7 Timeless Photography Products I Love That Aren't from 2023

7 Timeless Photography Products I Love That Aren't from 2023

Doing research this year, 2023, has been incredibly confusing for me. The other day, while shooting a Titanium Sake set at work, I struggled to get the one of the lights in the right position for a highlight. This is a recurring issue I face when shooting tabletop product for We Are E.G.G., so I decided to search online for some solutions. After 30 minutes of typing and skimming, well..., I became more and more frustrated. The search results were either sponsored blogs or articles written by amateurs who believe that buying new gear is always THE answer.

So, I decided to write a blog post about some of my favorite products that are often overlooked, but have been lifesavers for me throughout my ten-year journey as a commercial product photographer. I hope you will join me in sharing some of your favorites in the comment section below as well!
In general, I use a Nikon D5 and a Fuji XPro2, both of which I have been using for around seven years. Over time, I have built small systems around these cameras to meet my specific needs, but all of the products I will be discussing are either universal or can be easily adapted to most camera systems out there. I hope that some of these suggestions will be helpful to you!


Arca Swiss Accessories: The Secure, Versatile, and Durable Quick Release System


Arca Swiss has become such a standard in the industry that your tripod may already have this system incorporated without you even realizing it. This secure, versatile, and durable quick-release system is so simple and adequite, I think its the perfect place to start.

For me, shooting products is all about making them look like supermodels on the table. To achieve this, the products and the camera both need to be positioned correctly, which means that I need to move around. This is where the Arca Swiss quick release system comes in. Whether I need to shoot straight-on, at a 45-degree angle, or top down, the camera needs to move with me. Being able to quickly snap your camera off the tripod and start exploring the scene you created is crucial to the process. This is where Arca gear excels. You get the incredible stability and security of the dovetail connection, quick disconnect, and vast brand inter-compatibility.

 Top down photography can be fun and easy to arrange, once you have the right gear to secure and stabilize the camera (of course don't forget the remote to look like a proper pro).  Here, I was using the a 3 Legged Thing Quick Release Lever Clamp to connect the arm to the tripod.  Another system I was using to mount my camera is the PURAMI Universal Flex Tilt Head Z Mount Bracket  This makes adjustments much easier and is only $15

The benefits 

  • Secure connection: locking cameras into place securely, preventing any accidentally slipping off
  • Quick release: quickly and easily attached and detached cameras from tripods, heads, and other accessories
  • Versatile: can be used with a variety of different camera models and accessories
  • Durable: usually are made from high-quality materials and are designed to withstand heavy use
Here are some other brands I love using to get my job done!
    Kirk Enterprise Solutions Smallrig  Really Right Stuff

    Some other Arca accessories worth your attention

    Here are some other accessories that utilize the Arca system to make your life easier, such as the Peak DesignCapture Clip, Tilting Z Head, and Cable Clamps, to name a few. Check them out and see if they can solve your headache.


    Savage - More than just Backdrops

    You may already be familiar with Savage, the most common manufacturer of seamless paper backdrops. Less common, however, is their brand of grip equipment. Their Rolling C stand base is a perfect example. It has extending legs for increased support and multiple mounting points for C stand columns. Because my studio is in tight quarters, all my equipment has to be agile and multifunctional. This rolling base has been incredibly handy for everything from overhead shooting to eliminating the need for a second stand.


    • Clever and unique designs that solve common problems and increase versatility
    • incredible build quality
    • compatible with other brands of Grip equipment
    • Huge array of other backdrops, grip equipment, and lighting 


     Gaffe Tape - The tape that holds the industry together

    While this may already be a mainstay for some, it is a must-have for any type of photographer. It is a strong, durable tape that is easy to tear and does not leave residue. I see gaffer tape as an essential tool that you should have in your kit. It is a versatile and durable tape that can be used for a variety of tasks. 

    Here are some of the benefits of using gaffer tape:

    • Strong and can hold up to heavy abuse 
    • Durable and can withstand wear and tear
    • Easy to tear, so you can easily apply it to surfaces
    • Does not leave residue: it can be easily removed from surfaces without damaging them
    • Available in a variety of colors to cater to your needs

    Ways you can use gaffer tape:

    • Securing cables and wires: a great way to secure cables and wires in place. This can help to prevent accidents and keep your work area safe and tidy. 
    • Marking off areas: to mark off areas that are off-limits or that need to be protected. This can be helpful in a variety of settings, such as construction sites, film sets, and even your own home.
    • Holding props in place: This can be helpful when you are setting up a scene or when you need to keep a prop from moving around.
    • Creating temporary fixes: This can be helpful if you need to repair something quickly or if you need to make a temporary modification to something.
    • Marking your personal gear: Using a specific color to mark your gear. This can help you to identify your gear and to keep it from getting mixed up with other people's gear.

