You know that one really amazing photography product that totally changed everything? That lens that makes you see a bit differently, that tool that streamlined your business or that really cool piece of gear you never knew you needed but now can’t live without? We went looking for those game-changing, life-changing photography products. What we found is this super cool list of can’t-live-without-it gear. You’re welcome!

Disclaimer: The Click Magazine editors are not responsible for reader impulse buys… though, we will take credit if you find a life-changing product because of this list. 

Feature photo by Lisa Tichané

PROFOTO A1 FLASH
Photo of a girl taken with the Profoto a1 flash, by Kellie Bieser
Photo by Kellie Bieser, using the Profoto A1.

PROFOTO A1

The Profoto A1 has been a major game changer in my photography journey. It’s powerful, allowing me to create high quality studio light when the Ohio sun doesn’t want to cooperate (which, let’s face it, is most of the time). It’s also incredibly portable. It’s small enough to fit in my camera bag along with a DSLR and a couple of lenses. The brilliant additions of magnetic modifiers and gels make the A1 an incredibly versatile tool. It fits easily within my workflow while exponentially multiplying the possibilities of what I can create.” — CLICK PRO KELLIE BIESER

A Tamron wide-angle lens is a game-changer for photographers.
Megan Arndt loves her Tamron for wide-angle shots
Wide-angle shot by Megan Arndt with the Tamron 15-30mm lens.

TAMRON 15-30MM WIDE-ANGLE LENS

“My game changer was a super wide-angle lens, specifically the Tamron 15-30mm f 2.8. Although I bought it to shoot landscapes with (which I still do, regularly), I didn’t realize how much I would love it for people photography, too. I didn’t know how important the environment surrounding my subject was to my story and my voice until I started using it regularly. I love to show how my people interact with the world around them, and how small my boys are in the great big world. I often find myself shooting my kids at 15 mm, which allows me to stay close to them while still capturing their surroundings.” — CLICK PRO MEGAN ARNDT

The Promaster SP 425CK Professional Tripod
Kristen Ryan uses a ProMaster tripod to capture night photography
Landscape photo by Kristen Ryan

PROMASTER PROFESSIONAL TRIPOD

“The ProMaster SP425CK Professional Tripod has all the qualities I need for my travel and landscape photography. At a weight of only 3 pounds and 15 ounces, it is light and compact for travel and hiking. The leg locks are strong, yet easy to adjust, which allows for quick set up and shot adjustment. The tripod plate is simple to secure and the ball head adjustment knobs are intuitive and strong. All these great features make it easy to set up for capturing a variety of images from full height to low to the ground.”
— CLICK PRO KRISTEN RYAN
Magmod kit
Olga Levien uses the Magmod to create great light
Photo taken by Olga Levien with a Magmod.

MAGMOD

“The product that completely changed my night and low light photography is a Magmod. It’s a magnetic grid, gels and sphere for a speedlight. It is a fantastic product: It’s fast to pop on the flash (it’s magnetic) and it creates such amazing soft light. With the Magmod, you won’t be afraid of using flash anymore, and you won’t be terrified of using off-camera flash and not getting the right amount of light. This Magmod kit and Sphere are so easy to use and create such a magical, soft artificial light, both on-camera and off.”
— CLICK PRO OLGA LEVIEN

Cloudspot photography studio management
CLOUDSPOT STUDIO MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Tarah Beaven's image on CloudSpot studio software.

CLOUDSPOT STUDIO SOFTWARE

CloudSpot, an online photo gallery and image delivery platform, is a game-changer for stepping up image gallery delivery. Buh-bye Dropbox, Flickr and zip files! CloudSpot takes image delivery to the next level with an intuitive interface, laid back design features and even integrates an online print ordering storefront. It’s so simple and really hones in on the basic functions of getting those high resolution images to family, friends and clients in a professional and user-friendly way.” — CLICK PRO TARAH BEAVEN

Canon Pixma Pro-100 printer
CANON PRO100 PRINTER WALL DISPLAY
Wall display by Lindsay Beros using the Canon Pro100 Printer.

CANON PIXMA PRO-100 PRINTER

“The one thing that has changed my photography in the past year is the Canon Pixma Pro-100 printer. It’s inexpensive (there are often $250 rebates, so I paid under $120 for it) and the quality is fantastic. I designed a fun clipboard wall in our family room and change the photos monthly. In a way, it has kept me inspired to shoot because there is a joy that comes from seeing a photo in print that I just don’t get from the computer screen. My kids love seeing the photos every day.” — CLICK PRO LINDSAY BEROS

Alien Skin Exposure X3
Photo by Caroline Jensen, edited with Alien Skin Exposure X3.
Photo by Caroline Jensen, edited with Alien Skin Exposure X3.

