Hey everyone! I’m heading to France this week for three weeks! I’m taking along my grandma because we are going to my cousins wedding! We will also be visiting family and I’ll be attending a styled shoot outside of Paris. I have been prone to over-packing in the past, and have been consciously trying to avoid that the last several years. As a photographer, I love to have all my gear with me because I never know when I’ll get an idea for a shot that would be just perfect with a certain lens. Because gear gets heavy and takes up so much space, I wanted to bring the photography gear I’d need to create some creative images, but not bring so much that I resented having to drag it along with me for 3 weeks.
Make a note that every trip is different. This trip, we were renting a car for the whole trip and staying with family and in hotels. I’ve taken trips in the past that included lots of sleeping in hostels and running to and from trains. Back before I was a professional photographer, my husband and I took a three-month trip to Europe. We had to keep everything in one pack each and be able to move quickly with it. We also had to be very minimalist in what we brought along. Destination will determine a lot of what you’ll have to bring along too. I never bring pants when I’m in the Southern US or Caribbean, but if I’m in Europe in November I’ll need pants, a heavier jacket, maybe a rain jacket, etc. So keep that in mind as you pack for your trip!
First, I needed a great bag to put all this stuff in. Luckily, I already had one! The Think Tank Airport Advantage Plus is my favorite camera bag for travel, and when I’m home, I can store all my camera gear in this one bag! I love it because it’s totally customizable and has the add-on mesh pouch for clothes. This bag fit all my extra lenses, chargers, flash, batteries, and magmod flash modifier, along with all my clothes for three weeks.
For my camera, toiletries, laptop, and jacket, I used a Brevite Scout backpack. I can’t even tell you how much I love Brevite backpacks (I have two – the Scout and the Rucksack). I used the Scout on this trip because it’s a little smaller and weather proof, and it has the removable insert with an attachable strap (which I could take out if I wanted more room in my pack for an outing, or if I just wanted to take my camera out and about with me). Brevite backpacks are amazing and I can’t recommend them enough. They are modern and super functional, and they come with a lifetime warranty! They aren’t paying me for this review but maybe they should be.
A Packing List for Photographers
3 button up shirts
3 t-shirts (I bought one in CA when I picked up my grandma)
2 pairs of pants
1 pair of shorts
1 pair of pajama pants
1 pair of flats
1 pair of shoes (my trusty Vans)
4 pairs of socks
My favorite North Face fleece
Camera (Canon 5d IV)
2 battery chargers
Magmod MagSphere – I love MagMod products! I use them at weddings and portrait sessions all the time. They are super easy to use and fast to modify and remove. I have almost all the MagMod products. Totally not paid by them either, I just love their products.
I put all my toiletries in my trusty MEC toiletries bag. I’ve had this one for years and I use it every time I travel or go camping. MEC has a more modern version of my bag now. While we live in Montana, we buy a lot of our camping gear in Calgary when we go visit Brent’s family. For those of you in the States, REI makes a similar one.
Public Goods shampoo, body wash, and conditioner
Way of Will face oil and toner. I love their products and they are the only things I put on my face besides plain old soap. They are perfect for my sensitive skin and I love that there is no added garbage in their products.
Schmidts deordorant. I’ve tried a few natural deodorants and my favorite is Schmidt’s charcoal and magnesium.
Hand wipes (even without my kids, I always have wipes on me. Never know when you’ll need these)
Travel size first aid kit
Toothpaste + toothbrush
MacBook Air Laptop + charger
Something to read (I also use the Libby app to download ebooks and audiobooks – it saves me so much money on books and perfect for traveling when you don’t want to haul extra weight around)
Field Notes notebooks. Obviously I have the subscription because I love these notebooks. I am constantly writing notes and these are perfect for taking along everywhere.
Leuchtturm journal. I keep a daily journal and this is my current one.
My favorite Parker pen
The Niel Pouch from United by Blue. Another one of my favorite companies. I think the pouch is sold out and I’m not sure when it’ll be back. I love this pouch for storing my journal and Field Notes notebooks, pens, headphones, my slim wallet, metro tickets, etc. It’s so versatile!
There it is! That’s everything I packed for my 3 week trip to Europe. You could totally cut out a few lenses and still have everything you need. When I travel and have no shoots to attend, I only bring the 24-70mm. When I have a booked session or I’m attending a workshop, I always like to have lenses to choose from.
What do you like to travel with as a photographer? Do you have a system that works for you? Let me know in the comments!