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Three Things Every Photographer Should Have at Least Two Of


We live in a time when our technology and camera gear usually work extremely well and reliably… Until it doesn’t. Randomly. And at the worst time. When that happens, you’re left feeling unprepared and stressed which is something that none of us enjoy.

In the video above, I’ll share the lessons I’ve learned the hard way of the three things I think you need at least two of as a photographer to be better prepared and have more peace of mind. Hint: it’s not tripods, lenses, or camera bags!

Fortunately, each of the items in this list is relatively inexpensive, easy to find online or at your local store, and easy to use. So, run, don’t walk, to add these items to your gear list as soon as possible. Your increased feelings of being prepared and reduced stress levels will thank you.

Thing 1 – Memory Cards

While I’ve never had a memory card fail on me, I have arrived at a photo session with no card in my camera. That happened once and that was enough. Now, I make sure every camera bag has at least one extra memory card. A tip to extend the life and reliability of your memory cards: do not format, or delete photos from the card on your computer. Instead, use your camera for all card management functions.

Thing 2 – Camera Batteries

Camera batteries seem to know when you have a deadline or important project, and they seem to no longer have any charge and you’re left with a useless camera. To address this, I’ve equipped each of my camera bags with an extra battery (or two!). A tip for avoiding the dreaded dead battery surprise is to designate a day each month as “Charge All the Batteries” day.

Thing 3 – Backup Hard Drives

While these are the most expensive items on this list, the peace of mind and security of your data will be priceless. I can speak from experience, that hard drive data recovery is very expensive and can cost multiple thousands of dollars. To reduce my future risk of data loss, all my photos now live in three locations: the original hard drive, backup drive one, and backup drive two. My plan is to replace each hard drive after about a year to eighteen months of use to stay ahead of the mean time between the failure curve and add peace of mind.

About the author: Michael Sladek teaches digital photography at Highline College near Seattle, Washington. He enjoys dad jokes, doughnuts, and helping others discover the fun of creating photos they love. Stay connected with Michael on his website, YouTube channel, and Instagram.