ALIEN SKIN EXPOSURE X3 RAW EDITING SOFTWARE

“I love Alien Skin Exposure X3! It is no secret that I love dark and moody images, but it has been a struggle to get colors to render in hues that align with my vision. I am pretty adept at Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, but Exposure X3 gets me where I want to go in a few clicks. My favorite presets are found in their vintage selections, especially their Kodachrome 35 Old variants. The other thing that I can’t live without is their light overlay panel. It helps me to shape and add punch to my artificial lighting. They are very customizable too, which allows me to keep things fresh, even when using the same starting point for each image.”
— CLICK PRO CAROLINE JENSEN

gopro
Tessie Wallace takes an underwater photo with a GoPro and Dome system.
Photo by Tessie Wallace with a GoPro and Dome housing.

GOPRO AND DOME

“The GoPro Hero4 Silver has been a huge game changer for me. It was an inexpensive way for me to try out underwater photography and I absolutely love it! The Dome housing was another affordable purchase that allows me to capture split water shots. This shows the movement of the waves in such an intriguing way. I even got an Instagram feature from one of my first underwater shoots with the GoPro! And now I’m taking clients for underwater work. Underwater photography is my favorite and I owe it all to my little GoPro.”
— CLICK PRO TESSIE WALLACE

WACOM INTUOS PRO TABLET
Image by Nina Mingioni, edited with a Wacom tablet.
Image by Nina Mingioni, edited with a Wacom tablet.

WACOM INTUOS PRO TABLET

“Hands down one of the best purchases I’ve ever made has been the Wacom Intuos Pro tablet. I have the medium tablet, which is large enough to provide a big editing surface but does not take up my entire desk. I once heard editing with a mouse is like editing with a potato in your hand. After I started editing on the Wacom tablet, I completely agree! The ergonomics of editing with a pen are impressively better, allowing for outstanding precision. While there is a small learning curve, editing with a tablet and a pen stylus allows for editing with natural movements of the hand. Faster workflow is a huge plus as well: It took less than a minute to remove a distracting orange sign behind my cutie!”
— CLICK PRO NINA MINGIONI

FUJIFILM XT-2
Erica Everhart shares a landscape photo taken with a Fuji mirrorless camera
Photo by Erica Everhart with the Fuji XT-2 mirrorless camera

FUJIFILM XT-2 MIRRORLESS CAMERA

“My beloved Fujifilm XT-2 mirrorless camera was a game changer for me. It is so well laid out that it feels like an extension of my hand and it made me excited about shooting again. The lighter weight of the camera and lenses radically affected my shooting. Hiking to a perfect spot to get that beautiful landscape image is no longer a back breaker and those Fujifilm colors really cut down on editing. I have found that I’m using my Fujifilm even when I might previously have reached for my iPhone because the 4K video is just a dial turn away and it’s small enough to carry around. I bought it for personal work, but I use it for everything now: commercial head shots, products, portraits and all of my creative endeavors.” — CLICK PRO ERICA EVERHART

Lightroom
Sarah Boccolucci Lightroom edit of a baby in black and white
Photo by Sarah Boccolucci, edited with Lightroom.

ADOBE LIGHTROOM

Lightroom was the biggest game changer for me. It helped me create an organization system that was easy to maneuver and had all the features I needed to edit a complete session. It gave me so much of my time back and made it easy to create a consistent look across a whole gallery.”
— CLICK PRO SARAH BOCCOLUCCI

Film cameras and lenses
A mother holds a child in film photo by Stephanie Bryan
Image shot by Stephanie Bryan on film.

FILM CAMERA

“Last year I signed up for a film class, ordered a film camera and a few rolls of 35mm film online, and shot my first roll of film in about 10 seconds flat. I didn’t overthink my composition. I didn’t worry about perfection. I didn’t even know how to set my camera settings. I basically just accepted this roll was going to be pure trash. I was so wrong. It was magical. Opening my very first email with my film scans, and every one since, has felt like Christmas morning. I love my Contax 645Pentax 645 and Canon EOS 1V35mm SLR film cameras.” — CLICK PRO STEPHANIE BRYAN

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 art is a life changing photography product
Girl at the beach taken with a 35mm art lens
Photo by Elizabeth Ordonez with the Sigma 35mm Art lens.

SIGMA 35MM F/1.4 ART LENS

“The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art lens was a huge game-changer for me. It helped me find my sweet spot as a lifestyle photographer. The focal length lets me stay far enough away from my subjects to be a quiet observer, but close enough to interact. As a mom, this is super important to me, as I want to be a part of the memories, too. As a photographer, it’s perfect because I like to direct my subjects without yelling. Plus, the wide aperture allows me to focus on the details I love without a lot of visual clutter.” – CLICK PRO ELIZABETH ORDONEZ

Asus monitor
Jennifer Carr edits with an Asus monitor for photography
Jennifer Carr edits on an Asus monitor.

