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Full Time Professional Photographers And Videographers Must Have Backup Gear

Air Remote Any full time professional should have backup gear. However, that doesn't mean that it always has to be owned by the photographer or videographer. It could be rented.

My latest $400 plus purchase is pictured to the left. It's the Profoto Air Remote TTL for Canon cameras. Yes, I have one. Yes, I can trigger my B2's with a $15 sync cord or pocket wizards. No, I cannot do TTL or High Speed Sync without it which is why I now have a backup. No, I'm not crazy about the expense, but I felt is was necessary.

The TTL and High Speed Sync are two of the many key features with the B2 system that I love. Although I have one remote just like it, I felt that it was time to get a backup. If the one and only remote that I had before getting the new one happened to fail on me, I would have thousands of dollars of lighting gear that would be limited use because of a $400 remote.

Typically most full time professional photographers will have more than one camera body, but it's rare that the photographer will have a duplicate of each lens. There are some pieces of gear that are more of a necessity to have as a backup than others. For example, batteries, cables, SD or CF cards, speedlites, camera bodies, tripods and a few other things are usually on the list.

When it comes to lenses, there may be some cross over in focal length. For example, I own the 24-70mm f2.8 and the 24mm f1.4. Since I shoot so much at 24mm on commercial shoots, it's nice to have two options for 24mm.

The other option is to rent a lens as a backup. For example, I don't own (2) 70-200mm f2.8 lenses and don't know of any photographer that I personally know that owns two either. However, I can rent a 70-200mm f2.8 locally for $35 for one day which is not bad considering it's a $2,000 lens.

Whether a photographer or videographer buys backup gear and/or rents it, backup gear is often a necessity for those getting paid to complete a project. There are some things that cannot be rescheduled due to gear failure like our daughters upcoming wedding. I know the photographer that we hired has backup gear and there is a lot of comfort that comes from knowing that.

Gear failure is rare, but it can and does happen. What's your backup plan?

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David Williams

Owner at RTP Photo and Video, Inc.
About The Author: David Williams is a professional still photographer and videographer focusing on corporate and commercial work. His love for still photography began in 1982 while still in High School. David started making money at photography in 1982. David and his wife Brenda started working together in photography in 1988 when they met and were married in 1989. Brenda is the photo editor for the business. David and Brenda have two daughters in their 20's. Please be sure to get a quote for services if needed: our goal is to respond as promptly as possible. You may also call David direct at 919.628.2902. You may share this content using the larger social icons above this bio section. You may find David on various social platforms by clicking the smaller icons to the left of this paragraph under David's headshot. Please visit our home page as well.