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Gear & Apps

Five Items under $40 That Can Help Your Photography Workflow

By Michelle Ford on September 21st 2013


As photographers, it’s easy to rack up the spending on lenses, lights, and other expensive gear. While I do love all of those nice gear, I also love the little, affordable accessories that can make my photography workflow run smoother.

In this gear highlight, I will talk about 5 items in particular that not only help my photography life, but are also great bang for the buck.

Watch the Video

Think Tank Pocket Pixel Rocket


The first item that I use frequently is my Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket. For about $20 on Amazon, the Pocket Rocket is a great way to manage your memory cards.

Not only can it hold up to 10 CF-cards securely, but when closed up, it takes up very little space in your bag.

My workflow tip for managing your memory cards here is to have your fresh cards inserted face up and used cards inserted face down. This way you can quickly see what cards you have left during a shoot.


Demb Flash Flip-It!

Demb Flash Flip-It!

The second item on my list of great accessories under $40 is my Demb Flash Flip-It! speedlight modifier. Although you can make something similar on your own, I particularly like this Flip-It! because it is so easy to use and because it can flip back out of the way when I don’t want to use it.

The velcro strap is very reliable and the hinge feels pretty sturdy, so it’s nice to have a small light-bounce modifier that can take some abuse. And it’s not a bad deal for only $37 on Amazon.

Accessory Power LightLINK Rechargeable LED Light

LightLINK 1

Nowadays, LED lights are becoming as common as speedlights. Sure, there are some of the higher-quality and more expensive LED lights like the Fiilex P360 LED Light (which we reviewed here), but if you want cheap LEDs that are great bang for the buck for those detailed macro shots, the LightLINK Rechargeable LED light by Accessory Power may just be your ticket.

LightLINK 2

While the LightLINK does not have features such as dimming or temperature knob, it works well to light really small objects such as wedding rings for a detailed ring shot. Additionally, it has a neat trick in which you can attach multiple LightLINKS to each other to create a larger light source. At a cost of only $24.99 on Amazon, you can easily buy half a dozen of these before you reach the prices of other LED lights in the market.

SLR Lounge Workflow Battery Case

SLR Lounge Workflow Battery Case

Yes, SLR Lounge does sell its own battery cases. There are several reasons why I really do like these cases. First, it is lightweight and takes up minimal space. Second, you can carry up to 8 AA batteries. Third, you can also carry mix and match AA and AAA batteries.

SLR Lounge Workflow Battery Case

And finally, the front cover has a graphic “charged” and “discharge” indicator that lets you organize and keep track of the batteries that have been used up. Just place new or recharged batteries right side up and used batteries upside down. It’s that simple.

Label Maker

Label maker

Although the last item that make my life easier is not actually a photographic accessory, it is one of the most important items to have. I use a label maker to label all my camera bodies, lenses, speedlights, and even lens caps. Yes, lens caps.

If you shoot weddings with second shooters and videographers like me, there is a very good chance that everyone may come with similar set of lenses and other gear. Having your gear labeled also comes in handy when you are with other photographers during events such as a photography workshop or convention.

Be sure to include at least one contact info like an e-mail address. For big-ticket items, it helps to have the words “Reward if returned” on the label, too.



So these are the five accessories under $40 that I use frequently to make my workflow run smoother. What are some of the useful little items that you use frequently to make your photography life easier.

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Michelle is a Southern California Portrait and Wedding Photographer. When she’s not geeking out with a camera she’s nerding out in her IT world. All other moments in the day are spent with her two wonderful children.

See her work on The COCO Gallery
check out her blog at frexNgrin

Q&A Discussions

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  1. James Matthews

    I have 4 of the SLR Lounge Workflow Battery Case, they are awesome!

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  2. David, Minneapolis

    Do the Epson tapes stick well to lenses?

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  3. Mike

    That’s a great article. Not least of all because I can read it without the corporately-blocked YoutTube. I like the visual management technique applied to the blank and used cards; simple and effective. I can’t wait to get home to see the video.

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  4. Kiran

    Any suggestion on the best size epson tape to get for labeling lenses and such?

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  5. Juan Kis

    I just noticed Yongnuo released a new model of this light, the new features are, AF assisting light if you put on the hot shoe, and also as a flash, but no specifications about flash GN or flash duration yet.
    The price is the same, about $30, so make sure you are looking for the model YN-0906II

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  6. Juan Kis

    Thank you Michelle for sharing those cheap items. I agreed with you that having a video light will help us a lot: Ring shots, detail shots and even it help me to enhance some portraits of the bride when I’m doing getting ready photos.

    What I see on the LED light you recommend, most of the models available online are 6500K balanced, I rather having something around 5500K or 3200K (something I have a CTO or 1/2 CTO gel on mine to balance with tungsten light. 6500K is a color that I never worked before, if you don’t filter that light will add a bluish cast on your shot.

    I found a similar light, a little bigger, but just a little, for about $25-30, has more power, but you can control the power and it comes with a white diffuser and an orange filter (not exactly a CTO gel, but close)
    Look for YONGNUO YN0906.
    I hope that helps.

    Thank you again,

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