ASUS IPS 27-INCH MONITOR

My photography game-changer was my Asus IPS 27-inch monitor. Post processing is a breeze on this monitor thanks to its large size, accurate brightness and contrast, and beautiful color rendition. I never have to worry about my photos being perfect when I receive prints in the mail!”
— CLICK PRO JENNIFER CARR

Mockaroon Photoshop templates
Mockaroon Photoshop template
Jyotsna Bhamidipati's image in a Mockaroon template.

MOCKAROON PHOTOSHOP TEMPLATES

“I take a very limited amount of clients each month as I also teach and have a baby at home. Anything that helps speed up my client workflow is a winner for me. When I deliver client galleries, I like to include a Facebook cover with the images. Clients love it, and it’s a great way to showcase my business on Facebook. I started using Mockaroon’s Photoshop templates and I absolutely love the ease of use. I can quickly create Facebook covers and promotional marketing images for my own Facebook business page. I’m not a Photoshop user for my editing, but these Photoshop templates are literally a two-minute solution. Mockaroon also has overlays and a lot of other templates that would be useful for any photographer to speed up and stay organized with their client marketing. Plus, Mockaroon has photo books, wall art, announcements and so much more.”
— CLICK PRO JYOTSNA BHAMIDIPATI

Holdfast Moneymaker camera strap
Alicia Bruce shoots weddings with a holdfast moneymaker strap
Alicia Bruce using the Holdfast Moneymaker strap.

HOLDFAST MONEYMAKER HARNESS

“I shoot weddings, couples, and brand sessions with two camera bodies (each with a different lens) so I can get a variety of shots quickly. I used to have two separate straps, which resulted in slipping cameras that banged into each other (once even resulting in a busted LCD screen!). Finally, I upgraded to the Holdfast Moneymaker harness system. This has saved not only my gear, but also my own neck and back from post-shoot pain. The leather harness distributes the weight across my back and shoulders and helps to keep the camera bodies separate from one another. The harness is adjustable and works for a variety of body sizes. There are even ways to add a third camera to the harness which is especially great for digital/film hybrid shooters!”
— CLICK PRO ALICIA BRUCE

adjustable height standing desk
A standing desk can be a real game-changer for photographers

STANDING DESK

“My game changer has been a sit-to-stand desk from Autonomous. Working at a standing desk is great for when I want to pop into my office to do some quick work and then get back to my family. It keeps me more active during the day, so I get more steps in, and I am more focused because I don’t get as settled in as I do when I sit down. I love that I still have the flexibility to lower it for longer editing sessions.”
— CLICK PRO KELLY KROHNERT

Red Shutterbag Journey
Kate Luber uses a Shutterbag to bring her camera everywhere.

SHUTTERBAG JOURNEY CAMERA BAG

“My game changer is a good camera bag! About a year ago, I upgraded to a Shutterbag Journey and being able to take my gear with me everywhere has allowed me to capture so many amazing moments. I’m also obsessed with pockets and compartments and this bag is chock full of little places to organize and stash everything you could possibly need. I can’t tell you how many compliments I get on my bright red bag.” — CLICK PRO KATE LUBER

Lightroom brushes
Aly Nickerson uses Lightroom brushes to paint on light in photos.
Photo by Aly Nickerson, edited with Lightroom brushes.

ADOBE LIGHTROOM BRUSHES

“My game changer has been learning how to use Adobe Lightroom brushes to paint and enhance light. I love to use brushes to bring attention to my subjects and make light look even more incredible by “painting” darker exposure around my subjects. I have been able to achieve and find my style and create images that pop. I also use the brushes to minimize distracting backgrounds (no shame in my messy house!) and add color to images with a large amount of negative space. Best of all, if you have Lightroom, creating and learning your brushes comes at no additional cost!”
— CLICK PRO ALY NICKERSON

CLICK PHOTO SCHOOL
Photo by Dana Leigh after taking Mastering Manual Exposure
Photo by Dana Leigh after taking Mastering Manual Exposure.

MASTERING MANUAL EXPOSURE WORKSHOP

“I took Mastering Manual Exposure through Click Photo School five years ago. It’s hands down the best thing I ever did for my photography. When I took the class, I had already been taking photos for a couple of years. I’m so glad that I made the choice to start from the beginning and learn the basics of shooting in manual because it helped ensure that I had a strong foundation. This class not only helped my photography but it’s also where I met some of my best friends. It has been an amazing adventure of learning, growth and community ever since!” — CLICK PRO DANA LEIGH

JBL portable speaker
Ashley Berrie family photo session
Ashley Berrie uses a portable speaker at client photo sessions.

PORTABLE SPEAKER

“I bought the JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Speaker with Bluetooth because of its portability and power. It puts out great sound even at an outdoor photo session. If I am shooting for clients and feel like I’m losing interest from a child, I just flip on one of their favorite songs, and the joy suddenly surfaces. A convenient bonus is that it’s almost the exact same size as some of my lenses, so it fits neatly into my camera bag.” — CLICK PRO ASHLEY BERRIE