Well if you guessed a bunch of camera gear, lens tissues, a few filters and a tripod, you’d be right!!

But what about all those other silly little things that good photographers end up with in their “kit”?  Strange items that for whatever reason have made the photographer’s job that little bit easier, and have therefore become a standard item on their “can’t do without” list?

I braved fire and brimstone, (well, just a locked door actually) to find Chris’s favourite camera backpack and completely empty the contents to see what I would discover.  Here are some of the things you would NOT have guessed were in there:

Bungy cords – For when you are on an extreme action photo shoot but AJ Hackett isn’t around…

Pegs – Considering Chris has no idea how to actually use these small, domestic items, I actually have no idea why they have appeared in his gear, maybe to hold up extra thin models?

Pen – I’m pretty sure this is to fill out model releases or similar shoot documents, and NOT to take down the phone number of aforementioned super skinny model…!

Gaffa Tape – Even the best camera assistant in the world still talks too much during a shoot.

Plastic Compass – He may be a travel photographer but that doesn’t mean he actually knows his way around.  After a long shoot offshore it is nice to still be able to find your way home at the end of the project…

Torch - If I told you he was afraid of the dark would you still think he was cool?

Padlocks – If there is one thing I can say about Chris he is super vigilant when it comes to his gear; everything is double and triple locked and I guess having extra padlocks in case he loses one just makes him feel safe.  Awwww…

Tiny screwdriver set – I imagine these are for on site repairs of camera gear and other accessories, but I also wonder if it is just in case he needs to tighten the screws in the arms of his sunglasses…?

Spray Mister Bottle – For wetting down the odd “buff” model such as in the Rudy Project shoot.  (Apparently it is actually for adding shine to food and macro shots).

Fishing weights and fishing line – Amazingly these are the perfect device for holding curtains straight, who would have known?

Pins – Used by most people around the world to pin clothing during sewing activities, but apparently also good for holding the creases out of hotel bedding during a photo shoot. Who needs Photoshop?

Ginger tablets – There is ALWAYS someone who gets motion sickness at some stage during a location shoot!

Dry Bag – Possibly to be used by the above unwell person in times of extreme emergency, but otherwise designed for keeping camera equipment dry.

Manfrotto Magic Arms – he has so many of these strange anatomically shaped things, of all different sizes, that I am beginning to wonder if he has some secret other life I am not aware of…

Over and out!

Camera Detective Extraordinaire…
(AKA “Wife”)

(And you thought I was joking about the bungy cords)!?!

 We’d love to hear about the strange items in YOUR backpack, feel free to share them in the comments section…

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12 comments so far

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  1. Wow! What is collection of Prime Lens also formidable cameras. Must have costed him a Bomb! Way to go, great.

  2. Hi Industrial Photographer, yes I do like my primes! I think they give the best quality but can be more hassle depending on what you are shooting… I have ordered Canons new 24-70 and look forward to seeing how it performs, I may be able to travel a bit lighter! :)

  3. Ok so I am in a position to purchase my next lens. I like to travel and have the canon 24-105mm and the canon 50mm f1.8. I am dreaming of a 14mm, but is that a practical next lens. I love travelling and taking landscapes and family pics. Starting to get serious about my gear now. I should add I am shooting with the 5D Mk2. Interested in your thoughts. What would you go with next???

    • Hi Jason, the 14mm is a stunning lens and one of my favorites! I don’t leave home without it! It is a specialized lens however and it really depends if you are looking for something this wide or if you would like to go the other way towards a longer lens. Good luck and maybe see if you can hire or test one. Regards, Chris

  4. Hi Chris, i was wondering out of your 14mm and 17mm TSe which lens do you find more practical with there respected focal length and image quality performance? Also from a professional/personal point of view which lens do you turn to when you know you must get ‘that shot’ ?

    Thanks for you time.


    • Both lenses are fantastic, I use the 14mm more for landscapes and the 17mm for interiors and architecture – although it is great for landscapes as well! All the best, Chris

  5. Hi Chris ! I need some wide angle lens, but my budget is low !
    What do you think about 17-40L ?
    Thanks !

    P.S. : I’m the biggest fan of your work !

    • Hi Alexander
      Chris is offshore at the moment and not able to access the blog I’m sorry. What brand are you talking? I’m not familiar with the 17-40L (its not one Chris has used to my knowledge). But I do know that Chris’s standard advice is always to spend the most money on your lenses. Buy the camera you can afford for your budget, but then save and invest the most money in your actual lenses. So if the 17-40 is an L series lens then I’m sure it will be a good one. And if in doubt, jump online and see if you can find any reviews of that specific product (like I said, I don’t think it is one that Chris has ever used). Good luck!!

    • The 17-40 is a great wide angle lens, specially on full frame bodies.
      It works as good as the heavier and much expensive 16-35 f2.8.
      One of the advantage of the 16-35 over the 17-40 F4 is a stop faster, if the you need it it worth it , if not the 17-40 is sharp, wide and delivers amazing color and contrast

  6. So organised and tidy…I’m impressed for a male :-)

  7. I carry a small “bean bag” in my pack, loosely filled to sit the camera on any available solid base (like a rock or log) When I haven’t brought the tripod along. I’ve only used it a couple of times but it works a treat!

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