Traveling with gear? Helpful tips for your next adventure!
Who’s Ready for Adventure?!
If you’ve followed my adventures over the last decade you know I love to travel and have spent much time on the road. From local trips battling the NYC streets, to long international flights, I think I’ve pretty much covered the gamut when it comes to hitting the road with gear. Whether it’s traveling with a full complement of gear or just enough to get the job done, I’ve compiled some tips to hopefully get you on your way without a hitch.
Keep it Light!
Okay, so this one is obvious, but all too often I’ve seen photographers pack so much unnecessary gear (myself included) that it makes their traveling unpleasant from start to finish. How many times have you packed gear for a job and realized you never even opened a bag you lugged around? I remember traveling for a job many years ago, having bags that were overweight at the airline counter. As we furiously tried to lighten our bags we realized we had 5 full rolls of gaffers tape in one bag!
Every one of my trips always begins with a simple checklist that looks like this:
- What am I shooting and what am I hoping to accomplish?
- What are my backup solutions?
- What lighting equipment do I need?
- What kinds of overhead storage will I have?
1. What am I shooting and what am I hoping to accomplish?
This is by far the most important question you should ask yourself when it comes to camera gear. Obviously, you want to carry the things you need, but let’s say it’s an outdoor wedding that ends in the early evening. Dragging along tons of lighting equipment is unnecessary. This is always my biggest challenge because I hate to sacrifice in any situation, but you can always find a decent solution and save yourself the hassle of dragging that lighting kit for no reason.
2. What are my backup solutions?
Also, a really important question. I believe that all shoots should be backed up within a few hours regardless of what your photographing. The good news is, nowadays there are so many neat solutions that allow you to keep your laptop at home. Not having to lug a computer for me is HUGE! Today there are several great portable backup solutions, my favorite being the Gnarbox which allows you to download your work without a computer. The freedom to travel with my . just my iPad (mainly for catching up on my Netflix episodes) is awesome!
3. What lighting equipment do I need?
As photographers and filmmakers, having the right lighting gear is always paramount to a great shoot. However, is it necessary to bring that huge lighting kit or will a few small lights and some reflectors do the trick?
4. What kinds of storage will I have?
This not only applies to airplanes but your entire trip. When you land, are you taking an Uber? If so, will all of your gear make it in the car you hire, along with your suitcases? I’ve been so proud of pairing down my gear to just a few cases only to find out it won’t fit in a regular Uber with the rest of my luggage. You learn your lesson when you have to pay $300 for an Uber XL during rush hour to get to the airport that’s only 10 miles away, not to mention the stress of having to wait for another car in a busy urban area. Add language barriers to foreign travel and you have the perfect recipe for an unnecessary stressful journey.
If you are traveling by plane, will your gear fit in the overhead? I’ve seen so many posts on FB from photographers and filmmakers about the stresses of handing your gear to flight attendants because it won’t fit in the overhead. Please travel only with gear that you feel confident handing over to be checked through to your destination!! One trick I’ve learned is that you can usually take a body/lens and put it on your neck and it won’t count as a bag. This is a good way to make sure you have a camera when you land, or mid-flight. You never know what’s going to happen nowadays! 🙂
Safe Travels On Your Next Adventure!
As creative people, I find most of us love to get out there for an adventure! Don’t forget to pack the right clothing. Overpacking clothing is also a big challenge for me. I promise you no one cares if you wear those favorite jeans more than once! Have fun and remember: the best way to share your travels with is with an awesome video you create in just minutes with our new slideshow tool! Grab some quick pics and video and you can share your adventure with everyone, make sure to tag us on our FB page and share with us in our FB Group-p!