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Picture Perfect: 10 Must-Have Supplies for the Compleat Photographer

A month of hints for taking happy holiday photos

This is the in a series called "Picture Perfect" about how to take great holiday photos.

You've got a new camera. You've tested and tried it and it works perfectly. So what's next? Here's a list of 10 accessories you'll need before and after you snap the shutter.

10. Batteries:  If you have a point-and-shoot, get as many packs of AA batteries as you can afford or an extra rechargeable battery. If you have a digital SLR (single lens reflex) then spring for a good, inexpensive rechargeable for your make and model. Nothing is more frustrating than to have a camera collapse because the batteries are drained.

9. USB cables: I carry around a couple because I'm always misplacing them. They're crucial for getting photos into a printer and uploading pictures to social media sites.

8. A computer, notebook or mobile device and access to a wireless connection:  The truth is, hardly anyone makes prints. If you want to share that photo of the family at dinner, you'll need to get it online. If you're using a cellphone, uploading isn't a problem. If not, you'll need one of the devices I mentioned.

7. A tripod: Even a cheap tripod is better than no tripod, especially in a low light situation. Having one means you can get in the family photo instead of being on the other side of the camera.

6.Email addresses: Use them to send photos to folks who aren't on Facebook (Yes, they exist).

5 Batteries: I said it once, but I'm saying it again. You'll need more than you think, especially if you use a flash or shoot video.

4. Secure Digital High Capacity or SDHC flash cards: Nowadays even the most inexpensive cameras shoot high-definition video. That's a demanding medium and the SDHC cards transfer data faster than regular cards. That means the video you're shooting gets saved more quickly. The cards come in three classes: two, four and six with class six being the fastest. Check your camera manual to see which class card works best.

3. An audio-video cable: Use the cable to connect your camera to a television. It's a great way for everyone to see the photos and videos from the day. They're included in many camera packages.

2. Batteries: I'm saying this for the last time.

1. A string: Tie it around your finger so you won't forget anything on this list.

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Brad Bolton December 27, 2011 at 04:36 PM
Good ideas! If you use your point-and-shoot camera a fair amount and it takes AA batteries, I recommend hybrid rechargeables. The initial cost is high, but they can be recharged hundreds of times. They hold their charge for several months, and there is little "charge memory" if you don't discharge them all the way, which was a problem with older non-hybrid rechargeables. Eneloop and Rayovac make popular hybrids.
Afi-Odelia Scruggs December 27, 2011 at 04:50 PM
Thanks for posting Brad. I'll try them on my non-photographic devices.
Rob Netro December 27, 2011 at 06:50 PM
I agree with Brad about those kinds of batteries. I never buy any other kind, and recommend them to everyone I know. They work great with anything photographic such as flashes, remote triggers or battery grip packs (or non-photographic) and work wonderfully as backups that stay in a camera bag. I always carry 2 or 3 sets of these kinds of AA's when I'm out shooting because I never have to worry about them being charged up.
Afi-Odelia Scruggs December 27, 2011 at 08:31 PM
Post and learn. Thanks Rob.
Holly Barnes December 28, 2011 at 12:07 AM
Great articles...one last thing they need besides email address....they need to post their photos on Patch and share with their community!!!!
Tom Linsenmeier December 28, 2011 at 12:31 AM
"complete" is spelled wrong.
Michelle Simakis (Editor) December 28, 2011 at 03:34 AM
It's supposed to be compleat - proficient, skilled. But if I had a nickel for every time I heard that today ...
Afi-Odelia Scruggs December 28, 2011 at 04:30 AM
Yes, Michelle, I've gotten a comment or two about the spelling myself.
Afi-Odelia Scruggs December 28, 2011 at 04:31 AM
Well, I'm really hoping to see some great snow photos in the next couple days.
Jeff December 28, 2011 at 07:02 PM
Yay for using uncommon words in an article intended for laypeople. :-p

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