My Complete Packing + Gear Guide For The Traveling Photographer
As some of you may know, I’ve been traveling full time for five years now as a professional photographer. I’ve since picked up a few items and tricks that have helped make my flight-taking, bus-hopping, boat-riding a lot easier and more efficient. In short, friends, this post is my most comprehensive gear guide yet.
In this post you’ll find:
+ Every piece of photography equipment I currently travel with (tried, tested, proven).
+ The camera accessories that make my work better and moreefficient.
+ The packing accessories that have made me more organized.
+ The must-have items that have made traveling with my photography gear way easier.
It weighs LESS THAN 2 LBS / 1 KG. I was looking for something that wasn’t going to prevent me from bringing my camera with me during my travels. I am so much happier, and I take my camera way more often than I did when I had my previous Canon DSLR which was just so heavy.
The camera shoots really, really quickly — the Sony Alpha A7R III has a Max Continuous Shooting Speed of 10.0 fps (1.2fp faster than the average Mirrorless camera shooting speed).
High shooting speed is especially important in situations where the scene changes rapidly as in sports or surf photography.
Here are some photos I took with this camera:
It shoots videos in 4K, or 120fps in 1080p HD. Wifi capabilities make transferring images on the go a breeze. Just download the Sony app and you can have the photos you just took downloaded onto your phone almost instantly.
The investment was hefty, but in hindsight absolutely, 100% worth it. I truly believe that Sony and the mirrorless camera system are the future.
Wide angle and great for capturing photography while traveling. Landscapes, interiors, cool selfies, whatever. It’s just too easy to keep this on the camera wherever I go. I rarely take it off. The perfect all around travel lens.
Zeiss also has a better version of this lens here (The aperture goes down to F2.8) but to be expected — it’s more expensive.
Here are some photographs I took with this lens.
This lens is ideal for landscapes. Read reviews + find more details here:
Protect your lenses, dude. I keep these on my lenses all the time. They protect the lenses from sand, dust, and whatever else. They’re budget-friendly and have good reviews. Manufactured from Water-White Schott （B270） Glass made in Germany.
I bought one for each of my lenses over a year ago and have not had a problem since. Image clarity is great. Price depends on size, but for the quality I thought that the price was great.
The screen on your camera will crack. I’ve been there. It’s inevitable – especially when you are traveling from place to place.
I bought one when I first got my camera, and it has saved my screen so many times. Similar to the one on your phone, the tempered glass screen is a MUST BUY — if not only because they’re so incredibly cheap.
This is my go-to hard drive. Get over the bright orange cover and I have absolutely zero regrets after purchasing my first one four years ago, and it is top of the line. Most of my professional photographer friends own and continue buying this brand of hard drive.
Why? It’s drop, crush and water resistant. It has a 2-year warranty. It’s fast. You can program it to use on both Mac & PC beforehand – both operating systems (nothing worse than realizing you can’t access your files on someone else’s computer because of the computer you set it up on).
I currently have two 2TB hard drives, which I bought on Amazon here. They also have a 4TB version here.
It is not smarter to go cheaper. Spending a little more money on memory cards will make sure you can move from shooting photos to recording video quickly. You won’t have to miss a critical shot because you’re waiting for the images to load onto your cheap and slow memory card. Fast memory cards. Important. Will make your life easier.
Nothing worse than having a memory card that is too slow for the camera you own. Investing in a good memory card will keep you sane.
I personally haven’t gone wrong with this one. Although I will probably upgrade to a 128GB soon. I don’t recommend getting anything smaller than a 64GB memory card because your card will get full really quickly and it’s just too annoying to deal with that while you’re on the road.
SPECS: The read speed is 300 MB/S. Write speed is 299 MB/S. Long story short: they’re fast AF. It can handle burst shooting and 4K video. So far, extremely satisfied with having this in my camera!
All of the above but waterproof, dustproof and ribless.
When you’re shooting and it starts raining, or even when you drop your memory card and you accidentally step on it – your data, your images, your precious work will SURVIVE. Life. Changing. Both cards support high-speed shooting & 4K video.
It’s also around the same price as the normal one, so I decided to go ahead and purchase it. I now have both in my camera as a backup.
This is not about fashion, it’s about functionality.