    Some popular brands of gaffer tape:

    • ProGaff
    • Gaffer Grip
    • Rosco
    • Gaffer Tape USA
    • Tesa


    Godox AD-200Pro - A Versatile and Mobile Flash System

    While Godox has been steadily rising in popularity and their new products gaining increased notoriety, I find the 2020 released AD-200 still overlooked or under-utilized. Its unique ability to switch between 6 (I mean 6!) heads as well as its relatively small size allows for incredible versatility. Adding to this are the plentiful, quick to attach accessories, allowing me to create a highlight, add a pop of colour, or provide fill lighting to products I am shooting.
    The most common head I use is the round one, featuring a magnetic filter system so you can attach diffusers, gels, grids and much more with a snap. Its round shape and frosted front element give clean shadows with a smooth falloff, and the modeling light is even bright enough to do light video work.
    Additionally, this powerful device can be used with the ring head for a powerful, yet lightweight ring flash, an extension can be connected between the body and head for flash placement, and even two can be linked together with a soft box adapter, giving you 400ws of power in one softbox.
    Over all, I have never been more impressed by a product's versatility, adaptability and value for money than the AD200pro. At only $350 for the body and two heads, it's incredible, especially considering the affordability of the many accessories and spare batteries for the system.
    Here are some highlights:
    • 6 interchangeable heads: can be used with 6 different heads, including a round head, a square head, a ring head, and an extension head. This gives you the flexibility to create a wide range of lighting effects.
    • Magnetic filter system: the round head features a magnetic filter system that allows you to quickly and easily attach diffusers, gels, grids, and other accessories.
    • Powerful modeling light: has a powerful modeling light that is bright enough to do light video work.
    • Affordable accessories: The AD200 Pro is compatible with a wide range of affordable accessories, including softboxes, umbrellas, and barn doors.


    Leatherman Style PS - The Small, Versatile, and TSA-Approved Multi Tool

    Maybe not the most expected item for a photography blog, but this little tool has been indespinsible for me over the years. The Leatherman Style PS is a small, versatile, and TSA-approved multi tool that is perfect for photographers and anyone who needs a reliable tool on the go. It is small enough to fit comfortably on a keychain, but it has a surprisingly comprehensive tool kit, including:

    • Pliers: The pliers are spring-loaded and have a locking mechanism, making them easy to use and secure.
    • Screwdriver: The screwdriver has multiple bits, making it a great tool for fixing small electronics or furniture.
    • Bottle opener: The bottle opener is built into the carabiner, making it easy to open a cold beverage on the go.
    • Other tools: The Style PS also includes a file, scissors, and tweezers.
    • The Style PS is made from high-quality materials and is built to last. It is also TSA-approved, so you can take it with you on your next flight without worry.


    Sirui tripods and lights - Innovation, Quality, and Value

    To follow trend of value without compromise, I’ve found Sirui tripods and monopods to be thoughtfully designed, moderately priced, and incredibly well built. Their Carbon fiber mini tripod has been remarkably helpful for letting me move in close to the product, usually setting it up on the table. Its rigidity has made it especially useful for close in video work.

    Sirui also has a line of incredibly innovative lights, including inflatable and flexible LED lights.

    • Very High quality build
    • unique design solutions not found by other brands
    • maximal versatility and usability




    Glassware Storage Holders - A Great Way to Organize Your Lenses

    Glassware storage holders are a great way to organize your lenses. They are inexpensive, readily available, and provide a protective and organized storage solution.

    Glassware storage holders are typically made of a soft, padded material that protects your lenses from scratches and dust. They are also typically designed to be stackable, which saves space and makes them easy to store.

    Here are some of the benefits of using glassware storage holders for your lenses:

    • Inexpensive: very affordable way to organize your lenses. You can find them at most home goods stores for a fraction of the cost of dedicated lens cases.
    • Readily available: available at most home goods stores. You can also find them online at a variety of retailers.
    • Organized: a great way to organize your lenses. They can be used to store lenses of all sizes and types.
    • Protective: protect your lenses from scratches and dust. The soft, padded material helps to cushion your lenses and prevent them from getting damaged.

    If you are looking for an inexpensive, readily available, and protective way to organize your lenses, then glassware storage holders are a great option. They are a great way to keep your lenses safe and organized, and they can help to declutter your studio space. 

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