What to Pack in Your Camera Bag – A Guide for Travel Photography in 2016
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- What to Pack in Your Camera Bag – A Guide for Travel Photography in 2016
- What to Pack in Your Camera Bag:
- For a Small Camera Backpack such as the Victoriatourist Camera Backpack you will want to carry:
- For a Medium Camera Backpack such as the Manfrotto Pro 50:
- For a Large Camera Bag such as the Lowepro Pro Trekker 650 AW Add in These Items:
- Wedding Photographers will want to carry in their dslr camera bag Bride and Groom (mostly Bride!) Survival items:
- Outdoor Photographers who take trips to waterfalls or into the wilderness will want to stash in their dslr bag an assortment of items depending upon where they are going:
- Urban Photographers & Tourist Photographers will want to carry in their dslr backpack (or dslr messenger bag) items that are useful for photography in city environments.
- Sports or Event Photographers who shoot in loud environments (ie race tracks, concerts) will want to pack Ear Plugs to keep their hearing in tact.
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You’ve got your dslr loaded into your camera backpack, are ready to go on your first job, or you are itching to head out on a photo-expedition.
So, what extras do you need to pack in your camera bag to make it complete when traveling?
Everyone has suggestions for what they think you will need in your camera bag. And, photographers love to share photo-dumps of the contents of their camera bags. DCBHQ has assembled the most comprehensive list of items gleaned from insider advice and seasoned photographers alike.
Taking into consideration the base needs for your photography equipment, Dummies.com has laid out the core photography equipment requirements concisely – which we are detailing below.
What to Pack in Your Camera Bag:
If you have a Small, Medium or Large Camera Backpack you will want to include the basic camera gear and camera cleaning gear that can fit into your camera backpack.
Starting with the smallest bag and adding in items as your bag grows in size or based on what type of shoot you are undertaking – build from this list as your trip gets longer and you will need more essentials along the way.
For a Small Camera Backpack such as the Victoriatourist Camera Backpack you will want to carry:
- Camera Body
- Remote Shutter Release
- Extra Camera Batteries & Charger
- Extra Memory Cards
- Cleaning Cloth – such as microfiber – for Camera Body
- Cleaning Cloth for Lenses
- Lens Filters in a Filter Case
- Pop Up Flash Diffuser
- White Balance Card
For a Medium Camera Backpack such as the Manfrotto Pro 50:
- Extra Lenses for the type of shoot you are on
- A Second Camera Body
- ND Grad or ND Filters, Circular Polarizer, Color Grad or other filters that will make your photos pop
- Blower to get dust out of your camera body
- External Flash
- Flash Diffuser
- Extra Flash Batteries
- Collapsible Bouncer to Reflect light onto your subject
For a Large Camera Bag such as the Lowepro Pro Trekker 650 AW Add in These Items:
- More Camera Bodies to make switching lenses on the shoot easier
- Extra lenses to have all your bases covered
- Rain Cover for your bag
- Extra Flash Diffusers for unique situations
- Light Meter
To help you decide what extras to pack in your camera bag if you are a Wedding or Portrait Photographer, Outdoor Photographer, Urban photographer, or just a tourist who wants to be well-prepared on vacation, cherry pick items from the list below that best suit your situation.
Wedding Photographers will want to carry in their dslr camera bag Bride and Groom (mostly Bride!) Survival items:
- Small sewing kit
- Stain remover pen
- Wet wipes
- Safety pins and bobby pins to be ready for any emergency the bride or her bridesmaids may face
- Cold compresses to keep the groom cool on hot summer shoots
- Business Cards – always have business cards on hand to share with potential clients who you will run into while photographing a wedding, engagement, or bridal photoshoot.
Outdoor Photographers who take trips to waterfalls or into the wilderness will want to stash in their dslr bag an assortment of items depending upon where they are going:
- Hood loupe to see your photos on the lcd screen in bright sunlight
- Anti-fog cloth
- Silica Gel Packs – stash them in a few places to keep contents moisture free
- Microfiber towel in a small ziplock to keep it water proof
- Make sure you are well equipped with cleaning materials as the variables of weather, sand and dirt can affect your camera gear and possibly your subject during the shoot.
