Did you ever forgot to take for a very important photo session or for a trip? I did, I realized that I forgot to take my flash cables (at the time, we only used cables, there were no Pocket Wizards) and forgot the extra batteries to make it worth.

That’s why I created my photographic equipment list.

  1. All of my photo gear is in a chest
  2. All the boxes or unused equipment or monopods, tripods are in a separate closet
  3. Almost all of my “everyday” is already in the backpack

Do I use my list everyday? No, because many items are in small pouches. I use my list occasionally, but it has saved my “bacon” a couple of times. The list is bigger than I use mostly, but it’s a reminder.

I prepare my bags the evening before.

I use a lot of small pouches:

  • Eagle creek, quarter cubes
  • Eagle creek, half cubes
  • Outdoor Research zip sacks small and medium

One of the Eagle Creek quarter cube holds:

  • Spare camera batteries
  • Memory card pouch with the cards
  • Lens pen
  • Anti-static micro-fiber cloth (cost $6 for being anti-static vs the $3 for the “regular” micro-fiber cloth. I got “conned” I’m sure)
  • Folding grey card
  • Sanyo Eneloop batteries, spare sets: 1 to 2 (depending)
  • Body cap
  • Lens rear cap

Are the battery charged? Are the memory cards empty?

This small pouch always, always stays in the camera bag.

The list has changed many times over the years. I screw up and forget something then I add it to the list. I buy a new lens/gadget, I add it to the list. Here’s my current list:

  • Camera or Cameras
  • 16-50 zoom cleaned and with caps and lens hood
  • 17-55 zoom cleaned and with caps and lens hood
  • 24-70 zoom cleaned and with caps and lens hood
  • 28-80 zoom cleaned and with caps and lens hood
  • 70-200 zoom cleaned and with caps and lens hood

  • Flash or flashes
  • Flash feet
  • Gary Fong Lightsphere
  • Sanyo AA Eneloop batteries plus 1 to 2 spare set
  • Flash extension cables
  • Reflectors/diffusers
  • LED lights
  • Light feet / stands
  • Flash triggers

  • Memory cards
  • Spare camera battery per camera
  • Gloves
  • Air blower
  • Lens pen
  • Hand held light meter

  • Tripod with ball head
  • Monopod with flip head
  • Panoramic head
  • Angle and DOF (depth of field) tables
  • Hot shoe 3 way level
  • IR Remote
  • Bean bag
  • Interval trigger

  • Wallet with IDs
  • Passport, if going to US
  • Money: cash and credit cards
  • Pen and small notepad
  • Daytimer
  • Cell phone
  • Business cards
  • Proof of liability insurance

  • Any permit / authorization required
  • Printout of job requirements
  • Shoot list as asked by the customer
  • Shoot list implied but not asked
  • Any technical requirements from the customer
  • Printouts of the customer emails/contract

  • Dolly (I used it only once)
  • Tarp (I used it only twice)
  • Clean cloth/rags

More than a day outings:

  • Camera battery chargers
  • Laptop
  • Charger for laptop
  • USB mouse
  • Card reader with cable
  • Gaffer’s tape
  • External USB hard drive
  • Multi-plug
  • Voltage converter with the 3 international plugs
  • Lens cleaning fluid with lint-free rags

For a “big trip”, I print out the list and cross the item off the list as I pack it in, then I can decide if I have the space/weight to take the rest as a “just in case.”

Feel free to modify my photography packing list to suit your needs