I like to prep my camera bag the night before my photo session to make sure I have everything I need. First I check the obvious – camera, 35mm lens, SD cards, polaroid camera. These are the ‘traditional’ essentials. Then I add a couple more things that are just as essential to a successful photography session but might seem a bit random. Hear me out and don’t knock them until you’ve tried them because I’ll die on the hill of each of these items. Fresno photographers out there, these are game-changers.
1. Smarties or mini marshmallows for kid bribery – Sometimes you need to pull out the big guns and bribe. I choose smarties and mini marshmallows because they’re small and won’t stain clothes, melt, or make a mess. They’re a great way to reward participation and get some older kids to smiles and open up a little more.
2. Squeaker or noise maker for kids’ attention – Another way to grab everyone’s attention. This one works best for little kids who haven’t quite caught on to sugar bribery yet. A squeaker is noisy and exciting enough that eyes are drawn to you and you’ll be able to snap some photos while capturing everyone’s attention.
3. Tissues/baby wipes for snotty noses – These are a must! I won’t leave my house for a session without them because no matter what they always come in handy. They’re also extremely versatile, so even if I know I won’t have any small kids at my session, I pack them anyways. 9 times out of 10 I still end up reaching for them during a session.
4. Next steps card to remind clients of what happens next and when to expect their photos – It’s always nice to be reminded about the next steps. I find this really helps put my clients’ minds at ease after their session because they know exactly what to expect moving forward.
5. Rain boots in the winter and leather sandals in the summer – My #1 recommendation for shoe choices. Why? Rain boots because of mud. If you’re taking outdoor sessions, it’s much easier to focus on getting a great shot when your favorite tennis shoes aren’t covered in mud. Invest in some rain boots because they’re easy to rinse off worry-free. For the summer, leather sandals so foxtails won’t stick to your feet. Again, eliminate anything that might prevent you from being present and engaged with your client.
Fellow photographers out there, what are your more random must-haves to bring to each session? Is there anything I should add to my list? Let me know!