- Extra Compact Digital Camera
- Mini-tripod, Monopod or Full-sized Tripod
- Hat – get a waterproof, breathable seam-welded roll up style hat to fit in the side pocket of your pack
- Fresh socks to replace your wet ones from jumping over river rocks and slipping or slogging through marshes
- Rain gear such as frog toggs poncho or waterproof jacket – ponchos can easily fit over you and your pack
- Compact umbrella
- Rain Cover for your DSLR
- Extra layers of clothing in case it gets colder – light weight merino wool sweaters work great
- Matches in a water proof container
- Mini-multi purpose knife – or combination set with matches & knife like Bear Grylls Survival Kit
- Contractor garbage bag liners (extra thick) for ground protection when you are shooting prone
- A lightweight foldable seat if you are waiting for animals to appear upon the scene
- Knee pads for nature or macro photographers – pair of gardener’s knee pads fit the bill here
- Bug spray
- Bear Spray
- A paracord bracelet with built on, old-fashioned compass, perfect for multiple uses
- Gear ties by Nite Ize, velcro tie back strips, or cable ties
- Single use Hand Warmers
- Anti-itch cream for encounters with plants or bugs
- Hand sanitizer (it can start a fire or soothe an insect bite)
- Handiwipes (as a potential fire starter and to keep your hands clean)
- A first-aid kit
- Mylar thermal blankets for warmth or use to reflect light back onto your subject
- Cyalume sticks (glow stick) to light up the night if you shoot late and are out in the wilderness
- Ziploc bags – Fill a Ziploc bag with rocks or sand and hang from your tripod with a bungee cord to keep your tripod from falling over if it gets windy
- Mini-bungee cord for tripod / Ziploc bag weight
- Small flashlight and batteries
- Head-lamp flashlight to keep your hands free and useful at dusk or dark to find your gear or footing in the outdoors
- Binoculars (to help find birds and other animals)
- Cell phone
- Snacks such as Cliff Bars or other portable pre-packed items to stave off hunger pangs
- Collapsible Water Bottle like the Vapur Elements Water Bottle which attaches with a carabiner to your bag
And please let someone know where you are going and when you are expected to be back. The weather may change unexpectedly and have you running for cover. Or you may take a tumble with a heavy pack full of gear. It’s better to be safe and share your route with someone just in case.
Urban Photographers & Tourist Photographers will want to carry in their dslr backpack (or dslr messenger bag) items that are useful for photography in city environments.
Cherry-picking from the Outdoor Photographer’s list will come in handy. If you plan to travel to an area that you know you will encounter a variety of environments (sun, sand, dirt, moisture or rain, humidity, etc), be sure to pack proper camera and lens cleaning gear, bug spray, sunscreen, mini-tripod or monopod, lens loupe, rain hood for your camera, external flash or flash diffuser, snacks and a collapsible water bottle.
Additionally take a local Language Dictionary or list of common phrases including, “May I take your picture?”, electrical socket adapter for international travel, a compact umbrella, business cards & model releases.
Sports or Event Photographers who shoot in loud environments (ie race tracks, concerts) will want to pack Ear Plugs to keep their hearing in tact.
Race tracks with the engines revving can damage the ear drums. The same applies to concerts. If you are shooting where it will be loud, be sure to take a couple of sets of high density ear plugs in case you lose a pair.
And, no matter where you go, someone may want to have your contact info or you may want to share your email address and portfolio link. And, as mentioned before, it’s always a good idea to carry a few Business Cards with you when you’re out shooting.
If you like taking pictures of people, you might want to ask permission and offer to send them a picture. A business card will reassure them of your intentions and provide your contact details. Photographer’s business cards also help reassure security officials you might encounter in cities and or near public buildings.
Be a Featured Photographer:
Photographers love to post photos of what’s in their bags. Now that you’ve got your bag full and are set-up, send us a photo & bio to be a featured photographer!
To see what TAMRAC recommends: check out this post by Ben Horton, NATGEO Photographer, on the TAMRAC Blog.
Read about PEAK DESIGN’S Camera Bags and Intelligent Photography Accessories