Here are three indispensable photo accessories that help me reduce clutter, pack more efficiently and make me more productive as a photographer.
Multiport USB GaN Chargers
GaN chargers are a new type of chargers that use gallium nitride (GaN) as a superconductor. The benefit of GaN is that it produces less heat than other conductors used in chargers. This means the components can be more tightly spaced and thus more compact. In addition, GaN chargers also often offer more ports, a great benefit if you're a photographer on the go connecting multiple devices.
I have the uGreen 100w GaN charger, which I love. It features 3x USB-C ports and one USB-A port. This single charger now replaces the AC adapters for my MacBook Pro, iPad Pro and iPhone all at once. Less clutter and a smaller size — what's not to love?
In addition, if you're an international travel photographer and need to use outlet adapters, this charger will let you use just one for multiple devices you can use/charge at the same time. This single charger reduces clutter in my bag dramatically. I'm honestly obsessed with it.
Bonus: Throw in a 6 foot or 10 foot USB C cable with a right angle plug so you're always able to charge your laptop even at a distance. Make sure you get the higher 100W power delivery option if your laptop needs it.
I also love using this charger for festivals when I'm working on a media team. All I need is a single outlet on a power strip, so my work station is simplified. In addition, I love pairing this uGreen charger with the next tip: double battery chargers.
Double Battery Charger
The battery chargers that come with your cameras are pure utility, but without a lot of bells and whistles. If you're traveling or otherwise on photo jobs that require a lot of battery power, you know that charging multiple sets of batteries can be a chore. And of course, having spare batteries is essential. For this reason, I love double battery chargers both at home and while traveling as a tour photographer or other photo jobs.
Many of these third party double battery charges can accept both USB-C and Micro USB, which is a nice option when you pair it with the uGreen 100w GaN charger.
Portable drives have been tremendous leaps in their capacity and their portability. The smallest and highest performance drives you can buy now are Solid State Drives (SSD) with high capacity flash memory.
I am a fan of the SanDisk Extreme SSD series. These drives are tiny and boast extremely fast read/write speeds. They come in 500gb, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB sizes. I personally use two of the 1TB SanDisk Extreme SSDs that I've had for several years.
If you're a frequent traveler, the speed of these drives is fantastic, but moreover their reliability compared to conventional drives as well as their super compact form and weight make them essential to me.
Even if you prefer working off your internal drive, having an external SSD is perfect for backups and keeping a redundant copy of your files. Many tour photographers will buy two identical SSD drives and keep them mirrored during a tour run.
There you have it. These are three of my essentials as a tour photographer and for when I'm traveling for photography jobs. All three of these items are small, light weight and they often replace bulkier equivalents.
As a tour photographer, I always try to pack as minimally as possible and as lightly, too. These three accessories all help me achieve these goals with ease. Of course, we all know the dangerous benefit: The lighter on accessories I can pack, the more other photo gear I can bring.