Travel and photography go hand in hand these days, and with the accessibility of advanced technology, even amateur photographers and beginners can take incredible shots.
Though the success of your travel photography will depend on the camera gear you travel with. So whether you’re an advanced photographer or just starting out, make sure you have the following with you on every trip.
Get A Photographer’s Bag
If photography is a priority and you plan to travel with a lot of gear, you should invest in a photographers bag. It’s impossible to carry a lot of camera gear in your hands, and best to separate this from your other luggage so you don’t lose expensive equipment in between clothes and other items.
A dedicated camera bag means you can carry everything conveniently and comfortably, from your cameras, to each lens, and smaller items like spare SD card, battery chargers, and lens cloths. There are many excellent bags on the market; the Kata Rucksack and the Crumpler Million Dollar Shoulder Bag are among the best gears to use while taking photographs.
Regardless of where you’re going, or the type of photography you’re into, you should expect that your camera and lens will get dirty at some point along the way.
If you want to snap the most stunning LED ring lights photography, you’ll need to keep your camera as clean as possible. So you’ll want to pack cleaning supplies to take along with you.
Stick a lens cloth or two in your bag, so you can quickly remove dust, dirt and sand from your camera lenses. Also, a puffer is a necessity. This item will allow you to keep your sensor and mirrors clean.
Your camera might have room for a few photographs. However, as a professional photographer, your camera’s onboard memory isn’t enough.
You’ll need to utilize memory cards. And depending on the length of your trip, and how often you snap, it’s likely you’ll go through a few.
SD cards are usually very small, and can therefore be very easy to lose. With this in mind, you should invest in a good card case. A protective case will allow you to keep your cards in a secure location, while decreasing the possibility that you’ll leave them behind.
Zip Lock Bags
You might not think to pack ziplock bags, but these are a fabulous idea to have handy in your camera bag. Zip locks are great for emergency situations where you need to keep your gear safe and dry. Ie during freak rain.
They are similarly brilliant when you’re finished shooting in the desert or on the beach, to keep sand out of your lenses and supplies. Toss everything into the bag and seal it shut. This will help to prevent your expensive equipment from getting damaged if you’re weathering a harsh environment.
When it comes down to it, all photographers need a good travel tripod. Whether you’re traveling to an urban setting or intend to take beautiful pictures of beach, you’ll want to make sure that you are able to keep your camera as steady as possible.
It’s essential to choose a tripod that is compact and lightweight. You’ll also be wise to choose one that will conveniently fit into your photographer’s bag!
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Great list! For us photography is a big part of travel, especially so when we are on a wildlife and landscape kind of trip. For us, we have several different Lowenpro camera bags which we love, including one super waterproof one we used in the Antarctic for the wet landing zodiac transfers. We also had a basic wet sac into which we could put regular bags to keep them waterproof just for the boat bit! And yes to the tripod, ziploc bags and everything else toO!
Thanks Kavey! So clever to have waterproof camera bags, we recently returned from Antarctica and had rainjackets draped over our camera bags during the zodiac transfers lol so I think we may be about to upgrade!
Wet sac is a great piece to travel with too – just purchased some because we’ve been taking more adventurous trips – I really love the floating extensions which I can attach to my waterproof cameras and go pro – means if I lose them in the water they float to the top for easy collection :D … I’ve done it a few times – thanked God they didn’t sink!!!
Great list to have here Meg and the more travels I go on, the more and more I have started to do this. I never even used a tripod in my life until our trip to Lapland to capture the Northern Lights last month, and now I probably take it with me to capture those golden moments. Plus I always take about 4 SD cards for our camera…I like to be snappy happy :D
Thanks Danik! I find what’s in our camera bag gets adapted and personally curated over time, each trip we realize “oh it would be great if I had that!” and keep adding for the next :)
The Northern Lights in Lapland would have been incredible! Yes, definitely need a tripod for that trip :D!
