Pedro Oliveira, is a Brazil-born American travel and advertising photographer, out of Portland, Oregon, USA.
He “accidentally” became a photographer when one of his friends suggested he should buy a camera to kill some time during the rainy winters of the American West Coast. Once Pedro had his first camera in his hands, he didn’t stop clicking!
The concept of capturing emotions drove him to explore the different aspects of photography, and end up falling in love with the human figure and portraiture.
A couple of years after his first experience with photography, Pedro Oliveira came up with his first project, “Careful: Soul Inside,” that portrayed the lives of homeless people in the USA and eventually around the world. The “Careful: Soul Inside” project became a worldwide hit within months. But it wasn’t just a camera and a couple of lenses that helped Pedro to achieve this feat. With him, the photographer had a few other accessories that helped Pedro to achieve such amazing portraits.
Here is a list of must-have accessories that Pedro thinks are essential for every photographer to have in their bags.
Pedro says that tripods provide the stability that your hands can’t offer; it prevents any vibration on the camera while capturing the image. No matter how steady your hands and arms are, a human body just cannot simply stop moving and this vibration can make your images hazy and blurry.
Tripods are also helpful when you take pictures in low-light conditions. It allows your camera to photograph images in a lower shutter speed without the burden of being concerned with blurry or grainy images.
“You don’t need the most expensive tripod out there, but it’s vital to have a sturdy one. You can find good tripods for less than USD200 and it will make a world of difference in your images,” Pedro tells us.
2. Remote Shutter Release
Further, a remote shutter release allows you to take a shot without touching the camera’s body. This is again a helpful accessory for low-light photography. It eliminates the risk of the camera body shaking or accidental burning. Remote shutter releases are available in two forms: wired and wireless. Some of the advanced remotes come with extra features, such as built-in timers, LCD screens, and half-press support.
3. External Flash
Not only Pedro, but most professional photographers believe that a camera’s built-in flashes are close to useless. It generally overexposes shots instead of helping you get an image with contrasting colors.
If you are serious about photography and don’t want to depend exclusively on natural light (which will tie you to a specific and short period of time) Pedro believes external flashes are a must-have in your bag.
Pedro has built his career shooting with strobes, which are bigger, better built, and much more powerful units than regular speed lights.
4. Camera Cleaning Kit
It is common for us, photographers, to actually completely ignore those cleaning kits that generally come with your first camera. But they can be the difference between having a smooth shoot and getting yourself in big trouble.
Your camera and lens are prone to attract fungus and dust. And it’s tough (and expensive) to get rid of fungus once it sets in. You may even have to leave your camera and lens to a professional fungus cleaner for a few days. But you can avoid all that by purchasing a camera cleaning kit. It comes with microfiber cloths, a cleaning solution, and an air blower for cleaning sand and dust. “You should clean your camera every seven to fourteen days, depending on the number of times you used it. It sounds daunting, but believe me, you and your pocket will thank me later,” Pedro finishes.
5. Extra Batteries
The last scenario you want to be as a photographer is having the perfect sunset, the perfect story, and the perfect subject, only to realize that your camera ran out of battery. External flash units can gobble up your camera’s battery like crazy. You would not want to find yourself in a frustrating situation of having a camera that doesn’t have any charge left.
Pedro suggests that you should always invest in a couple of extra batteries and a battery charger if you don’t want to be embarrassed and pulling your own hair during your shoot.
“Photography can be an expensive hobby, but it’s also one of the most rewarding of them. The idea of freezing a moment you experienced and keeping it forever is priceless. By following just a few of the hints above, you will see a huge improvement in your images, and have peace of mind during your shoot,” Pedro sums up.