1: SmallRig Multi-tool
I love this multi-tool from the company SmallRig. It has all the tools you need to make adjustments on everything from a loose tripod leg to a camera plate. Plus it has threaded holes in one side to store extra screws. I keep this is an external pocket of my camera bag for quick access and use it often.
2: 3 Legged Thing
This is a camera plate I recently discovered and quickly grew to love. It's an L shaped Arca-type compatible plate that can mounted in both landscape and portrait views. It's quick to switch between views and maintains the center axis, so the tripod doesn't need to be adjusted when you make the switch. Simply flip the camera, lock it in and you're ready to shoot the same scene with a different view.
3: Pro-Mist Filter
Price: $60 to 120
I love the look pro-mist filter's provide to any shot that has unique light or bright highlights. It gives a heavenly glow to any light source and really accentuates sun rays in outdoor shots. This is also a great tool for portrait photographers because it softens the skin and makes blemishes less noticeable. Just check the size of your lens and get the corresponding sized filter. The amount of stops is the strength of the filter so I recommend going with a 1/4 for a more subtle effect.
4: Anti-Reflection Lens Hood
I don't shoot through windows often but when I do this tool is a must have for eliminating reflections and getting a clean shot. It's made of rubber so it can stretch over a wide range of lenses. Once it's tightly fitted on, the hood can be placed directly against the window for a reflection free shot.
Find It Here: Original ULHgo Ultimate Lens Hood
5: Lens Wipes
These things are a lifesaver and I use them often. They're great for quickly cleaning a lens and for getting hand oil off a viewfinder. I buy these in bulk and keep a good amount in my bag.
Find It Here: Zeiss Lens Wipes, White, 220 Count
6: 24-70MM Zoom Lens
Price: Varies Greatly Depending on Make & Model
Shooting with prime lenses has it's advantages, but I always find myself going back to a 24-70mm lens because it's good for shooting pretty much everything. I can go from shooting a landscape at a wide 24mm to shooting headshots at 70mm with a whole lot of options in between. AND I can do all this without having to open my bag, break my camera down and change lenses, so I'm not missing any opportunities and I can capture a lot more variety with my work.
Since this will most likely be your primary lens, I recommend going with the best model possible. For Sony users that would be the G-master series and for Cannon users that's the L-series. All current models are linked below.
Sony 24-70MM G-Master: Sony SEL2470GM E-Mount Camera Lens
Canon 24-70MM L-Series: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens
Cannon Mirrorless 24-70MM L-Series: Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens
7: Flash Light
I always like to have a small high powered LED flashlight in one of the external pockets of my camera bag. Having a quick access to a flashlight can help you avoid fumbling with your camera in the dark and is an essential tool to see where you're going so you don't stumble, fall and potentially damage your gear. The model pictured above and linked below is fantastic and I highly recommend it for its brightness, compact size and adjustable strength.
Find It Here: WUBEN C3 Rechargeable Flashlight 1200 High Lumens
8: Lens Brush
This is one of my don't leave home without it items because I use it so often. Perfect for getting little bits of dust off the lens, especially at times when you want to avoid using a wet lens wipe. This goes in an outside pocket so its quick to grab and throw back in the bag.
Find It Here: Vortex Optics Lens Cleaning Pen
9: Wrist Strap
4There is no worse feeling as a photographer than hearing your beloved camera come crashing to the ground. Whether it's the fault of someone else or your own, that feeling of defeat is something I'm consistently working to avoid. So I always use a simple wrist strap when possible. This $14 item has saved me from dropping my camera a number of times and has paid for itself a hundred times over.
Find It Here: Camera Wrist Strap - Paracord Camera Strap Lanyard
10: Camera Remote
Price: $30 official model, $8 for the knock off.
This is a must have for doing self portraits. If you set the camera self timer to 10 seconds then get in place with the remote, you'll have plenty of time to throw it in a pocket and strike a pose once you hit the shutter button.
Find the official Model Here: Sony RMTDSLR2 Wireless Remote for Alpha & NEX, (Black)
More affordable third-party model here: RMT-DSLR2 Replaced Remote
This a great tool for getting a low angle shot or getting a stabilized shot from somewhere I can't fit a tripod. I may not use it often but when the opportunity comes up I'm always happy it's in my bag.
Find the New Max Version Here: Platypod Max The Flat Tripod Base
12: Extra Batteries
Price: Price varies but third-party batteries are good AND a lot cheaper.
The only thing more disappointing than dropping a camera is missing a great opportunity because I ran out of batteries. So I always carry plenty of extra in my bag so I can focus on creating and not feel limited by how much power I have.
Camera Batteries on Amazon: Camera Batteries
13: Memory Cards & Hard Case
Price: Hard Case $12, Cards Vary on Size and Speed
I've never been disappointed that I had too many memory cards with me, but I can certainly say I've been very frustrated when I didn't. So I can't stress the importance of having plenty extra. That of course goes without saying that they should be safe place where they won't get lost, so labeling and storage is a very important consideration for me.
Memory card: SanDisk Memory Cards
Label Maker: Brother P-touch, PTD210, Easy-to-Use Label Maker