What’s all that stuff in my bag?

I never thought I’d walk out the door to take photos of toys and have more gear than toys with me?

Gone are the days of patting my pocket to check that I’ve got my phone before I walk out the door to take toy photos. Now I’ve got gear that comes with me whenever I leave the house. And I don’t have enough pockets to carry it all.

Here’s a look at what comes with me now.

Gear
Gear

Tripod

This is a new addition. It hasn’t been used much when I’m out so far. But on the handful of occasions I have used it, it’s great to frame a shot and know the same composition will be captured. So often I’d look through my viewfinder, have to re-position a toy and then never get the same shot framed again. The tripod saves me from those frustrations. Plus I can play around with focus stacking when I’m out.

Closeup filters

I love my closeup filters! I never leave the house without them.

Armature wire, pliers, fishing line, scissors, LEGO lightsaber hilts, a Tony Tulloch MacGyver-esque LEGO securer and tac

Securing LEGO Minifigures began for me by pushing lightsaber hilts into the ground. These simple little ‘ground anchors’ have been my ‘go to’ kit for ages. That was until I caught up with Tony and Janan the other weekend. Tony handed me one of his many MacGyver-esque inventions; a clear Perspex spike glued to the bottom of a clear 1×1 LEGO plate. Genius!

As my toy box expands, so does my securing devices. Armature wire, fishing line and tac now help me pose LEGO bigger than a Minifigure and action figures. And of course, you need something to cut the wire and the line!

Atmosphere Aerosol

Before I discovered this stuff, all my mist and smog shots were done using much less healthy means! Atmosphere Aerosol is amazing, whether you’re adding mist, enhancing sun beams or simply creating a moodier background.

Compressed air

Be it cleaning toys with a quick blast, throwing up debris and sand, or blasting water, compressed air is a fantastic tool to have in your bag.

Brush

A brush is great to smoothing sand, sweeping leaves and debris out of shot, and cleaning toys.

Cleaning cloths

Great for toys, lenses and my glasses!

Bounce cards and bulldog clips

By attaching bulldog clips to white cardboard, simple bounce cards can be placed and anchored in position to reflect light into shot.

Spare battery and SD card

You just never know! I’ve been caught out before with either a low/dead battery, or a full/left in my Mac SD card. Not now that I always have a spare of each in my bag!

Towel

I always pack a towel. I never know where my toy photography adventures will take me. And even if I don’t need it to brush sand off, dry my wet feet or clean toys, it’s handy for spreading my gear out on.

Stickers

Because who knows when a sticker bombing opportunity will come along. And they’re great to hand out to curious passers-by.

Like Shelly, I too feel like I pack a lot of unnecessary gear. But I know the day I don’t lug all of this out the door will the day I need some or all of it!

– Brett

What gear to do you take out with you when you’re shooting toys? I’ve still got a little space in my bag so I’d love to learn what else I need to add!

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10 Comments

    • brett_wilson

      I’ve tried a checklist, but I’m hopeless with lists! I always keep my ‘outing’ gear packed in a little plastic box. That way I know everything is there whenever I grab it as I walk out the door…as long as I’ve put everything back if I’ve been using some of the gear at home!

  1. Given that since starting our own business about 2 years ago I have pretty much been tethered to my computer desk working, I live vicariously through the photography of my favourite Instagrammers. But prior to this I’d always carry my 100mm macro, blutack, and a brush along with my minifigs.

    Wondering how long a can of Atmosphere Aerosol lasts you? I’m guessing you don’t have to use very much. Might consider getting a can to try it out with my model photography work. Have tried a fog machine, but the fog they equipment place had dissipated way too fast and I ended up putting the fog in the edit.

    Thanks for sharing your list, when I finally get some time to start doing… I’m going to checkout more stuff on your list that I don’t currently travel with.

    • brett_wilson

      I’ve been using the same can of Atmosphere Aerosol for just under a year (I checked my emails to see when I got my first one) and it’s still going strong! Yes, it only needs a little squirt, and it lingers if there’s no wind! I highly recommend giving it a whirl mate.

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