I’m still working out what I need for travel photography. I keep meaning to take my monopod and not quite managing to pack it! This is a great list for someone at my stage…really useful
So glad we could help :) It took us a couple of trips to work out what we needed, but you’ll get there in time! Happy travels :)
So much great info here. I have pretty much given up on all camera gear and just take all photos on my iphone. It may not be the best idea but it definitely lightens the load.
Definitely lightens the load! Honestly though smart phones are coming out with some incredible picture quality these days, National Geographic recently sent out their photographer to shoot the cover shot on an iPhone. So if it’s suitable for your needs and cuts down on your luggage, go for it!
Unfortunately, my camera was flooded a while go. It’s already time to buy a new one, along with all of that gear.
Oh no!!! Sorry to hear that :( Hope you managed to claim some of it back on travel insurance at least? X
Thanks for reminding me that I need so many more items for the season and I need to go shopping now.
Happy to help! Happy travels :)
What a great list!!! Its so important to have a good camera in our trips! The tripod is my best friend in my solo travels ?
Thankyou Hra :) Yes, our tripod is also my best friend – we organized a compact travel tripod after getting sick of carrying a previously far too big and heavy version around!!
What a great list of the photography essentials to travel with. The tip about having ziplock bags makes a lot of sense and something I’ve never thought about. Thank you for the information about the memory card case. I’ve actually been looking for one and this is perfect. We are in the market for a new camera and accessories, so the timing of this article is great. Thanks for the tips!!
Thanks Rosemary :) Yes, Ziplock bags are a lifesaver! Little trick we love and now never leave home without :D! And glad we could recommend a SD holder / case – we keep all of our photos on our SD cards as a backup in case the hard driver or computer fails, so we’re always buying new cases and storage for them!!
Happy travels :)
You are welcome :) Happy travels!
Hi Megan! I have to get some more bags as my camera equipment is growing, one can not carry every thing in the pockets and you say. The lenses are quite expensive one really have to take care and good protection is good investing into.
Hi Veronika! Definitely check out the Kata Rucksack and the Crumpler Million Dollar Shoulder Bag if you’re looking for a new camera bag (links in the post above), equipment is so expensive as you’ve mentioned, so having padded pockets is a great investment for protection, and being able to find everything easily too :)
A proper camera bag is huge! it makes life on the road so much easier and stress free knowing your equipment isn’t bouncing around being damaged! A card case is a great suggestion as well, I cant count the number of times i’ve been digging around struggling to find a card as the sun is setting!
Absolutely Patrick, I think our camera bag is one of the most useful things we own, love those which hare filled with different pockets and sections for you to put different gear :)
Yep we learned the value of investing in card cases after losing quite a few among the depths of our other stuff!! Such a small thing but makes a huge difference!
A head torch is a good idea at night so your hands are freee whilst rummaging through your bag
Great tip Michael! Thanks for sharing your insight – super handy idea!
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I’m glad you enjoyed the post Daniel, and to hear that you’re a fan of the blog :) Thankyou for reading our articles – awesome to hear that our content is memorable for you!
Sometimes it is judt not prectical to lug around a tripod so momopod is a useful compromise
I agree, we used to have a really heavy, large tripod, which was an absolutely pain to travel with, so we’ve since replaced it with a light weight, compact version which straps nicely onto the side of our bag. Great tip on a momopod being a useful compromise :) Thanks for sharing your insight!
It’s always great to know what gear others carry as it always gives me ideas and information about new technology and what is available. The tips about zip-lock backs is excellent as it truly helps save some of the more delicate camera items like SD Cards and only recently I realized how often it was to carry with cleaning kits. Great pointers and thanks for that.
Glad you enjoyed the post Mike, and that some of the ideas were helpful for you. I agree, I love reading about what others carry also, and then adapt what works well for my own travels :)
Yes, cleaning kits come in handy quite a lot when you’re on the road, so we’ve come to travel with them at all times.
I thank you for the information! I was looking for and could not find. You helped me!
You’re welcome Stefanin – so glad the post was informative for you :)
The zip lock bags are a great idea! I will definitly take some for my next trip. Thank you for the tip :)
Glad we could help! I take ziplocks with me everywhere – they’re so simple yet so practical!