As most photographers will attest to, traveling with photography equipment is a tricky, and occasionally anxiety inducing thing. I’m always expecting extra security searches or worry about somehow damaging my camera. With a few trips coming up both domestic and international, I thought it would be helpful to put together a post about how I keep all of my work equipment safe while traveling and on a day-to-day basis.
I realize it’s vain, but I really don’t want my equipment to scream “I’m a photographer!” and would prefer for the stuff I carry around to mesh well with my regular, everyday style. With that being said, here are my favorites.
Away recently sent me a piece of luggage to try out, and I was really blown away. Firstly, it’s beautiful. I opted for a dark blue, and the color is so understated but striking in real life. Secondly, as every friend and family member I have will attest to, my phone is about to be dead 90% of the time (including now) so a suitcase that can charge my phone is a real godsend for me. Thirdly, the hardshell makes it perfect for keeping photo equipment safe.
The carry-on I have works for domestic and international planes so I feel totally safe putting cameras and lenses into it without worrying about someone forcing me to check my bag. There’s lots of little compartments, and I genuinely feel like my stuff is super secure. I’ve started using it during local shoots that require lots of props, and it’s made things so much easier and more organized.
Full disclosure, there’s nothing pretty about this thing but luckily, no one will ever see it. This little guy is one of my favorite things in the world because it has allowed me to turn every bag into a camera bag. I throw my camera in this, toss it in a bag, and go. Most often, I put it in my Everlane backpack (my day-to-day camera bag), and it fits perfectly. While traveling, I’ll put it into some of the leather totes I have and it works wonderfully. And it’s less than $20!
Though there are finally some cute camera bags out there, I’d never found one that was quite right. Thus, I decided to turn my Everlane backpack into a camera bag, and it works really well for me. You can easily fit a body and a couple of lenses in it plus a laptop, and any little accessories you may need, and its $65. I love it, and it gets more compliments than literally anything else I own.
I’ve bought an actual memory card holder on Amazon in the past, and it was not great. It fell apart almost immediately, and I found myself searching for a replacement soon after. My sister gifted me this cute little pouch for Christmas one year, and I’ve found it to be perfect for storing memory cards. I actually keep spare business cards in it too, and it’s way better than any dedicated memory card organizer I’ve seen. I label my cards so I have an idea of what's what, but your milage may vary if you need to keep your cards separated.
Other photography and non-photography gadgets I love:
Notebooks - I try to always have a notebook on me because no matter how much I utilize notes and to-do apps on my phone, nothing works for me quite as well as a paper to-do list. I’m embarrassingly particular about my notebooks, and have been loyal to Rodia notebooks for a while because they have graph paper. I recently got a notebook from Appointed, a DC-based company (!!!), and I am loving it. It’s also graph paper vs. lined, and the cover is so ridiculously beautiful. They sent me one with my initials embossed in it, and I’ve been carrying it everywhere.
Pilot P-500 pen - This is as ridiculous as being particular about notebooks, but I’m a pen snob too. Seriously, just go buy this pen, and making grocery lists will become 100% better.
Transcend Card Reader - A good card reader really makes a big difference. This one is about a billion times faster than my old one, and it’s under $20 on Amazon. It’s tiny, lightweight, and does the job without issue.
Dulla Phone Bank - As I mentioned, my phone is always dead. I carry this little phone bank with me pretty often, but especially when traveling. A lot of my Instagram photos are just iPhone snaps so I really try to make sure I have this at all times. It holds 4-5 iPhone charges, and it’s pretty cute as far as phone banks go.
That's everything! I'm sure things will change and get updated as time goes on, but hopefully this is somewhat useful if you travel with equipment and want it to look semi-cute!
Disclosure: I was gifted an Away suitcase; however all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.