Essential Guide to Traveling as a Photographer or Videographer

Airline tickets booked, visa granted, hotel reservations made, you’ve also put together a rough itinerary of things you want to do and places you want to go.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash


What’s next? If you’re thinking “I need to get my camera and the rest of my gear together” then you’re our kind of person. So whether you’re a seasoned traveler with a bag full of gear or someone who lugs their camera along with them in their backpack you should definitely keep reading.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash


So what’s in the bag for that perfect travel gear set up? We’ll let you know if we ever figure that one out.


What this blog aims to do is to show you that the gear bag of every traveler is different and this difference depends on things like what your shooting style is, where you’re going and perhaps most importantly how much of an investment you want to make.


Having said that we’re going to list below a few essentials for every travel photographer, videographer or content creator.


Camera Body

Now we can give you a long list of essentials you need to check off your list when purchasing your camera but like we said before it will depend on your shooting style, where you’re going etc.


Here are a few key feature you should look out for


A light weight body - the last thing you want as a traveler is to carry around the extra weight and most airports will weigh your camera bag.


Fast shooting with quality images - while point and shoot cameras will tick off the above feature best, we suggest you go with either a DSLR Camera or a Mirrorless Camera. They will be a little bit more expensive but you’ll be able to capture those once in a lifetime moments and hold on to them for a lifetime.


User friendly - now while we do strongly suggest you get to know your camera and what it can do we would much rather you spend your time making memories than flipping through your user manual.


Inexpensive - to each his own but we don’t suggest you break your travel budget on a camera or gear. With the travel photography market growing most camera manufacturers are tapping into that market so don’t be surprised if you find a camera that fits your budget and checks all the boxes. We also suggest purchasing used gear since it’s a great way to pick up high quality gear at a bargain only because it’s slightly used.


Photo by Charlotte Noelle on Unsplash


Camera Lens

When it comes to lenses it’s a matter of preference. Your shooting style, your shooting preference ( E.g - landscape, street photography, people), the time of day you like to shoot at are all factors you need to consider when picking your perfect lens.


What we do suggest is that you pick yourself up a 50mm f1.8 which are fast and inexpensive lenses. The other great feature of these lenses is that they are wide enough to capture your background but also are capable of capturing details.


Another interesting lens you could pick up is a variable lens (sometimes called a zoom lens.) A variable lens will let you get the close up shots even when you can’t get too close to your subject. Variable lenses can often be seen used in wildlife photography where it’s impossible to get that great shot you want without scaring away your subject. Depending on your camera brand of choice we might suggest that you go with the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, the Nikon AF-S 24-120mm f/4G ED VR or Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS


Now if you’re a traveler who enjoys taking a lot of landscape pictures you’re definitely going to want to go wider than 50mm. To put it loosely a wide angle lens will allow you to showcase more context of your pictures because it allows you to portray more of the background. Like we said earlier it will depend on the camera you are using but we suggest the Canon EF 17-40 mm f/4.0 L USM, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED or the Sony 20mm f/2.8


Tripod

Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple travelling together or a group of friends on that big trip someone has to capture the moment which invariably means one of you is always left out.


Most new cameras come with inbuilt WIFI or the ability to connect a WIFI adapter which means you can trigger your camera from your smartphone. Strap your camera onto your tripod and you’ll never be left out of those magical moments.


Pro tip - paired with the right settings and your tripod you won't miss that perfect sunset that you’ve been chasing.

Photo by Mr.Autthaporn Pradidpong on Unsplash


The GorillaPod (if you opt out of a tripod)

Now you’re probably wondering what in the world this is! The GorillaPod refers to the first brand of flexible tripods. Now the advantage of a flexible tripod is its ability to wrap around your everyday objects yet give you a stable and steady shot.


We suggest you check out the GorillaPod 3K for a budget flexible tripod for those places it would be impossible to position your conventional tripod.


Pro tip : flexible tripods like the GorillaPod are very useful for Vlogging as they are lightweight and can be maneuvered around a lot faster.


Video stabilization - Gimbal

Now for all you travel videographers out there, at some point no matter how steady your hands are your footage will be shaky. This is when you need to consider adding a gimbal to your gear bag for those smooth, steady and shake free shots.


We might suggest you check out the DJI Ronin SC and start making that amazing video content.


Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash


Drone

Now this one isn't a must have but if it is within your budget then a drone is an interesting piece of equipment to have in your camera bag. If you're chasing those scenic aerial shots then there's no better way than to get all the footage you need.


We suggest you take a look at either the DJI Spark or the DJI Mavic Mini and start taking off.


Pro Tip - Drone laws can vary in strictness depending on where you're travelling to so we suggest you do your research before you break any laws and lose that potentially breathtaking footage.


Laptop

Our advice to anyone shooting just about anything is to always create back ups. There is nothing more frustrating than coming home after your vacation to find that your memory cards have crashed and all your content is gone.


Your laptop will also let you edit on the go so you can post to your blog or social media accounts while on vacation.


Camera Bag

Now while the argument can be made that you can carry your gear in your carry on or in a backpack do you really want to put all that expensive gear somewhere it isn’t secure?


Your camera bag of choice will depend on the gear you plan on carrying on vacation with you. What we suggest is that you pick one that is lightweight and compact so you’re not carrying around something big and cumbersome.


Miscellaneous

We would suggest you carry a few of these things with you if not all of them in case the need arises


  • Extra batteries

  • Extra memory cards

  • An external hard drive

  • Camera cleaning equipment

Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash


Drop us a comment if you’d like to know what in our travel gear bag or tell us what's in your camera bag.

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