Peek Inside My Suitcase: What I Pack For Travel Photography

What I love:

Taking pictures while traveling.

What I DON’T love:

Lugging around heavy camera equipment.

So what camera equipment is necessary to take on a trip? It depends on where and what kind of trip you are taking, but in general, this is the gear I pack:

1. One camera body – Canon 5D
2. One lenses – 24-70mmf/2.8 or 50mmf/1.2
3. Camera charger
4. One camera battery
5. Two 32GB memory cards

1. One camera body – Canon 5D

For vacation, one body is enough. I only carry multiple camera bodies when I work. I figure, in the slight chance that it breaks, it won’t be the end of the world. If I’m in a developed country I can probably get it fixed somewhere. If I can’t then oh well . . . it’s probably the universe telling me to enjoy my vacation without the need to snap every 2 minutes. Plus, I have an iPhone that takes pretty cool pictures.

2. One lens – Canon 24-70mmf/2.8 or the 50mm f/1.2

The 24-70 is kind of heavy but it has the perfect zoom range/aperture combo for traveling. It is great for landscape photos as well as street photography. The 50mm f/1.2 is great for street photography and evening shots, since I never pack a flash.

3. Camera charger

Very important. If I forgot this I would be pissed because it’s one thing if you camera actually breaks (see #1), but if you forgot your charger and the camera runs out of juice, 1.) You are carrying around gear that is unusable,  2.) It’s ALL YOUR FAULT, and 3.) It could have been easily avoided. Boo. Don’t forget it!

4. One camera battery

Nowadays the batteries last a long time.  You can easily have one and it’s good for the entire day. This is only for stills. If you shoot video then you’ll probably need more.

5. Two 32 GB of memory cards

I shoot RAW and have never shot more than 32GB on a trip, or even for wedding. If you like to snap a lot then I would suggest to bring more cards, but I prefer to be selective with picture taking, almost like I’m using film. I feel more awareness when you shoot gives better results, plus it’s less work in post processing.

Other Suggested Equipment to Pack:

– Laptop
– Card Reader
– Power Outlet Converter (if traveling to a foreign country)

All of the above easily fit into a backpack.  I don’t have an official “camera” backpack; it’s simply a school backpack that I found at REI. It has a compartment for a laptop and I like that the backpack is flat and not bulky like most camera bags.

If anyone would like to add what works/doesn’t work for you while traveling, feel free to add it in the comments section below.

Happy travels!

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Sal

    I’ve been looking into Black Rapid slings.
    Which BlackRapids do you own and what would you recommend?
    slim? women? other accessories that goes with it?

    1. Christine C.

      Hey Sal. I have the slim double sling and I love it! Makes such a difference when you are shooting with 2 cameras.

  2. SAL

    I don’t have 2 cameras since I’m only doing this as a hobby, so I never looked into that, but now I see that it can be split into a single.

  3. Marianne Bush

    Oh, I wish, Christine. However, as an avid bird photographer, it is impossible for me not to travel with either my 100-400mm or the 300mm + tele converters. It’s a royal p.i.t.a. but I know that, if don’t bring one or the other, I’m going to kick myself every time I see a new bird.

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