5 Must-Have Travel Accessories for Photographers

If you're a photographer constantly on the go, the gear you carry with you plays a crucial role. In addition, as technology improves and the demand for quality content increases, we continue to consolidate our gear and fit everything we need into a small backpack.

As a result, reliability, durability, versatility, and portability are all factors we consider when deciding what gear we take with us. Today, I'm going to walk through my top five must-have camera accessories and why I take them with me on nearly every shoot.

1. A Portable (And Sturdy) Tripod

A portable (and sturdy) tripod is standard for any photographer. My top choice is the Peak Design Travel Tripod. Not only is it extremely lightweight in the carbon fiber variation, but it also keeps a low profile when collapsed and is easy to take with me anywhere. In addition, unlike many lightweight tripods, this tripod is extremely durable and sturdy. It can easily hold a large DSLR camera and you won't need to worry about it shaking during a slow shutter shot or tipping over.

2. Lens Cleaning Kit

A dirty lens can ruin a good shot. To avoid that, I always carry around a lens cleaning kit. This can include general lens wipes as well as an air blower to quickly clear the glass of dust that might affect the image. You can get these kits from any camera store. (Please don't use your shirt to clean your lens).

3. RGB LED Light

I always carry an RGB LED Light with me. I use the Falcon Eyes F7 as well as the Lume Cube. These are great to have with you for these practical and creative reasons:

  1. Since they're RGB LEDs instead of regular LEDs, they have the ability to switch to any color on the RGB spectrum. The wide range of colors means you can get creative with it. In this example, I set the color to red and used a long exposure to capture this image.

  1. If you're a travel photographer, you've likely had to travel in the dark, especially when trying to capture nighttime shots, sunrises, or sunsets. Having an LED light is perfect to light your path to your location. They're quite efficient and don't consume much energy. Not only that, LED lights tend to be very bright, making them perfect flashlights.

  1. This is another benefit for landscape photographers. These LEDs are perfect for light painting and sculpting during long exposures.

4. Gnarbox 2.0 SSD

Having an on-site backup is crucial for any working photographer. That's where the Gnarbox 2.0 shines. It's one of the best pieces of gear a photographer can carry. Not only does it back up your photos on-location, but it also provides workflow access via iPad or iPhone. This means you can sort and edit your photos while keeping them securely stored on the drive. It's also incredibly durable and weather and shock-resistant. It seems nearly indestructible. The Gnarbox has proven itself to be one of the best and reliable on-location backup systems.

5. Portable Battery

This is a no-brainer. I use an Intertek 20000 mA battery pack. Not only does it have multiple ports to simultaneously charge multiple devices, but it can also serve as a backup battery for your camera. Most cameras today can be charged via USB-C and most battery packs today are capable of supplying power when needed. So if you're in a pinch, a portable battery pack can be a lifesaver.


I hope you enjoyed this article/video. Every gear in your kit should be essential if you're a photographer on the go. Not only does the gear need to be portable, they also have to be durable and reliable. Technology will only continue to improve and I can't wait to see how the tools we use today are reimagined and improved in the future!

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Pye Jirsa's picture

Pye Jirsa is a director, photographer and educator. Founder and Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography, a boutique Southern California wedding and portrait photography studio, and SLR Lounge, a photography education website, Pye devotes his time to helping photographers develop their shooting and business skills.

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Is salty good or bad?

I agree on PD Tripods being $$$. I did however buy 2 CF ones because they double as really good sticks for video [with a Manfrotto 500 standard/common head].

Re: the head, agreed as well with J.D. It isn't "free motion" ballhead -- there's some "grooves" that only allow the cam to be vertical in a certain degree. I instead put my own ballhead on it which defeats the purpose for travel. However, despite that, it really does saves space in a bag and for me, that counts the most.

A Gnarbox 2.0 SSD 1TB is 825 Euros. That is not a cheap accessory. It's a must have accessory if you get it for free by advertising it. It's way over priced for what it does. It's limited to SD cards as well.

I have the Gnarbox 2.0 and I love it! It takes USB 3.1 card readers so you can back up anything super quick.

If you’re out in the backcountry it’s the perfect insurance policy and doesn’t require having to lug a laptop around. It’s a no-brainer for my style of work.

I think I still have the same bottle of lens cleaning solution I bought in Jr High.
I have a couple actual lens cleaning cloths, until I got those I was using soft t shirts for a long time with no damage. Front elements on modern lenses usually have a pretty tough coating