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  • Writer's pictureJulie Gile

Top 5 Weirdest Things You’ll Find in My Camera Bag

Every good photographer has their own Mary Poppins bag of tricks. We’ll do whatever it takes to make sure a shoot goes smoothly. While my camera bag is always filled with the typical items you’d expect - memory cards, a couple lenses, and more - there are also a couple of weird things tucked inside…

Spiderman Pez Dispenser

I typically steer away from family photography, (like HARD steer) but it’s happened on more than one occasion that a child is present for a brand photo shoot. Kids are sometimes part of the brand story, especially if I’m shooting for a family-owned business. Our hybrid world means children are also involved with their parents’ work, so capturing their involvement is an adorable milestone to a brand’s growth story.

I’m all about story, so you may see me pull my Spiderman Pez dispenser out of my camera bag and attach it to the top of my camera to get little humans to look this way. Then, once the kiddos complete the task, they get to have a snack – win win!

Smoke Bombs

Every once in a while, there is an opportunity to create some drama. If a brand story needs a little extra “oomph” I’ll throw a couple of smoke bombs into my bag.

Smoke bombs are small, hand-held tubes with a pull string attached. When you pull the string, the canister burns and smoke of different colors comes billowing out. The effect on the photography can be really interesting – bright colors, moody clouds, romantic mist, and so much more.

I love having smoke bombs on hand to change the mood of a portrait and really push the limits. Sometimes this works with a brand and sometimes it’s just for fun - but it’s always an awesome experience.

Oil Blotting Paper

When you shoot outdoors during our hot Wisconsin summers, the humidity can present a challenge. I always keep at least one or two packages of oil blotting paper on hand to make sure my clients are super fresh and polished throughout the entire photoshoot - indoors or outdoors. This paper gently dabs off any moisture without removing your makeup, so we can keep your camera glow consistent.


I actually use clips all the time during my photoshoots, and for various reasons. Often, clients will need a piece of clothing pulled back a bit - and clips do just the trick. Also, I can hang various different kinds of props like light diffusers, reflectors, backdrops, and boards, and I can also hide cords, hold back fabric drapery, and more. All of these little tricks help me get just the right shot. I have four different sizes and strengths of clips, and never go to a shoot without them.

Old Spice Deodorant

I’m a huge fan of natural deodorant for the health benefits, the lighter feel, and gorgeous subtle scents.

However, about once or twice a year I find myself in a shoot where all things collide - and, well, let’s just say natural deodorant just isn’t cutting it. I hate to admit this publically, but I stole my husband’s deodorant one day in a pinch and will always have some in my camera bag for just these extreme circumstances!


So, did any of these hacks surprise you? Have you seen me whip one out during our shoot together? I hope you enjoyed this peek behind-the-scenes! Join my email newsletter list so you never miss an update or helpful tip.

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