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Essential Photography Equipment Checklist

By Christopher Lin on March 26th 2014


In the past, we’ve brought you essential forms and checklists for photographers like the model release form and the photography contract. We wanted to continue this series by providing you with a Photography Equipment Checklist.

Why Use a Photography Equipment Checklist?

Forgetting a critical battery, filter, gel, or other piece of gear can have significant effects on your shoot. It’s easy to forget small, but important items. While we would not likely walk out of the door without our camera body, we might forget the all important Pocket Wizard Cable and thus be unable to execute certain off-camera lighting techniques.

What Makes This Form Different?

We’ve tried our best to make your life easy by creating an easily printable, 3 column excel spreadsheet. Simply replace our equipment items with yours and print out the page. Now you have a checklist that you can use for 3 shoots (one shoot per column).

Where can I download this?

–> Click here to download the Photography Equipment Checklist. It’s Free!

Photography Equipment Checklist

The following are items that we’ve included in our checklist

What are we missing in our Photography Equipment Checklist?

Are there things that you carry on your shoots that you don’t see listed here? Let us know what we missed!

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Co-Founder of SLR Lounge and Photographer with Lin and Jirsa Photography, I’m based in Southern California but you can find me traveling the world. Click here to connect on Google +

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Charles Shaffer

    I prefer to use rolling totes that you can find at a major hardware store to categorize and transit my gear. I have a tote for lighting support (stands, strobes & umbrellas), a tote for Power labeled AC/DC (surge protectors strips, extension cords, spare battery chargers and batteries), a tote for props, a tote for my computer setup, a tote for Audio Support (studio monitors, cables, amplifier, microphone, etc). Naturally you can customize a tote for any category, and if you are savy, you’ll get totes that are compatible sizes for transportation – it all needs to fit in the van/truck/car. I use stencils and paint codes on the sides of each tote for identification. They usually have smaller compartments and dividers for related miscellany.

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  2. Tom Johnson

    Wow guess I need to save a whole lot more.

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  3. Basit Zargar

    great article

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  4. Alex Santiago

    Can you show us an image how you set up the inner compartments of the case (Pelican 1510)? Would like to see how you packed all that gear into it.

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  5. Ian Moss

    It doesn’t matter what specific items are on your checklist – clearly this will be a personal thing (mine has safety pins on it), the point is the checklist itself. It really, really is useful and I start on mine at least two days before a big job in case I need to buy in items!

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    • Graham Curran

      True, you will need different emergency items for a wedding shoot than a landscape or newborn shoot.

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  6. Ralph Hightower


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  7. Brent

    Why putty for the ring shot?

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  8. Wayne Lennon

    I have a list of all my equipment that I use in this way, It also has;
    Serial numbers

    I use it for;
    making sure my insurance has the correct amount of cover.
    Serial numbers incase of a claim/ or to make sure i have the right one if there is a multiple on set.
    Deciding how to pack for travel, having the weight available is handy when completing a packing list for airlines.

    I can then print this out as a check list too for individual jobs.

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  9. Carl Viens

    A few caplets of Tylenol w/caffeine and water. Will save your day!

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    • Christopher

      That’s very true… This checklist is a general one that all of our shooters use in our studio. I’m sure each shooter has a few more specific items they take out .. For example, I take additional items like a Prism, deoderant, water bottle and other small things. thanks for your insight.

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  10. Steve

    Thanks for the checklist. I downloaded it and added my gear to it this morning and used it for a shoot this afternoon.

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  11. Ralph Hightower

    Film, filters.

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  12. nick gonzalez

    I’d love to know what light stand bag you like to use.

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    • Mi Guel

      Nick Gonzalez, I use a Callaway Rolling Golf Bag for my lightstands, tripods, monopod..

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  13. Basia

    I have a bag of non-photography essentials I bring to every shoot, and it’s saved me many times. Here is the article I based my list off of:
    Also worth noting, that if you have space/weight to spare, pack some extra props! You never know when a bag of fairy dust or a tiara or business tie might come in handy!

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  14. Rodrigo Mancilla

    Color calibration! X-rite passport ideal or a white balance card at least.

    Drop the tupperware, sorry but overrated. I added a Rogue flashbender which is MUCH better in shaping light. A light meter from Sekonic is awesome too.

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  15. Rick

    I would suggest not starting out with a detailed and lengthy checklist. Instead, come up with a basic set of questions or generic categories of gear. Depending upon the shoot and your answers to those questions, that will fine-tune your list for one project vs. another.

    Questions I like to use include:

    What will be the lighting conditions? This will drive what equipment, if any, I will need to take.
    What genre (sports, portrait, etc.)? This will drive what body/lens combinations will be used.
    Am I renting studio space for the project? If so, what equipment is available to me?
    Do I have all the necessary gear for the project? If not, does it make sense to rent?

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  16. Kevin

    Holy crap, that list is EXTENSIVE.

    This is a preference thing, but I also bring an iPad (or tablet), especially to weddings, so that I can show off the same-day edit through PixieSet. I also bring a second set of business cards, with the mobile URL to PixieSet, with a photo of the couple and my logo/contact info.

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