What’s in Your Photographer Bag?: How to Prepare for a Wedding Day “Emergency”

By Jess & Stephen Robertson [http://togtools.com]

TogToolsBy now, it’s safe to assume that you’ve read at least one blog post that shares what is in a photographer’s camera bag. And while it’s great to learn about all of the awesome gear other photogs own & use, and lust and drool over the items you hope to one day have, I think they are leaving one of the most important things out.

Now, let me back up here a second. I (Jess) went off to Newport Beach to shoot my very first wedding in 2010. I learned so much about things like what lenses I should bring and how to network with the other vendors. But the most valuable lesson I learned that day: Create an emergency kit!

Our poor bride had a little mishap with her dress, where the piece of fabric that they added in the back didn’t quite cover up her backside when the dress was laced up. And we were stuck on a yacht, with no Target or drugstore in site. Luckily, someone on the boat had a safety pin.

So, for all of you wedding photographers out there, listen up. If you don’t have anything like this on you when you show up at a wedding, add it to your to do list to put one together this week. Your brides will thank you!

Here are some examples of what your Wedding Day Emergency Kit should include, based on issues I’ve run into while shooting weddings. This includes necessities not only for the bride, but for you as well:

  1. Safety pins – an essential!
  2. Bobby pins/hair ties – I always wear a few in my hair so that I have easy access to them. This may not work so well for our male wedding photogs πŸ™‚
  3. Double-sided tape
  4. Mints
  5. Advil – long days, irregular meals, surprise visitor…enough said
  6. Tums
  7. Dental floss
  8. Tissue – the parents will love you for this one!
  9. Feminine hygiene products
  10. Deodorant
  11. Hairspray
  12. Tide pen – for those stubborn, missed stains (Note: white chalk is great for covering stains on wedding dresses.)
  13. Band-aids – great for blisters from those not-so-comfy shoes
  14. Clear nail polish – not just for chipped nail polish! You can fix nylon runs, repair shoe bling, even mend a small tear in a veil.
  15. Sunscreen – if it’s an outside wedding
  16. Snacks/water – you must eat and stay hydrated!
  17. Travel sewing kit w/scissors – great for emergency repairs

Now, the hardest part is finding something convenient that all of this will fit into. You can use anything from a travel bathroom bag to a tackle box to some nice, sturdy gift boxes that you can place in the bathroom. (Kraft & Jute has a kraft box or a burlap bag that could easily fit the bill!)

Of course, every bride & every wedding is different, so you may need to add or subtract items. But I hope this helps you get a good start!

About the TogTools team:
We are a husband & wife photography team based out of Southern CA. We believe that business skills & tools are vital to the success of a professional photographer, so we created TogTools to help new photographers become business rock stars! We connect new photographers to why their art matters, while helping them build a solid business foundation so that they can share their art for years to come.

We both enjoy embracing our inner nerd. In our down time, you might find us at a local coffee shop or bookstore, shooting just for fun, playing with new toys at the Apple store, or having impromptu dance parties with our son.

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