer Seastrom