Accessories Photographers Can't Live Without


Sometimes in our photographic journeys it’s the small things that make a big difference. For this roundup I asked some of my friends what’s one photography accessory they can’t live without. At the bottom of the list is one very affordable product I personally can't go a day without.

How to help build this list

If you got an accessory you simply can't live without, tell us why in the comments. Don't forget to add any useful links. Thanks!


Bryan Esler

I discovered the Think Tank Cable Management 30 v2.0 bag after seeing Scott Wyden Kivowitz promote on YouTube about his. I’ve got four of the size 30 bags, and one of the size 10. These are super handy because they help me keep all my cords and smaller accessories in a bag instead of loose in my backpack or roller bag.

When I’ve got a shoot that requires lighting, I’ll grab a bag that has all my PocketWizards and power cables in it and just hit the road. I’ve also got bags for my Rode mic accessories, Platypod, MagMod and the size 10 bag full of small miscellaneous items (like tripod plates and extra Peak Design anchors). This helps keep my gear organized and I always know exactly where it is.

Shop for Think Tank Cable Management

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Levi Sim


I take the Platypod Ultra everywhere. It's the best camera support for lightweight and unobtrusive work I've seen. It's not a tripod, so security guards don't mind me using it in public places, and it's incredibly stable. I use it with a Vanguard TBH 100 ball head, but any ball head works. You can set it on the ground, on a post, strap it to a tree, or rest it on top of a cross walk sign.

Shop for the Platypod Ultra

Photo courtesy of Jamie Macdonald

Photo courtesy of Jamie Macdonald

Jamie MacDonald

These deepsea fishing swivels go between my camera strap and camera to prevent my strap from twisting.  Having a strap (especially a flat one) that gets twisted up is just kind of an annoyance to be, well, it was before I started using these. No matter what brand of strap I use, I add these. Even on wrist straps. Heck..ESPECIALLY on wrist straps!

Plus they are rated for over 500lbs so there's that :)

Shop for deep sea fishing swivels

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Steve Brokaw

Steven Brokaw Photography

Most of my photography is agency work in studio.  Except for my camera & studio lights the primary accessory I use every photoshoot is a Sekonic L-358 Flash Master light meter. Although my cameras have a meter I still like to use a light meter to set my lights at the beginning of the photoshoot and whenever I change the lighting setup or location.

The L-358 has been discontinued and replaced by the Sekonic L-478D-U

I keep the light meter in my camera case and bring it with me every photoshoot.  I even take it to location and film photoshoots.

Shop for the Sekonic Light Meters


Chris Gampat

The Phoblographer

Olliday Journeyman Backpack: it helps me carry all the gear that I need most of the time when I don't need my Tenba. It's also stylish, comfortable, made here in the USA and fairly affordable. You can put camera gear in the top and bottom. Plus you can hold a tripod and it has weather sealing built in.

Shop for the Olliday Journeyman Backpack


Nick Pappagallo

Sure! I love my Spiderlight strap and Spider Holster with Spiderlight arca Swiss base - Switched all my heads and quick release plates when he made this item.

Shop for Spider Holster


Cusi Taylor

I searched high and low for this solution a few years ago, and when I found it on Kickstarter, I sponsored it. This is an absolute must for my in-the-field camera bodies. It is an Arca-Swiss style mounting plate with a built-in, recessed ring for my sliding camera strap (I use BR, but works with any). The ring is pressure tested to 1100Lbs, it flips out of my way when I don't need it (no more unscrewing a protruding/button-style attachment when I need to put my camera on a tripod). Also, unlike other universal mounting plates, it doesn't get in the way of my battery compartment or access to my articulating view screen. I've met the inventor, David Fliger, in person and I'm proud to recommend this great solution.

Shop for FPGear Fusion Plate

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Tracie Maglosky

I'm in love with my Holdfast MoneyMaker strap I'm actually obsessed! For on the go portraiture and weddings I couldn't live without it. I feel like my cameras are secure and the weight distribution is 100% strain-free.

Shop for the Holdfast MoneyMaker

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My choice is easy, it’s the Zeiss Lens Wipes. I keep a large box in my office and always have a handful in every bag. In a pinch I use them on my lenses but most often I’ll use them on my eye glasses, iPhone, laptop and when my camera is a bit gooey from an assignment I’ll clean off the body with one.

Shop for Zeiss Lens Cleaning Wipes

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