Aside from your camera body and prime or zoom lens, there are a few other photo kit essentials that every travel and landscape photographer needs. Some more conventional than others but no less essential.


Travel and landscape photographers often find themselves in pretty harsh conditions, from the dry heat of the desert to the windy and damp waterfalls of Iceland.

Whatever the situation it’s essential to be comfortable so that you can concentrate on the job at hand of taking great shots. I pack light as my camera gear takes up so much space so I look for quality brands that are hard-wearing such as Patagonia and The North Face.

The most important Photo Kit Essentials for me are a good pair of shoes, a lightweight fleece and puffer jacket and some cosy thermals.

Piece of cardboard

I have a piece of cardboard the same size as my laptop that I slot into the laptop holder in my camera bag. This may seem a little strange but hear me out.

I use this piece of card to allow me to block the low sun when it’s coming from a side angle causing a lot of flares and when I don’t have a hood for my filters with me, which I often don’t.

When I’m on the road the large format hood isn’t essential and this simple tactic works great and doesn’t take up any additional space or weight.

It also comes in really handy if you are photographing things like flowers as you can create shade to avoid harsh shadows on the subject.

Photo Kit Essentials Piece of Card

Allen keys

I have a set of Allen keys in my bag at all times and this is a photo kit essential I learnt the hard way. All tripods, tripod heads and plates are tightened with Allen keys and whilst they don’t come loose very often when they do, its always at the worst possible time.

The first time it happened to me was a base plate coming loose on my tripod head on day two of a 5-day shoot through the highlands of Guatemala. Far from ideal! So make sure you’re covered by having a set in your camera bag.

Photo essentials Allen Keys

Splash/dust covers

I always have a splash cover in the bag just in case and they take up no space so why not. Great for keeping your camera dry and to avoid dust and sand. I’ve tried a few over the years and currently use those by Peak Design

Peak design splash and dust covers

Promotional material

You spend all that time and effort making great pictures so you want to get them seen. You meet a lot of people when you are out and about and they almost always ask where they can see your photos.

I always have business cards or flyers to give people. This almost guarantees they will look at your work, follow you on social platforms and in the past this has lead to print sales, commissions and assignments. A pretty good return from a chat and the few pennies for the materials.

These are just some of the photo kit essentials that pretty much all photographers will have with them. Over time you will build your own set of essentials to take with you, but for now these should get you started.

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Even though we may not be able to travel right now, we are already planning our trips for 2021. Check out our workshops or photography holidays to see where you may want to visit with us in the future.

Jordan Banks is a travel photographer with almost 20 years of experience shooting assignments and campaigns for some of the worlds leading brands and companies.

This article on photo kit essentials and images is subject to copyright. Words and photos by Jordan Banks (That Wild Idea). Copying or reposting of photos or article elsewhere is strictly forbidden. Please contact us if you would like to use this feature on your website.

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