15 Handy Tools for the Jetsetting Wedding Photographer

July 30, 2018

By Greg Scoblete

Portable Backup Systems

Samsung T5

The T5 is impossibly small and yet inside its tiny confines lies a blazing-fast SSD drive. With a USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C connector, transfer speeds hit 540MB/s, and there’s a USB Type C-to-Type A adapter included so older laptops and computers aren’t left out. The drive can survive drops from up to 6.6 feet. Free software lets you password-protect the drive and update firmware.

Prices: starting at $130 (250gb)

LaCie Rugged RAID Pro

With 4TB of data storage, the Lacie Rugged RAID Pro can store hours of video and tens of thousands of photos. It has a built-in SD card reader plus a USB-C connection (a USB-A adapter is also included). It’s dust- and water-resistant and can endure falls from 4 feet. You have a choice of RAID 0 or RAID 1 to prioritize either transfer speed (up to 240MB/s) or data redundancy.

Price: $349

WD My Passport Wireless SSD

This drive is ideal not only for backing up your client’s files, but for wirelessly streaming HD and 4K videos to your mobile device while you wait for your baggage to clear customs. The drive is shock-resistant up to 3 feet and features an SD card reader, a USB 2.0 host port, a USB 3.0 port and a battery good for up to 10 hours of operation. It’s sold in capacities from 250GB to 2TB.

Price: starting at $300 (250gb)

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

This splash- and drop-proof portable SSD features transfer speeds of up to 550MB/s via its USB-C (3.1 Gen 2) connection. The drive ships with a USB-C-to-USB-C cable and a USB-C-to-USB-A adapter. Available in capacities up to 2TB, the Extreme Portable SSD includes SanDisk SecureAccess software for password-protecting the drive when not in use. Formatted for both Windows and Macs.

Prices: starting at $130 (250gb)

Oyen Digital MiniPro Dura USB-C

The shock-proof design features an aluminum body encased in a silicon rubber sleeve. It’s water- resistant and features a USB-C connection for transfer speeds up to 500MB/s. The drive can be powered using the included USB-C cable or via an optional power adapter (not included). You can buy the Dura with hard disks, SSDs or as an enclosure if you want to bring your own drive.

Prices: starting at $39 (enclosure)


The Photographer’s Ephemeris

This app is great for planning outdoor photo shoots with a map-based interface that tells you where the sun will fall, no matter where you are. It can leverage augmented reality to simulate where the sun, moon and stars will appear in your frame—including the paths they’ll travel in the sky in your location.

Price: $8.99

Adobe Lightroom CC

The latest update lets you sync profiles and image presets across the entire Lightroom CC ecosystem, including mobile, desktop and browser-based apps. A Point Curve tool on the mobile app, added earlier this year, lets you access composite RGB along with individual red, green and blue color channels in your photo.

Price: free or $10/month for desktop syncing features

Pocket Light Meter

Did you goof and forget to pack a light meter? If so, hope is not lost (if you remembered your cell phone!). The Pocket Light Meter app uses your phone’s camera to acquire light readings. It reads out shutter speed, f-stop and ISO on the display, and it allows you to save settings in a log for future use. It can perform spot meters and read reflected light, too.

Price: $10.99


This app helps you research ideal locations for your destination shoots based on crowd-sourced feedback from other photographers. It also lets your organize location information you’ve researched on your own. You can search locations by tags if you’re looking for something specific and can share images of locations you’ve chosen with clients for pre-approval.

Price: free

My Tide Times

If you have shoots on the beach, My Tide Times helps you track the rise and fall of the tide in thousands of locations around the world. Beyond giving you detailed tidal information synced to your time and location, the app also provides the next week’s or month’s weather forecasts. Plus, tidal times can be saved to your phone for offline use.

Price: free

Cases And Bags

Think Tank Airport Advantage Plus

This rolling bag is roomy enough for a gripped DSLR with lens attached, a second DSLR with lens attached, up to eight additional lenses and a 17-inch laptop in a dedicated laptop sleeve. The water-repellent exterior has handles on the top and side, and the interior sports closed- cell foam dividers, mesh pockets and a seam-sealed rain cover.

Price: $285

Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader

Sporting a TSA-approved zipper and replaceable 84mm wheels, this bag can hold multiple cameras and lenses. The exterior is water-repellent with a fold-out rain protector. There are customizable Flexi dividers for segregating your gear and a front zippered compartment for laptops. The outside has connection points for tripods and a four-stage handle.

Price: $380

Vanguard Alta Fly 55T

The ultra-versatile Alta Fly 55T can carry two mirrorless cameras with up to six lenses or two DSLRs with about five lenses, including a 300mm f/4, a flash and accessories. There’s a pocket for laptops up to 14 inches in size, plus the interior dividers are removable. There’s a rain cover, an external tripod harness
and a three-point security system to keep prying hands out of your stuff.

Price: $280

Tenba Hybrid Roller 21

With room for two gripped DSLRs, up to ten lenses and a 17-inch laptop, the Hybrid Roller can pull double duty as either a rolling bag or a backpack thanks to its integrated backpack straps. There’s a removable padded camera insert that fits a camera and two to three lenses. The exterior is forged from water-repellant ballistic nylon with a TSA-approved security cable and padlock for security.

Price: $400

SKB iSeries

If you’re carting too much for carry-on, SKB’s hard cases are tough enough to survive a journey in the cargo hold. With over 50 sizes to choose from, there’s an iSeries case for any conceivable load you need to transport to your destination. The cases are dust-proof and water-tight. The interior features a Nylex-wrapped, closed-cell foam liner and dividers with heavy-duty hook-and-loop tabs.

Prices: starting at $27

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