Photographer’s Toolbox: Portrait Photography Gear Essentials (Besides Cameras and Lenses)

Chances are many of you reading this are portrait photographers, or want to be portrait photographers. Being one of the most popular photography disciplines, there is a plethora of information on the web to help you decide on the best camera and lens combinations for you and your budget – but what about the other stuff?

Today we are talking another look into the Photographer’s Toolbox and shedding some light on the non-camera/lens gear essentials for portrait photographers. Enjoy!


You may be thinking ‘duh’ here, but let’s be honest. Is there a tool more common to portrait photography than your basic 5-in-1 reflector? Natural light photographers use them to bounce sunlight, while others use them to bounce strobe light. They are also great for flagging or blocking light, preventing unwanted light rays from hitting your subject. They are also small, and easy to transport (I have one that I just keep in my car so I always have one nearby). If you shoot portraits, or want to shoot portraits, there is really no excuse for not having a reflector in your kit.

Reflector Recommendation: Profoto SunSilver/White Reflector [amazon_link asins=’B00F5U9WGI’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’68fe8fea-0d8e-11e7-91ac-c731fc7cd808′]

You can also check Amazon for the latest reflector deals, here. There are always savings and deals to be had!

Dedicated Light Meter

Sure, these are not nearly as popular these days as they used to be, but if you want to eliminate the guesswork from your portrait photography in terms of lighting consistency and exposure, than having a solid dedicated lightmeter is important. These devices may seem redundant in today’s world, where our cameras meters are really accurate, and with phone apps that claim to do the job accurately – but if you are serious about your lighting, then get yourself a light meter.

Light Meter Recommendation: Sekonic L-308S-U Flashmate [amazon_link asins=’B01ARGBU6Y’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’da7eb27b-0d8f-11e7-a188-ff712ba9269d’]

You can also check Amazon for the latest light meter deals, here. There are always savings and deals to be had!


Yes, even you natural light photographers should have at least one speedlight (an know how to use it) in your kit. You never know what situations you may come across over the course of a shoot and having a reliable light you can control could be the difference between a great shoot and a bust.

Speedlight Recommendation: Phottix Mitros + [amazon_link asins=’B00GJ32SS4′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’dbf9f489-0d9c-11e7-81e7-f355c7ddc365′]

You can also check Amazon for the latest speedlight deals, here. There are always savings and deals to be had!

Light Triggers

To go along with that speedlight in your kit, you should really also have some way to trigger that away from your camera. More and more these days speedlights are coming with radio triggers built in, allowing you to just purchase the trigger for your camera. But for older all manual spedlights a trigger and receiver will be required.

Speedlight Recommendation: Phottix Ares [amazon_link asins=’B00A4BR7KG’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f6fa61d3-0d9d-11e7-9a24-0f931d7e83e0′]

You can also check Amazon for the latest radio trigger deals, here. There are always savings and deals to be had!

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.