I travel around to photoshoot locations a lot, particularly in the summer as I prefer to work on location. However, this means I have to take everything I need for the shoot with me. So how do I manage to do that and still travel light? Here’s how…
1. Have a massive handbag. My handbag is huge for normal circumstances, but I can fit an A4 folder for model release forms as well as my camera, 2 lenses, and a reflector inside without struggling at all. This really helps because it’s comfortable to carry and doesn’t look like an obvious target for anyone looking to grab a tourist camera. It also means I’m only carrying one bag, instead of a second camera bag.
2. Know your needs. I don’t always carry my flashgun, for example, and I never have more than 2 lenses with me. I know what I’m going to do for the shoot and therefore I know what I need to use. Too many new or hobby photographers carry around huge lenses for no reason. My 50mm rarely comes off the camera because I don’t need to use other lenses in my normal day-to-day shoots.
3. Cut down more. Even when you have what you think are your photoshoot essentials, you can probably cut down more. Do you really need a heavy battery pack on your DSLR? I have never once run out of battery even when I spent 3 days continuously shooting. Your standard battery is probably good enough. Are you really going to need a reflector? If I’m in a location where there won’t be room to use it, I don’t bring it. You don’t need a tripod for shooting on location. Most of the time you won’t even be allowed to use it. You don’t need all those little extras and accessories either.
4. Upload later. It’s possible to get the photos uploaded to the cloud right away, and you can take a laptop to sit and edit on the train. Or you can spend the time doing something else and just edit when you’re home. I don’t carry bulky equipment like a laptop - I just plan to edit later. At the most I’ll bring my tablet for emailing, reading, and entertaining myself in the gaps between shoots. This also holds my portfolio, so there’s no need for prints.
That’s it! At the end of the day, travelling light is about reducing the essentials down to what will actually be the essentials.