Photographer’s are reliant on few things. We don’t need an office, break room, or even a water cooler. BUT you take away access to power from us and watch us squirm like a wall street firm on a bad day. If you’re shooting in a studio you have no worries at all. Plenty of plugs around right?! But if we go out shooting, scouting, digital back up etc…. we need a little help. WAHHH LA! Here are 3 great gear solutions for photographers that shoot on location for everything from portraits to advertising . We’ll start small and go big.
1. Mophie PowerStation. This little thing is as big as an iphone and will charge your phone, ipad, or whatever with a USB an impressive amount. While I was in NYC this week (for the first time ever) I had my phone open constantly looking at maps and taking photos. I also had an app that was tracking-recording my location through GPS, which SIGNIFICANTLY drains the batt. So it was great having this thing to charge up my phone in my pocket. It will also charge up a GoPro camera too. They also make iPhone cases but I’d rather have a device that can charge multiple devices.
2. The HyperJuice 100. I took this bad boy to Africa with me since I wasn’t sure of the power availability and man was I glad I did. Shooting 30-60gb of photos a day and then backing them up at night on a laptop to 2 different drives required a bit of juice. This thing handled it like a champ! The 100 is about the biggest size you want to carry around with all your gear (including a laptop) on your back. It ain’t lite but it’s worth it. I also use it to power the laptop while I’m tethering in the field. Def worth the investment! There are bigger models just in case you want to really torture your assistants…or if you are going back backing far far away for more than a day.
3. AlienBee’s Vagabon ii – Now as soon as I started writing this I looked up the Vagabond ii on the site and it’s being discontinued and replaced by a few other Vagabond models. I’m sure they are lighter and better. But all I have is my experience with the Vagabond ii’s. These were my first battery packs for lights and I love them. I have 3 and they have powered strobes, christmas lights, fans, hair dryers, laptops etc etc etc. Great cheap solution for photographers for sure. HEAVY, absolutely, but not horribly. I’ve put them in a back pack and had an assistant follow me around with a light on a stand all over the city. Worked great. They also have clips to wrap around light stands, the weigh comes in handy on a windy day! Even when I’m shooting with Profoto’s, which has their own power system, I will bring one of these just in case there is power needed by something.
Here ya go. All three have saved my bacon more than once for sure and are all now a part of my travel gear.