It can be too easy to focus on giant light modifiers and expensive strobes as being where you should spend your money when optimizing your studio, but it can also be handy to consider some of the cheaper, less obvious, options that will help make your shoots go smoothly. In this article we take a look at five less common and cheap pieces of gear that can improve your next shoot.
Camping Chair ($20)
Before I stumbled onto this little gem I spent an awful lot of time shooting on my knees. I love shooting up at people to make them seem taller and more impressive in the frame but I often find sitting right on the floor is a bit too low. This magical little wonder lives in my camera bag and gives me a perfectly comfy little perch for when I want to shoot at those lower angles.
Mini Light Stand ($32)
For years it drove me insane that standard light stands were pretty limited in how low they could get to the ground. Some of the makeshift solutions I came up with were pretty ridiculous until I found this gift from heaven. It is built like a tank and gloriously sturdy with rubber feet that keep it reliably stable.
Justin Clamp ($61)
I have come to think of these glorious little clamps as a sort of “swiss army knife” of grip gear. They seem to be always coming to my aid when I have a weird grip related problem such as holding a flag at a weird angle, or mounting a speedlight to the side of a fence or some other difficult position that is particularly light stand averse.
Tripod Dolly ($42)
Not only are these things great, cheap, alternatives to a slider when making BTS video but they also make moving around stands so much nicer. They are, quite literally, convenience on wheels.
Impact QuickStik ($65)
The design of the QuickStik makes it amazing for use on location to help your voice activated light stands be a bit more comfortable. The harness sleeve transfers the majority of the weight to the wielder’s hip and also makes it much easier to hold the boom with only one hand. In the most simple sense the QuickStik helps avoid cranky assistants which means you can make them work longer.
Setting a few extra pennies aside from your expensive lens budget to make your shooting workflow a bit nicer can go a long way to improving the quality of your work. A less stressed photographer makes for a more focused one. Share some of your favorite pieces of convenience gear in the comments below!