Five Essential Camera Accessories You Need To Transform Your Photography

Everyone knows that when you buy a camera you can’t just get it out of the box/bag/clumsily bundled third hand bubble wrap and start using it straight away.

No, don’t be silly, first you need a selection of essential cutting edge add ons, without which you will utterly fail as a photographer.

But don’t panic, here is my guide to the five essential accessories you need to start capturing fantastic pictures.

1. Keen, inquisitive eyes, prepared to look in every corner and from every angle to find the most rewarding compositions.

However amazing the camera, it’s still you that has to point it before you shoot, so ensure you’re ever curious, seeking out different perspectives that will make your work memorable. Sometimes it might be a straight ahead classic viewpoint because the scene is so beautiful anyway, but don’t be afraid to explore alternatives that might yield something even better.

2. The restraint to only press the shutter button when the composition is good enough.

Before you shoot, pause for a moment and ask “even if this image came out as good as it possibly could, with this equipment, with this scene and this lighting, would it still be worth taking?” If the answer is no, then either make the adjustments you need that will make it worthwhile, or lower your camera and look elsewhere. Being more disciplined out in the field will save you much time and disappointment when editing later. Which leads us to…

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3. A ruthless editing streak.

By editing I simply mean deciding which photos you keep, and which you delete. You don’t need seven fractionally different versions of the same scene. Neither do you need to keep anything that might have looked incredible in the flesh but has ended up as a mediocre final image – the world (especially the internet) is overflowing with mediocre photographs already! Be ruthless and only keep your very best photos, even if sometimes that means a photo walk or shoot results in no keepers at all.

4. The realistic expectation that not every shot will be amazing and maybe not even one shot in ten, 100 or even 1000 will be worth keeping, let alone sharing.

Naturally hand in hand with being fiercely particular in your editing, is holding an expectation that most of your photos won’t make the grade. The most revered photographers in history only generally released a few books or had a handful of exhibitions, showing us only the very finest of their work. We only see the glorious, glistening tip of the iceberg, not the huge mass of photographs they left submerged for one simple reason – they weren’t good enough. Expect a high miss rate with your work as par for the course and you’ll avoid endless heartache, and be left with a personal portfolio to be truly proud of.

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5. The discipline to use just that one camera. 

One of the biggest obstacles to improving as a photographer is to keep running to a different camera every time you’re going out, never becoming comfortable and familiar enough with one tool so it becomes an almost invisible extension of your eyes, hands and mind. Even if you do this for just 30 days, you will notice a significant increase in the fluidity and enjoyment of your photography. This will also inevitably mean fewer missed shots, and less head scratching and unnecessary blind fumbling.

I hope you gain something from this article, and it’s helped you realise that the best accessories for your camera aren’t the latest bag, app or clip on gadget, and cost nothing but your own increased awareness, discipline and practice.

What “accessories” do you consider essential in your own photography?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below (and remember to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too. If you’re interested, this is what my photography life looks like right now.

10 thoughts on “Five Essential Camera Accessories You Need To Transform Your Photography”

  1. I was so aftaid when I read the title of your post that you would propose all sorts of straps, bags or other stuff….

    But no,you got that absolutely right.

    I would just add a pair of comfortable shoes

    1. Ha ha Frank, you fell into my my trap! But you know me better than that by now. : )

      I would agree about shoes, but every pair of shoes I have are comfortable – it’s the first requirement.

  2. I find I do better if I leave the house with a specific picture in mind. It seems to put me in a more receptive state of mind regarding other possible subjects even when, as often happens, I don’t take the picture I planned.

    1. Interesting Doug. I usually know what kind of pictures I’m likely to take, dictated by where I’m going. But I don’t really know the specifics, especially if it’s somewhere new to me. I might stumble across an old tractor or building or gate that I didn’t expect to find and it encourage a number of photographs.

  3. A pleasant demeanour and a respectful attitude when photographing people. These are more important and valuable than a books worth of legal rights.

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