Seven Secret Items to Keep in Your Camera Bag During a Wedding
"Camera: check. Lenses: check. Flashes: check. Spare R-strap: check. Wait, what?" There are a couple of items that wedding photographers may never think to keep in their bag. Many of these items are good to have, just in case something goes awry. Here's a list of seven things you may want to keep in your bag that you may not have thought of.
Though this may seem obvious to many photographers, think about all the times that you've taken your microfiber cloth out of your bag and failed to put it back. A wedding is not an event to be at without this small, yet important item. Microfiber cloths keep your lenses, filters, screens, etc. clean.
And if you wear glasses (like I do) it never hurts to have something with which to clean the lenses.
SpyderCube Color-Balancing Hardware
Event photography (like a wedding) can require lots of post-processing if your photos aren't color balanced correctly. To help with that, there's the SpyderCube Set. Though the color-balance problems are usually never as bad as at concerts, it can still help you avoid those extra steps in the retouching process.
Black Rapid R-Strap or a Sun Sniper Strap
Many photographers use the standard camera strap. However, there are situations where one that allows you more mobility can be useful. My favorite choices in this case are either the R-Strap or the Sun Sniper.
These straps screw into the tripod socket of your camera (or lens) and let it hang at your waist. If you need to switch quickly to another camera with a different lens attached, you can bring it up to your eye very quickly and effortlessly, and then continue to shoot.
I can't tell you how many times someone has spilled wine or food on me during a wedding. For those moments, it's always useful to carry a stain-remover stick or spray. A bottle of OxyClean spray works well for most situations.
You never know when your cell phone is going to die during a wedding. Ideally, you have fully charged it beforehand. However, the batteries can get drained. I usually keep a cell phone charger around just in case, to maintain the ability to coordinate anything that I may need (directions, contact with assistants, etc.)
The Arctic Butterfly
Have you ever thought about what you would do if your sensor became dirty during a wedding? To deal with issues like this (and it has happened), I keep the Arctic Butterfly in my camera bag. Usually a light sweep of the sensor will fix all the problems I may experience (with the exception of smearing). To ensure that the brush stays clean, the Arctic Butterfly has a switch on the side that spins the bristles and gets rid of any dust or specks that it picks up.
Transparent powder can come in very handy during a wedding. Lots of attendees sweat profusely—it is a wedding after all! Giving them some touch-up powder can help save the day, as opposed to turning their shiny forehead into a light reflector.
Film Camera Body and Film
If you have one of the older camera systems (such as the Canon EOS or Nikon F) you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you can use older film cameras with your lens collection. Different films tend to render particular looks, depending on which one you are using.
A recent trend in photography is to give your images a film-like look. Why not be experimental and try film?
What are the secrets of your camera bag? Please let us know in the comments below.