Photographers all carry the same basic items with them. Camera, tripod, flash, memory cards/ film, lens cloths. But there is always that one item an individual keeps with them at all times. And it always becomes a habit the same way. A photographer thinks “Man, I wish I had my ___”. And so then on their next outing, the helpful item is situated happily amongst the other essentials. And that’s where it stays. We have all been there. Soon a person will begin to show it off, proudly announcing “I’ll never leave home without it.”
Mud boots. I never leave home without them. That’s not really an obvious one unless it’s pouring outside. But it has practical applications in both the business and hobbyist realms f photography.
For example I was hired to photograph a house on two low-lying acres. After a hard rain the yard was like soup. And I was dressed in my professional flats. And I didn’t have mud boots with me. Shooting the yard would have been much simpler with them, but I had to make do with slipping off my shoes, rolling up my dress slacks and wading around the yard… Barefoot.
On another occasion I was hired to photograph a house, property and a pond. The pond was was a key selling point, but the property hadn’t been maintained. The only way to get a good a image was to push through the brush and set up my tripod in the shallow water at the edge of the pond. But on this occasion I was prepared. I changed shoes before I shot the exterior. I was spared the annoyance of squishy, swampy shoes.
Sometimes, and I’m sure we have all been here, a photo will just jump out at me. I will be headed somewhere in my casual duds and a pair of flip-flops (that I wear all year long). Then I will spot a photograph in a construction site or other flip-flop hazardous area. For a split second I will weigh my options. Foot safety, or awesome, unexpected photo opportunity… In that situation, my foot safety will always lose. But if I have mud boots in my car I don’t have to choose.
So, I recommend getting a pair and keeping them in your car. For professional reasons and as a personal preference I have simple, utilitarian black boots. But please, express yourself. Girls, you can find some pretty stinkin’ cute patterns out there on boots these days. And guys don’t feel left out. They have boots with everything from monster trucks to sharks available. Even in size 13 men’s.