The reason I got this strap is because it has a great snap on and off functionality. Instead of having to untie the loops to the camera and remove the strap completely, I can just slide in and out the round buttons, and I go from strapped to strapless really quickly.
This strap functionality also makes it way easier to put my camera in and out of my water housing – just makes my life easier in general and I know with the ‘click’ sound that my camera is secure.
Okay, this was honestly the best purchase decision I’ve ever made regarding camera packing + travel. I went on Amazon and literally compared dozens of different camera inserts to finally decide on this one. And I am so, so glad I did.
This camera insert is padded all around, has two zippers (with straps for ease of use), and features a water-resistant cover. It also includes padded inserts that are interchangeable via velcro. I can also insert this into a shoulder bag, tote bag, or simply give to someone else to put it in their backpack (so I don’t have to carry it all the time, duh). The top handle gives it easy access (one-handed carrying) and it’s CHEAP AF.
It fits my camera, two lenses, charger, spare batteries (2), filters, lens hoods, lens caps, etc. I can also switch out my camera and use it for my drone and all its accessories.
I got the grey color so I could see my camera equipment easier when it’s at the bottom of a bag, but black is sexy too.
Since both my GoPro camera and drone use Micro SD cards, I bought this adapter to be able to easily transfer files onto my laptop. I use the SanDisk micro SD to SD card adapter, and I paid $3 on Amazon here.
Note: I have an SD card reader built into my MacBook Pro. If you don’t, you’ll need a separate card reader – which you’ll find below.
Every single person who sees me pull this out gets jealous. Every cord, charger cable, extra USB cable, SD card, extra hard drive, pair of drone propellers, or card reader – literally all my miscellaneous, hard to organize / pack, easily-tangled accessories fit inside and keep me organized.
It’s also CHEAP, at only $10 – it’s a steal yet a worthy investment.
It is always a good idea to have a spare battery. I actually bought two spare batteries so that I never have to stop and recharge on a full day out shooting, or even more important – when I’m on a paid client shoot. The Sony A7rIII uses the following battery: Sony NPFZ100 Z-series Rechargeable Battery — available on Amazon for $78 US.
I have had this charger for YEARS. It has not failed me once. I always pack it with me while traveling. Leave it to charge overnight or when you’re out during the day, and it will last you at the very least – a week. It charges my iPhone fully over six times.
It’s heavy, yes, but it’s worth it – especially when you’re at the airport and don’t have access to outlets / missing a power adapter, or when your hotel bed is too far from the outlet and you’re lazy from all that traveling.
This is a ridiculously tiny camera that weighs next to nothing. It is fast, adaptable and ridiculously worth the money. I personally purchased the Mark IV, and the newest version is the Mark VI which is obviously more expensive (since it’s the recent model) and has different / upgraded features.
Here are some photos I took with this camera.
This little camera is absolutely incredible and I would recommend having it if you want a pocket-sized travel camera with video capabilities. You will take it everywhere because it’s just too easy not to.
It has wifi for you to transfer your images and shoots in raw. The lens is fixed, but you can zoom. It’s not a professional camera by any means, but if you want a way to capture your memories in a beautiful and easy way, this is it.
I purchased an underwater housing for this little camera to test out underwater photography (before I made the very expensive investment to purchase a real water housing). It helped me create some amazing images by capturing incredible experiences and it is just a Godsend.
I bought this underwater housing for my Sony RX100 IV and it opened up my career and perspective to new possibilities. I successfully funded a Kickstarter and built a completely new body of work — just because I decided to give this housing a try.
It’s actually a dive housing so you can take it deeper than most surf housings. Easy snap on / off closure (no weird screws), absolutely lightweight and easy to swim with.
If you are unsure about, or not willing to spend $2,000+ on an underwater housing for your DSLR / professional camera — start with the Sony compact RX100 camera and buy this housing. You will be so so happy with the results, as I was.
It opens flat (easier access to your stuff). Has a laptop sleeve (better organization). Comes with a free rain cover. The bag itself is lightweight. The size is carry-on friendly. It’s affordable AF (only $69 US on Amazon). Sleek, doesn’t look like a camera bag (less likely to have people target you). Lots of pockets.
Good reviews. A decent price for an all around awesome travel (and photo) backpack.
What do you guys think? Do you have any personal recommendations on how to travel with your photography equipment more efficiently / painlessly? Let us know in the comments below.
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