Adventure Elopement Photographer Gift Guide
When I first started taking photos, I would stand on top of a kitchen chair over a marble cutting board that was on the floor next to my living room window (you’ve gotta have that natural light, right?), and would capture images of the food I made. Little did I know when I started a food blog called Between the Pine that it would evolve to climbing mountains with the raddest couples to capture their love story.
But, here we are!
So, you can accurately assume that I have learned a lot over the past two years of cultivating Between the Pine to be what it is today. One of the biggest lessons I had to learn early on when I began photographing couples is that gear is important. You will truly set yourself up for success by investing in equipping yourself for any and all scenarios. I’ve compiled a list of nine items that I can’t live without as an Washington elopement photographer. These are items you may not think are important, but they have proven to be a game changer for me and my business. I truly never go on an Adventure Session or capture a wedding without having these things with me. This list makes great gift ideas for the photographer friends you know and are a great way to treat yo’ self as an adventure photographer!
Gear for Every Adventure Elopement Photographer
Sun Seeker App
The Sun Seeker app allows you to plan your session according to golden hour or to blue hour. You’ll be able to track optimal sun conditions, sunrise and sunset times and directions. It’s a ten-dollar investment that will be a total game changer, trust me! For most of the year in the Pacific Northwest, photographing in sunlight isn’t really an option. So, for those sunny spring and summer months, the Sun Seeker app comes in clutch every time to be able to get the perfect lighting for my couples. It’s so important to know how to capture those golden sun rays before the sun dips behind the mountains.
This little app is the best adventure buddy to have in your pocket. PeakFinder knows more than 650,000 peaks, so the adventure possibilities are amazing! The app uses your cell phone camera to identify mountain peaks in a 360-degree panoramic view. One of my favorite things about this app is that is able to work completely offline from anywhere in the world. Each mountain peak is packed with information about the unique mountain. I love using this app to help educate my clients as we hike throughout our session. I’m starting to geek out; just know that this is an incredible app quite literally have in your back pocket.
Water Resistant Backpack
As a Washington elopement photographer, having gear that isn’t water resistant just isn’t worth it. But, what is totally worth it is having a backpack that you know your gear is protected and organized in. The last thing you need to be doing in the middle of a session is to be digging around a huge backpack looking for a new memory card. I currently use the Everyday Backpack by Peak Design. One of the things I love about this bag is how easy it is to customize the inside and outside, so I can utilize the bag’s features no matter what gear I’m using. It’s super versatile and nothing ever gets buried in my bag. Wondrd is another great brand for backpacks for adventure photographers.
I work really hard to make sure my couples feel relaxed and comfortable during their session with me. One of my favorite ways to do this is to build a playlist specific to each couple. I use this waterproof speaker to play their favorite songs throughout our session. I love this speaker because it can easily clip to my camera harness (which I’ll talk about in a little bit) and is waterproof for all of those rainy PNW days.
Universal Lens Cap
I love using this universal lens cap for my cameras. This drastically reduces the amount of lens caps that you have to keep up with, and it makes for easy transitions between lenses throughout a session. I’ve found that this universal lens cap tends to offer more protection for my lenses because it is shock absorbant.
Waterproof Memory Card Holder
Again with the “waterproof,” I know! But, truly, if you are shooting outside, everything needs to be waterproof. I love this waterproof memory card holder by Pelican. It’s slim and is easy to access for quickly switching memory cards. I also love that it is shock resistant for added protection.
A camera harness is truly such a game changer! A camera harness is so helpful when you’re wanting to quickly get the same pose or angle with different lenses. I recommend this camera harness, created by photographer India Earl. This harness is made to reduce pressure that can be caused by the weight of your cameras on your body, reduces the amount of movement your cameras experience on the harness, and is made in an environmentally conscious way. You can currently pre-order it through Kickstarter. Another harness I recommend is the Money Maker by Hold Fast.
Reusable Water Bottle
It is so important to stay hydrated, especially while hiking in the mountains! I love the reusable water bottles from Miir. It’s important that we (adventure and elopement photographers) do our part to reduce waste while photographing in nature. Leave No Trace is an incredibly important set of principles to live out as we lead couples through the forests. By choosing a reusable water bottle, you’re minimizing your waste and not leaving anything behind. Also, it’s important to bring water for your clients, too! Some couples may not think to pack water for the hike, so it’s always a great idea to have extra water for them, too.
Continuing on the Leave No Trace theme, I love using reusable baggies. My favorite reusable baggies are from Stasher Bag; they are plastic-free and dishwasher safe. Snacks are always a necessity for photo shoots, so I always have snacks on hand for myself and my clients. Curious what foods are great for photographers who are on-the-go? Check out my favorite photographer-fueling snacks by clicking here.
There you have it! My full list of everything I need to be prepared for my adventure photography sessions. Want to learn more tips and tricks? Subscribe to my email list below to never miss a post!
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