In my case, I’ve found that destination wedding photography comes with it’s a fair share of challenges, both good and bad. One being limited carry space. But there are so many ways to prepare yourself and still travel lightly!
If you’re ready to pick up the backpack and hit the road, here are a few sanity-preserving items that you’ll definitely want to keep on hand in your travel photography gear inventory.
A Reliable, Portable SSD Harddrive
If you’re still importing all of your images to your computer’s hard drive on the go, consider changing your workflow!
Not only does filling up your computer’s hard drive make it run extremely slow, you’re really risking losing it all of your computer ever crashes.
Consider adding (multiple) portable SSDs that will not only back up your RAW files, but will help you edit faster because they run so quickly and efficiently with importing and exporting photos. Trust me on this!
I use two G-Drive 2TB hard drives for the year, one for the main culling and importing, and one for backing up the RAWs. The redundancy allows me to feel super secure until the images are delivered to my clients.
Variable ND Filter
If you don’t know what an ND filter is, you’re missing out!
Have you ever wanted to shoot super low aperture on a super sunny day and just couldn’t get your shutter speed high enough to compensate? The results are overexposed, blown out images.
Think of an ND filter like putting sunglasses on your camera lens on a bright day. Now you have more flexibility to shoot super creamy bokeh even on the brightest, sunniest days.
Variable ND filters are more flexible because you can actually adjust the amount of “shade” you want to add to the lens. Perfect for saving space in the camera bag for other goodies. I use Gobe’s ND2-400 filter and I just love it.
A Portable LED Photo/Video Light
On a normal day, I’d be lugging around my flash equipment, light stands, and umbrellas for a wedding or studio session. But when traveling, I depend heavily on my portable LED lighting because it’s continuous, easy and FAST to set up, and more reliable when you’re running on limited space and time and need just a little boost to get the lighting conditions you need for those epic travel portraits.
Portable Travel Tripod
When looking for the right tripod for travel photography, size, and portability are the first features that come to mind. I shoot with a full-frame DSLR, so it’s imperative that it also is strong enough to hold my camera gear safely with no risk of toppling over.
I love my TYCKA Rangers because it’s light but super versatile!
These simple rain covers may not be the flashiest – but at the size of a piece of card stock, I can always find room to spare for these in case of an emergency downpour during a shoot.
Especially if you aren’t shooting with weather sealed gear, this little gem will be a lifesaver to your camera and lenses. Trust me, for a few bucks, it’s definitely worth having on hand.
Choosing the Right Travel Camera Bag
There are so many camera bags on the market – and each with their own pros and cons. I have like…. more camera bags than I would like to admit and I love each of them in their own way. Here are just a few of my top faves for when I am traveling.
Airport ThinkTank Navigator
This is for the frequent flyers out there. If you do destination wedding photography in resorts, museums, or other areas where you know you won’t be battling rough terrain or stairs, the Airport ThinkTank Navigator is totally for you.
It’s carry on size, super padded, and opens from the front AND the top. I often leave the top secured open and it gives me easy access to my gear to grab and swap out lenses quickly. It’s lasted me for 4 years so far in great condition (and I have NOT been gentle with it). I can’t praise this bag enough!
Peak Design Travel Cubes
Sometimes I want to use a bag that’s not a camera bag at all. And for that, I am crazy about Peak Design Camera Cubes. You can literally put it in any backpack or bag and easily store your gear and accessories.
What a game changer, right? It totally opens up the market for having your favorite bags become more purposefully used. They have multiple sizes and you can configure them with flexible dividers to your liking.