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Hey, how’s it going? I’m Andy Jones and this is episode 132 of the Photography  Side Hustle podcast.

This week I have put together a list of 15 things any photographer will need at some point in their journey.

The reason I’m doing this list is because Black Friday is at the end of the week. Plus Christmas is a little over a month away and I want you to know what you want in your stocking. 



#1 Extra Memory Cards 

If you think you are going to get by with two cards think again. 

When you start doing 2 or 3 sessions a week you’re going to need 8 or more cards.  Why? Because the first session might use 2 cards, you might not have time to get them onto your computer and backed up before the second session. Then the same thing will happen when you do the third session. 

So if you get a call and need to fit an extra session in you have cards available. 


#2 Gloves

These are photography gloves that allow you to uncover your fingers and thumb to operate your camera. 

I’ve had a pair for over 17 years. After your first event at an ice rink, you’ll realize you need some. 

If you shoot weddings in the winter, you’ll need a pair. You can’t work properly if you are uncomfortable.


#3 Lens and Sensor Cleaning Kits

These are inexpensive and you need a way to clean your lenses and your sensor. A dirty lens and sensor will reduce the quality of your photos. It’ll also add to your editing time, which is really annoying.

Next …


#4 Flash

If you don’t own a flash, you need one. They are easy to use and will improve your portraits.

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on one, you can buy used ones for under $100. 

If you already have one consider buying a second to use as a slave. The slave setting makes the flash go off when it sees the light from another flash. So you can set up a home studio with a couple of flashes.


#5 Camera Bag

Now camera bags aren’t cheap. That is okay because you don’t want to be putting thousands of dollars of equipment in a flimsy $25 bag. You need a well-designed camera bag to organize everything and know that it’s not bouncing around inside.

It’s a great feeling turning up for a shoot knowing where every piece of equipment is. When you get a new bag take some time to work out where your lenses and bodies fit. Keep all your memory cards in the same pocket. 

Searching for stuff during a session doesn’t impress anyone. 


#6 Tripod or Monopod

A lot of photographers don’t use tripods, I was one for a long time. Everything I shot was handheld, but for sports, I used a monopod. The monopod is great because it takes the weight of the camera and lens, and allows me to get sharper images.

I started using a tripod for landscapes because it keeps the camera still when I use a very slow shutter speed. Without it, the photo would be blurry.


#7 Circular Polarizer

These are a great tool to have in your bag. A polarizer is sunglasses for your lens and removes any glare. If you are thinking of getting one get a variable polarizer. This type allows you to adjust how much polarizing you need. Make sure you buy one that fits the lens you will be using it on. On the front of each lens, there is a zero with a line through it and a number next to it. That is the diameter your polarizer needs to be.


#8 A Crystal Ball

Now Kenzie my daughter bought me one of these a couple of years ago. I didn’t think it was much use until I used it. The result was very cool, I shot a snowy scene at sunset through the ball. I don’t use it too often but when I do it never disappoints me.


#9 Drones

If you are thinking about shooting real estate you need a drone. Even if you don’t cover real estate you can make money with a drone.

Make sure you know the legalities of using a drone commercially in your area. The fines can be heavy.


#10 Spare Batteries

Just like memory cards, you need to have plenty of batteries available. If you use a mirrorless camera you will go through more batteries than a DSLR. 

Shooting in cold weather will cause the batteries to drain faster than they do in warm conditions. Make sure you have more than you need, it’s better to be safe than sorry.


#11 Remote Shutter Release

There are two types, wired which plugs into the side of the camera, and wireless which doesn’t.

Landscape photographers use them, but portrait photographers can also benefit from using them. If you put your camera on a tripod you can talk to your subject and keep them relaxed while all the time taking photos. A lot of people tense up when you start looking through the viewfinder.


#12 White Balance Card

Setting a custom white balance using an 18% gray card can save you time when editing. There is nothing wrong with being more accurate.


#13 Battery Grip

A battery grip fits to the bottom of your camera body and allows you to use two batteries instead of just one.

It also gives you a second shutter button when you turn the camera to shoot vertically. So you don’t have to reach across to use the shutter, it’s right where you need it.


#14 External SSD

Backing up your files is very important. The easiest way to do it is on external hard drives. The best type of hard drives are Solid State Drives (SSD) because they have no moving parts and are more reliable.

You need a couple of external drives so you have your photos on your computer and two other copies on the drives.

You can get 2TB external SSD drives for under $100.


#15 Adobe Photography Plan Subscription 

Now of all the things I’ve listed, this is the most important if you don’t already use Lightroom and Photoshop.

Half of your time is spent editing your photos, so use the best programs for the job. At $9.99 a month for the Photographers Plan you get Lightroom and Photoshop. 

You would think it would be cheaper if you paid a year in advance, but it isn’t, $119.88 a year.

Of all the things I pay for this plan is the best value. There are constant updates and you can use a Photoshop Beta version that tests all the new stuff before being released.


Okay, those are the 15 things photographers need.

I’ll put links to them all on the episode page over at

If you want to join the conversation in the Facebook group I’d love to see you there. If you want me to check your website/portfolio out, you can contact me using Messenger.

Right, I’m all waffled out, talk to you soon, bye.